Product benefits are the things a product offers to satisfy the needs, desires and wants of a consumer. They are what a consumer hopes to get, feel or achieve when he/she uses a product. Product benefits can either be actual or perceived.
- Actual benefits – these include the performance of the product, its design as well as its cost-effectiveness
- Perceived benefits include the products popularity, its image or its reputation.
Relation between product benefit and product feature
Product benefits can hardly be spoken of without mentioning product feature. These are two very close yet very different terminologies. While product feature is what a product is or has, product benefit is the “it” that a customer buys a product wishing to get. Product features are just facts about the good. When a company tells a potential consumer of the product’s features, the product benefits provide the answers to the questions that the potential consumer might have. Prevalent among those questions is “what is in it for me?” and “will it give me what I seek?”
The conventional consensus is that benefits are better than features in persuading customers to make a purchase. Although they all work together in a bid to get consumer attention, benefits outright tell the consumers how exactly the product will change their lives. A company can go on a promotional roll, telling the customers about the great features its product contains, but at the end of the day, if the customer cannot connect the feature to the benefit, then they don’t really get why they should buy that particular product over another.
A great example is two different commercials about two cars brands: brand A and B. Car brand A goes on telling the customers about the great patented safety features it contains, while car brand B shows consumers how exactly the car will save them at the most important time; during a car crash. Although car brand A may have better features, car brand B will most probably record more sales. That is the power of showing customers the product benefits as opposed to the product features.
Emotional product benefits
When there is talk of product benefits, people think of how a benefit can solve an actual tangible problem. But product benefits can also be emotions. Although there are products whose sole purpose is to bring emotional satisfaction to the user, more and more products are looking to give their consumers emotional satisfaction on top of the actual benefit. The businesses that use this kind of strategy get one over their competitors and grow faster. If consumers can feel an emotional benefit from a certain product, then the sales of that particular product will rise.