Sell Benefits, Not Features

If you talk with any Brooksider long enough, you’ll probably hear us say, “is it happy hour yet?”, more relevantly, you’ll also hear us say, “benefits over features.” It’s one of our favorite principles and it helps us keep our creative in check. But what does this motto mean?

The easiest way to explain this concept is to say, features tell and benefits sell. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two terms.


A feature is simply what the product does or how the service works. Cars are a great example, because they’re loaded with features (if you pay enough). Features in a car might include: seat warmers, backup camera, side curtain airbags, and voice controlled stereo. It’s important that features are listed so the consumer knows what they’re buying, but if you stop there you’re creating a massive disconnect between the product and the consumer.


When you take features one step further, you’ll find benefits. This is how the product or service actually improves the life of the end user. Going back to the car example, while side curtain airbags might be a feature, the benefit is keeping your family safe in the event of a crash. Occasionally consumers will be able to make the jump from features to benefits themselves, but when you focus on the benefits instead of the features you can connect with your consumer on a much deeper level. 

features tell and benefits sell

The Advantage

One company that gets this more than most is Subaru. In the commercial below they make mention of the feature (long lasting cars), but they focus on the benefit (having a car that will be with you for all your important memories). The difference is subtle, but it makes the appeal more emotional than surface level.

When you’re trying to identify the benefits of your product or service, spend some time exploring what you do for your customers and how they use your products. Tapping into benefits can be a serious game changer for how you sell your product, and how you think about your company. At Brookside Studios, we’ve developed several ways to help identify benefits and capitalize on them. If you need help putting together a list of benefits give us a call.

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