Selling with Features: Worse Than a Cheap, Worn-Out Mattress
Soapbox issue of mine: selling benefits. If you've read this blog, you likely have read my previous rants on this issue. If not, here is a refresher.
People do not respond to features. Features are trivial. They are stuff ... merely a means to an end. As any marketing genius knows, effective marketing copy has to tell the story in such way as to describe the wonderful product (or service) and its bells and whistles (i.e., features) but always, always making sure to articulate the benefit that the customer will derive. On the contrary, people respond to hopes and aspirations and promises. They respond to products, people and services that can change and improve their lives.
Quick sidebar: Dr. Judy Morley, the brains behind the Grasshopper Communications blog, weighs in on this topic, as well.
Recently, I saw a TV advertisement for a mattress. It was a local spot - not great, not the worst I've seen either. What caught my attention was the message, one that hinged on a number:
"The UltraMax MegaSpring mattress has 432 coil springs. More than any other mattress."
Incredibly, that is where the message ended. Cue jingle. Fade to black.
Naturally, I said, "So what!" (Yes, I actually said it out loud to the television.) What does that do for me? Tell me how this will help me. I do not care how many coil springs it has. I care about sleep and my health. What will it do for my back? How much healthier will I be? (Did you do any research? Any trials? Any studies?) Frankly, I don't care if it only has 4 coil springs, as long as it is a great mattress. As long as it's comfortable. As long as I sleep comfortably on it. As long as my back feels great when I arise.
You want to sell me something? Sell me the benefits, not the features.