A product benefit is the value that customers realise from a product or service. Benefits are expressed in terms of needs, expectations, requirements and motivations. It is a fundamental rule of marketing and sales that customers are typically more interested in benefits as opposed to the technical details or features of your product.
“Sell me this pen” is a line that will forever be associated with The Wolf of Wall Street.
There's an old sales maxim "sell the sizzle, not the steak" which encourages salespeople to focus on the experience of a product rather than simply the product itself. No doubt you'll have experience of a sales pitch yourself that triggered your senses and created an emotional connection - it's these things that motivate most people's point of purchase selections.
Here are some examples of what your customers might see as a product benefit. What are those for your products?
Ambition – for example, a service that prepares a student to attend university.
Comfort – such as earphones that you barely notice you are using.
Convenience – a product or service that saves the customer time or makes things easier, such as grocery delivery.
Cost – a product that saves the customer money. The same functional outcome as an alternative, but cheaper.
Culture – a weekend City-break where you can eat authentic food and see local art.
Efficiency – such as an electric car that can make it from one city to another on a single charge.
Entertainment – such as a game that is so engaging that you dream about it.
Experience – a sailboat that helps a customer pursue a life of adventure.
Objective – a product that allows a customer to achieve an objective, such as automating accounts reconciliation.
Productivity – something that allows the user to complete the task and save time, such as video-editing on a Mac.
Transformation – perhaps a book that helps a person to change in a positive direction.
Usability – such as an action camera that is intuitive to operate and is built for the terrain its used in.
Values – such as an environmentally friendly product that helps customers to feel good about their purchase.
Knowing who your customers are and the benefit that is likely to appeal to them is key to structuring your messaging so that that they come to perceive the value you are offering. What's the 'sizzle' in your products?
Next: The Product-Aware Business
Now that we’ve seen how to set strategic direction, and we have a better idea of who our customers are and what they look for, we should consider which go-to-market approach to execute. Product-Aware growth is an approach which uses your company products as the main vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers. In The Product-Aware Business we realise that your customers don't read a lengthy whitepaper or have a sales-person contact them. They just sign-up and started using it.