Build heartshare and mindshare will come

An amazing insite by my friend Bob Pritchard 

Marketing 101: Sell benefits, not features! The very first thing we ever learn in marketing is that people only buy benefits. They never buy features.

So why do people invest so much on glossy brochures highlighting features? 

I can hear all of you respond—yes, we all know that, we don't have to be told again. Well, pick up any brochure, look at online banners, look at almost all newspaper advertisements or pick up practically any direct mail piece. Guess what? They are absolutely full of features about the product. And it only takes one glance to determine why they don't work.   On average, less than 20 percent of all messages provide a benefit to the consumer.

It is absolutely vital to differentiate yourself from your competition in this highly competitive, global and highly accessible marketplace, to the extent that when anyone thinks of your product or service category, they think of you first. If they don’t, then your likelihood of attracting their business is significantly diminished. If they do, then you will at least get an inquiry. Whether you actually convert the sale is up to you; but at least you are in the game.

It's all about how the product or service or advert makes you feel 

You must get into the potential customers’ preconscious mind. Because this is a totally emotional region of the brain, only an emotional trigger will give your product or service recall over that of your competitors.

Science has proven that every reaction you have in your life is emotionally triggered. Every decision you have ever made in your life was made because it made you feel emotionally better in some way.

Motivating people to buy a product or service is absolutely no different. The most effective way to impact the consumer, to obtain preconscious-mind recall and to motivate them to purchase without a pragmatic evaluation of your product or service against your competitors, is through the selling of emotional benefits.

What's the emotional benefit the consumer gets from the product or service? 

The key is to look behind this pragmatism and identify the emotional benefit the consumer obtains from the product or service. I need to know things like will the product be better or quicker in some way? Will it change the cost?

Build heartshare and mindshare will come 

You must realize that unless you have built heartshare with your customer, the consumer doesn’t care about you; they care about themselves.

A simple traditional product example; Johnson’s Baby Powder is a huge worldwide seller that constantly blitzes the competitors. Their competition focuses on the product and its features, such as absorbency tests that show that their product absorbs an extra volume of liquid, and so on. Johnson’s advertising just keeps emphasizing a highly emotional loving mother-child relationship. Mothers are much more attracted to a great relationship with their child than an extra liter of water poured out of a jug! 

To distinguish between a feature and a benefit simply apply the so-what test. If I can say, "So what?" after the statement, it is a feature; if I can't, then it is a benefit. Any form of communication you design must always be consumer friendly. Do not use industry terms that people don't know and do not include loads of information about how wonderful you are. Focus on addressing what will make the customer’s life easier; simply doing so makes it easier to convey your product or service’s benefits.

For example, after the initial warm-and-fuzzies in the first sentence of a sales letter/email/ SMS etc to a potential client, eliminate all sentences that do not provide the client with the pragmatic and resultant emotional benefit. You do not have time in today’s fast paced world to write meaningless sentences and the recipient does not have time to read them.

Remember: People are all driven by emotion. To achieve success, focus on emotional benefits, not on meaningless features.