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Communicate the Benefit Not the Features

The Art of Selling the Dream, Not the Bed

The Art of Selling the Dream, Not the Bed

Welcome, dear readers, to yet another riveting escapade through the jungles of marketing wisdom, where we aim to slice through the thick foliage of facts to find the hidden temple of truths. Today, we embark on a quest to unravel a mystery as old as time (or at least as old as consumerism): why should we, the gallant marketers of the modern age, focus on communicating the benefit rather than just hammering on about the features?

The Feature Monster and The Benefit Fairy

Imagine, if you will, a world where every conversation is a monologue and every sales pitch is a laundry list.

Welcome to the land of Feature-topia, where the inhabitants speak in bullet points with illustrated icons appearing above their heads, and the currency is specifications. In this dreary land, products are not sold; they are listed.

But lo! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! 😂 It's the Benefit Fairy, coming to sprinkle her magical pixie dust on the dull, feature-laden conversations of Feature-topia.

Once Upon a Benefit

Let's cut to the chase: people don't buy quarter-inch drills; they buy quarter-inch holes. They don't want the super-amazing, 10-speed, wireless, LED, XYZ-branded drill. They want to hang their new, super-cool wall art effortlessly so they can impress their friends and feel good about their cozy, beautiful home.

Communicating the benefit is like telling a story where your customer is the hero, the product is the magical sword, and the happy ending is the solution to their problem. Features, on the other hand, are like the technical manual for the sword. Necessary for the blacksmith, perhaps, but not for the hero on their quest.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Wardrobe Specifications vs. A New World

Imagine if C.S. Lewis had focused on the features of the wardrobe.

"This wardrobe, crafted from the finest wood from the mystical land of Trees-a-lot, features exquisite carvings, a state-of-the-art locking mechanism, and ample space for all your fur-coat storage needs!"


Instead, he offered us a gateway to a magical world, an adventure, a benefit. The wardrobe became a secondary character to the promise of Narnia. Similarly, in marketing, we must offer a gateway to a better experience, not just a better product.

The Laughter Behind the Logic

Let's get one thing straight: humans are emotional creatures pretending to be logical. We make decisions based on how something makes us feel and then justify it with logic. By communicating benefits, we appeal to the heart, the part that makes decisions. The features? They’re just there to appease the brain after the heart has already decided.

For instance, nobody really buys a high-end smartphone because it has 128GB of storage. They buy it because of how it makes them feel—cutting-edge, part of an elite group, or simply because they believe it will make their life easier and more enjoyable. The storage part is just a feature they choose after deciding which type and style of phone to get. This example, in itself, shows you how far down the heirarchy of decision factors "features" truly are.

The Misadventures of Feature-focused Marketing

Now, imagine going on a date and listing all your features: "I have a Bachelor’s degree, can cook five different cuisines, and run a marathon in under four hours." Impressive, sure, but it doesn't communicate how you can make someone’s life better. "With me, you'll never face life's challenges alone, and we’ll explore the world’s flavors one dish at a time." Now, that's selling the benefit! I understand if you need to take a minute to go update your Tinder profile, go ahead, I'll wait 😜.

How to Speak Benefit, Not Feature

Know Your Hero:

Understand your customer deeply. What do they desire? What battles are they fighting in their daily lives?

Identify the Dragon:

What problem is your product solving? Be clear about the enemy.

Forge the Sword:

How does your product defeat the dragon? This is your benefit.

Tell the Tale:

Weave a story around your hero, the dragon, and the magical sword. Make it relatable, make it emotional, and most importantly, make it about them.

In Conclusion: The Happily Ever After

Communicating benefits over features isn’t just a marketing strategy; it’s a perspective shift. It’s about moving from talking at your customers to talking with them. It's about not just selling a product, but selling a better version of their life that your product can help achieve.

So, dear marketers, next time you’re tempted to list out the 101 features of your product, remember: nobody cares about the spaceship; they care about the journey to the stars. Here's to selling dreams, not just beds. Cheers to communicating benefits, not just features!

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