What is the difference? Which is more important? How much does it matter?

At some point - maybe working on your website, or hiring your first marketing agency, os responding to a client request - you have been confronted with the battle between features and benefits. 

And perhaps a debate about which one is more important or which one is more useful. 

The truth is that you need to discuss both of them. 

The debate

Features and Benefits are equally important. 

You could say they both describe the same thing, but for different purposes. 

The classic example is the description of the iPod:

FeatureBenefit
1GB of music storage1,000 songs in your pocket

To sell the iPod, you want to use the benefit. To explain how it does that, you can use the features. 

Features

The easiest starting point is to list your features. 

Think about what you sell, how it works, what it is made of, how it is maintained, how it is delivered, and anything else you can put in here. 

In short, these are all facts. Not opinions: facts. 

When listing features don’t talk about whether something is positive, or useful, or high quality. 

Simply state the unarguable facts. Facts like the materials, process, timing, cost, development, and anything else you can throw in there. 

Benefits

Look at your list of features. 

Next to each one, answer the question: “So What?”

Why should the client care about this feature?

That describes your benefits. 

The “what’s in it for the client” statements. 

In Conclusion

The benefits describe why the features are good ones. 

The features prove that the benefit is real. 

Without these clear descriptions, you are simply one of many. Distinguishing your features and benefits is the first step in making yourself stand out.