(Sales & Marketing) Features tell, Benefits sell


If you have a student in the marketing area, they will enjoy talking about how features of a product/service should be translated into benefits. This article will provide you with some background and some ideas to feed in to the discussion:


The text in the box below is based on phrases given in the article.


1 Write on the board these words: Features tell, Benefits sell.

You might have to establish the meaning of ‘feature’: something interesting or important about a product.

And you will probably want to give (or elicit) a few quick and obvious examples of features and their benefits, such as power steering (feature) makes a car easier to park (benefit); or innovative design of a product (feature) means you look cool and stylish when you use it (benefit); or small size of a product (feature) means it easily fits into your bag or pocket (benefit).

2 Have a warmer discussion on this topic. Marketing people will have a lot to say about this (marketers understand that you have to appeal to people’s emotions, not just give them dry information).

3 After a general discussion, write the text below on the board.

I’m going to tell you about our … (product/service).

It has … (feature 1) and … (feature 2).

This        means you …

provides you with …

means you will receive more …

allows you greater …

enables you to spend less money on …

Now ask the students to use the language on the board to write a few sentences about one of their own products/services and two of its features and resulting benefits.

4 When they finish, the students can read out their sentences and there will be further discussion, this time more specific to the students’ own business.

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