Defining Benefits in Marketing Terms
In marketing, the word benefit refers to some advantage or positive outcome for the consumer. That is, the consumer is better off due to the purchase/consumption of the product.
Products Solve Consumer Problems
Products are designed to solve problems or meet needs of consumers. Therefore, an appropriate product design should deliver a series of benefits for consumers, as outlined in the above diagram.
As you can see, consumer benefits stem from the addition of individual product features, as well as the overall product design.
In essence, benefits are derived from features; they represent the practical application and value that the features bring to the consumer
As an example, consider the Apple iPhone. It has many features included such as a camera, sound, touch screen, and so on. However, many consumers are also attracted by the overall look, style, functionality and user interface of the phone.
It goes without saying that the more benefits perceived by the consumer, the more likely they are to see value in that particular product. This is because with the perceived benefits, the consumer is more likely to consider that these benefits exceed the cost of acquisition.
Here are some examples of benefits that products or services can offer to consumers:
Saving time or effort (e.g., a smartphone app that consolidates all daily tasks).
Reducing expenses (e.g., energy-efficient appliances).
Enhancing physical wellbeing (e.g., a fitness tracker).
Increasing user safety (e.g., advanced features in a car like automatic braking).
Ease of Use
Simplifying operation or use (e.g., user-friendly software).
Providing emotional fulfillment (e.g., a novel that resonates deeply with readers).
Elevating social standing (e.g., luxury brand products).
Being eco-friendly (e.g., biodegradable packaging).
Offering new and unique capabilities (e.g., virtual reality headset).
Ensuring dependable and consistent performance (e.g., a high-quality kitchen appliance).
Long-lasting quality (e.g., rugged outdoor gear).
Style and Aesthetics
Appealing appearance or design (e.g., designer furniture).
Ability to tailor to personal preferences (e.g., customizable sneakers).
Increasing efficiency or output (e.g., productivity software).
Providing fun or enjoyment (e.g., video game consoles).
Offering learning opportunities (e.g., educational toys for children).
Facilitating communication or connection (e.g., social media platforms).
Easy to transport or move (e.g., lightweight laptops).
Efficiently using space (e.g., multi-functional furniture).
Peace of Mind
What is the Difference Between Product Features and Benefits?
A feature is a characteristic of a product or service. It’s something inherent, like a specification, attribute, or capability of the product. For example, a smartphone’s feature might be its 128GB of storage or its waterproof design.
Features and benefits are closely interrelated in the context of marketing and selling a product or service. But features are focused on the product or service itself. They are factual statements about what the product is and what it has.
Features remain constant regardless of who the customer is. They are the “what” of the product.
Features can be technical or specific in nature, appealing more to the logical side of decision-making.
A benefit, on the other hand, is the positive outcome or advantage that a feature provides to the consumer. It’s the “why” behind a feature, explaining how it makes the consumer’s life better, easier, or more enjoyable.
Benefits focus on the value the product or service brings to the user. They are tailored to the consumer’s needs, desires, or problems.
Benefits can vary based on the individual consumer’s perspective or situation. They often connect with the emotional or psychological needs of the customer.
Benefits highlight the practical application and usefulness of the product in the consumer’s life. They answer the customer’s implicit question, “What’s in it for me?”
Features often appeal to the logical, analytical side of consumers, providing them with factual information about what the product is and what it can do. Benefits, conversely, appeal to the emotional or psychological side, showing how the product can improve their life, solve their problems, or enhance their experience.
Quick Examples to Clarify the Difference
Feature = A laptop with a 10-hour battery life.
Benefit = The user can work all day without worrying about recharging, offering them convenience and peace of mind.
A feature like “waterproof up to 30 meters” (in a watch) translates into the benefit of being able to swim or dive without worrying about damaging the watch.