How to Uncover Product Benefits That Will Emotionally Engage Your Users

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If you’ve been struggling to discover product benefits that would engage your audience…

…AND…

You constantly find yourself iterating your positioning statement in the hope of finding that one thing that could convince potential users to try out your product…

Then this advice is for you.

I’ll to show you a strategy I’ve been using to uncover REAL product benefits…

…without having to reach out and interview the target audience!

This strategy will help you find out the exact product benefits that will help attract and convert your target audience.

Intrigued? Then let’s get cracking.

BONUS: Get started discovering your product's REAL benefits with this handy worksheet. Click here to get it >>

Why You (Probably) Get Product Benefits Wrong…

I love this quote from Gregory Ciotti (note, the emphasis in bold is mine):

Founders and marketers must go beyond selling products; they have to sell what their product will allow customers to do.”

So darn right!

The thing is – defining that thing your product allows customers to do… it’s not that simple, isn’t it?

Here, just take a look at a couple of examples I found on Landbook. They seem to prove it quite well.

features 1

features 2

features 3features 4

Now, don’t get me wrong. None of these sites are wrong.

But do they manage to communicate the benefits of their offering clearly? I’m not so sure.

Taglines like “We Build Better Apps” suggest product/service features – quality, performance, value for money…

But they include no reference to what a client would actually get after purchasing them.

Mistakes like these happen because, often, in spite of understanding the difference between features and benefits, we still use one instead of the other.

For one, it’s simpler. Features are tangible aspects of your product. And that makes them so easy to understand and communicate to others.

They’re also more specific. As the great copywriter Eugene Schwartz noted, they’re your physical product. Again, a characteristic making them so much easier to talk about.

The problem, however, is – features are pretty useless when you’re convincing people who have only learned about your product to try it out.

Features provide a reference point for customers who compare your product with others.

Consider them logical arguments customers use to select one item over another.

But it’s the benefits that first get someone interested in what you sell.

And one reason for that is that we don’t want to use logic and arguments to make a decision.

As Kelton Reid pointed in this fantastic piece on Copyblogger:

Pioneering copywriter John Carlton called the average consumer the “somnambulant blob welded to the couch.””

As a result, as Reid points (note, the emphasis in bold is mine):

“We’re not as logical as we’d like to think we are. Most of our decisions are based on deep-rooted emotional motivations, which we then justify with logical processes.”

In other words, to sell to most of your customers, you need to first, use benefits to target emotions. And then, convince them to their choice with features.

So Here’s How to Get Benefits Right

We already touched on the psychology of buying.

You already know that we first respond to sales message emotionally, and only then use reason and logic to justify our decision.

You also know that it’s the benefits that provide that emotional connection.

And yet, your sales copy still fails to compel potential customers to try out your product.

Wanna know why? Because you target benefits that don’t really relate to your audience’s real needs.

As Henneke Duistermaat points out in her fantastic piece about writing benefit-driven sales copy:

“Quite often sales copy is too superficial.

And when copy is too superficial, readers (potential buyers!) don’t feel the content speaks to them. They feel the product or service might be useful, but not valuable enough.”

And that’s because what you say about your benefits might still be in discord from your buyers’ real needs:

  • Physiological needs: Food, water, clothing, shelter
  • Safety and security
  • Love/belonging
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-actualization

Maslow

(image source)

And so, to develop real benefits, you need to match them to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

For example, let’s imagine that you market lead generation software for mom and pop online stores. And so, a clear benefit of using your product is faster business growth.

But I’m sure you’ll agree: it’s darn vague.

To fine-tune it, match it to all five needs, to uncover the real needs that are highly relevant to your users.

For instance:

Benefit Physiological Needs Safety Needs Love/Belonging Needs Esteem Needs Self-actualization Needs
Faster business growth You’ll grow your business faster, get paid more and will be able to buy bigger house. You’ll reduce the risk of overworking and damaging your health. You can impress fellow business owners with your growth You can influence the business community You can feel more confident about your business skills

 

Another example – reporting software for marketers.

Benefit – saving time on client reports.

Real benefits/needs:

Benefit Physiological Needs Safety Needs Love/Belonging Needs Esteem Needs Self-actualization Needs
Saving time on client reports. You’ll get to do more actual paying work, increase your revenue and build a more sustainable business You can service clients more thoroughly, and strengthen their relationship with your agency. You can feel more confident about your business’ growth.

Two things worth to note:

One. As you’ve seen from the example above, not every product will have benefits across all five levels of the Maslow’s hierarchy. However, the majority will still somehow relate to the high-level needs such as esteem or self-actualization.

Two. You don’t have to include all those needs in your copy.

You need to pick the ones that related to your target audience’s current needs. In case of mom and pop store, it’ll most likely be physiological as well as higher-level needs like esteem and belonging.

In case of marketers, targeting psychological needs might be enough.

And that’s it…

Now you know it, a simple strategy to uncover the real product benefits that relate to your audience’s current situation and personal needs.

BONUS: Get started discovering your product's REAL benefits with this handy worksheet. Click here to get it >>

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