One of the biggest problems most brands face is clarifying their message. In the Writing Good Copy series, we provide bite-sized copy tidbits and advice that will drastically improve your audience’s connection with your brand. In this post, we’ll help you define your brand’s features, benefits, and values.
How would you define the features, benefits, and values your brand offers? And for that matter, what’s the difference between benefits and values? Here are some quick definitions, so we’re all on the same page:
- Features – Explain what your product does. For example, teeth whitening is a feature of certain toothpastes.
- Benefits – Are the advantages users get from your product’s features. For example, whitening toothpaste provides users a brighter smile and cleaner teeth.
- Values – Are the underlying motivations that drive users to take advantage of the benefits your product offers. For example, the cosmetic benefits that whitening toothpaste offers can boost users’ self-confidence.
When you write marketing or sales copy, you’re selling yourself drastically short if you only talk about the what – your product’s features. People don’t buy a product; they buy the advantages that product offers (benefits) as well as how those advantages tie in to their underlying motivation (values).
Take a look at the below brands’ websites, and see if you can point out each brand’s features, benefits, and values.
Fitbit’s headline explains that, “Fitbit motivates you to reach your health and fitness goals by tracking your activity, exercise, sleep, weight, and more.”
- Features – Track your activity, exercise, sleep, weight, and more.
- Benefits – Reach your health and fitness goals.
- Values – Get motivated.
Fitbit understands that everyone wants to be healthy, but also that most people lack the required motivation to make healthy decisions. Rather than selling their product as a watch that does neat things, Fitbit’s selling themselves as motivation to achieve your fitness goals.
TOMS Shoes’s headline says, “Every Purchase Has a Purpose. Through your purchase, TOMS helps provide shoes, sight, and water to people in need.”
- Features – New shoes.
- Benefits – You’re helping a good cause.
- Values – You have purpose.
Here, TOMS is selling purpose, not shoes. Everyone wants to make a significant, positive impact on the world. But many people don’t know where to start, or think they can’t possibly contribute in a meaningful way. TOMS, however, says you can make a difference, and that you do have a purpose. They allow anyone who purchases their shoes to think of themselves as a purpose-driven, responsible person who cares about making a difference.
Plated’s headline says, “Enjoy your day – tonight is taken care of.” The sub-header says, “Deciding what to do for dinner shouldn’t be a struggle,” and the body copy continues, “Skip the ‘What’s for dinner?’ debate so you can focus on everything else you have going on.”
- Features – Online meal planning.
- Benefits – Simple, fast, delightful.
- Values – Your self-worth.
Plated’s copy tells users they should value their time. The headline zeroes in on the value of self-worth, telling readers that they should enjoy themselves – they spend enough time working. They deserve the chance to kick back and relax. The sub-header appeals to the benefit of alleviating the stress of deciding what’s for dinner. And finally, the body copy, explains how Plated’s features make this all possible, by telling readers how easy it could be to plan their next meal.
List the features your business or product offers, and note each feature’s corresponding benefits and values. From that list, create an ad containing a simple headline, sub-header, and body copy. If you like it enough, feel free to share it with us on social media, by posting it with the hashtag #butlerfbv.
And remember, if you’d like to read through the entire Writing Good Copy series at once (including next week’s tip on Social Proof), you can do so by downloading the Writing Good Copy workbook! Just click here to get your free PDF copy.