Why Your Startup Needs to Focus on Benefits – Not Features


Today’s features – tomorrow’s footnotes.

It’s a harsh reality for startups, but markets change unpredictably – and rapidly. Customers are always expecting the very latest and greatest features, making customer value a moving target. In our innovative, progress-focused world, that means today’s most sought-after specifications may not interest tomorrow’s audiences at all.

What’s a business to do? There’s no way to keep up with the very latest trends, upgrades, and selling features.

No way at all – unless you focus on benefit-driven marketing.

The Perks of Benefit-Driven Marketing

When you’re brainstorming your elevator pitch and coming up with new ways to manage customer value, it’s a good idea to shine a spotlight the benefits of what you offer.

Features (or, the details of what your product is or has) ultimately matter less to a customer than the benefits of your product: The problem it solves or the experience it lends your audience.

When you focus on customer benefits in your marketing materials, you:

  • Future-proof your value propositions: As noted above, it’s critical to realize that the unique, cutting-edge features of today could be outdated tomorrow. If you refrain from focusing on specific features and prioritize selling an irresistible end result, you’ll find that your marketing materials and concepts will have more longevity.
  • Speak more to what your customer actually cares about: Often, your customer is less worried about the details of what you are offering, and more interested in the end result you promise.
  • Have the opportunity to attract a wider audience: When you focus on features, you’re limiting yourself. Offer the solution to a specific problem, and you’ll likely find that its appeal will be universal.

In the end, focusing on benefits also ensures that you’re best poised to really help your customer. We often get overenthusiastic and pack our portfolios with products that have all kinds of features that customers aren’t really interested in. If you listen to the customer, if you go about building and marketing your product with their experience first in mind, and you allow that to be your guiding principle – customers will flock to your product.

Just remember: With benefit-focused marketing, you benefit the customer (which, in the end, is a benefit for you, too).