Have you ever felt like your marketing messages are falling flat?
You’re not alone.
The problem is that many businesses and marketing teams focus too much
on features and not enough on benefits.
They list off all the bells and whistles of their product or service but don’t explain why these features matter to the customer.
This is where the features, advantages, and benefits analysis (FAB) comes in.
The FAB-ulous Marketing formula is a simple but powerful marketing strategy that can help you create marketing messages that are more persuasive and effective.
Today, we’ll break down the FAB formula and show you how to use it to create marketing messages that will help you achieve your business goals.
What Is a Feature?
Imagine a product as a person.
A person has many features that make them unique, such as their height, hair color, and personality traits. Similarly, a product has many features that make it unique and valuable to users.
In simpler terms, a feature is an attribute that a product has or something it can do.
It’s what makes a product useful and enables it to be of value to prospective users.
To illustrate this concept, let’s consider some examples from popular brands:
- Slack: A messaging platform for teams, Slack’s key features include channels for organized conversations, direct messages for private chats, file sharing, and integration with other apps.
- SoundCloud: A music streaming platform, SoundCloud’s features include music discovery,
playlist creation, artist followings, and offline listening.
- Google Maps: A navigation app, Google Maps’ features include real-time directions, traffic updates, street view, and business listings.
A new product can have 5 different types of features to consider.
1. Functional Features: These features address the core purpose of the product and what it enables users to do. They focus on the practical aspects of the product and how it performs its intended tasks.
- A smartphone’s ability to make calls, send messages, and access the internet.
- A car’s engine power, fuel efficiency, and safety features.
- A computer’s processing speed, storage capacity, and software compatibility.
2. Design Features: These features encompass the aesthetic appeal, usability, and ergonomics of the product. They focus on how the product looks, feels, and interacts with users, making it aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and comfortable to interact with.
- A sleek and stylish smartphone design that exudes modernity.
- A car’s ergonomic seats, intuitive controls, and user-friendly infotainment system.
- A computer’s minimalist design, lightweight construction, and comfortable keyboard layout.
3. Added-Value Features: These features go beyond the core functionality and provide additional benefits or enhancements to the product. They offer extra perks or capabilities that differentiate the product from its competitors and enhance its overall value proposition.
- A smartphone’s built-in camera with high-resolution capabilities and advanced features.
- A car’s luxury interior features, premium sound system, and advanced safety technology.
- A computer’s pre-installed software, extended warranty, and technical support services.
4. Quality Features: These features address the durability, reliability, and performance of the product. They ensure that the product is built to last, meets high standards of quality, and consistently delivers on its intended purpose.
- A smartphone’s scratch-resistant screen, water-resistant construction, and long-lasting battery.
- A car’s robust engine, durable materials, and comprehensive warranty coverage.
- A computer’s high-performance components, rigorous testing procedures,
and reliable customer support.
5. Experience Features: These features focus on the overall user experience, encompassing the ease of use, intuitiveness, and emotional impact of interacting with the product. They strive to create a positive, engaging, and memorable experience for users.
- A smartphone’s intuitive user interface, seamless app integration, and personalized recommendations.
- A car’s smooth handling, responsive controls, and comfortable driving experience.
- A computer’s user-friendly operating system, intuitive menus, and personalized settings.
Pro tip: To identify the features of your product, ask yourself,
What are the key characteristics that make your product or service unique?
What are the specific features that your target audience is most interested in?
What Is an Advantage?
Think of an advantage as something that gives a product a leg up, a special something that makes it more appealing or useful to users than its competitors.
To illustrate, let’s revisit our examples from before:
- Slack: Slack’s advantages include its ability to improve communication and collaboration,
its ease of use, and its integration with other apps.
- SoundCloud: This app’s advantages include its large library of independent music,
its focus on discovery, and its artist-friendly platform.
- Google Maps: Google Maps’ advantages include its regularly updated traffic guidance,
its comprehensive and easy-to-navigate business listings, and its travel-facilitating street viewing.
In each of these examples, the advantages are what make the product more competitive and appealing to users, And that brings us to a new concept “Product Differentiation!”‘
Product differentiation is a strategy that companies use to distinguish their products from those of their competitors. It involves creating a product that is perceived as being different or better than its competitors in a way that is meaningful to customers.
There are three main types of product differentiation:
- Vertical Product Differentiation: This focuses on perceived quality and price levels, positioning the product at a premium, mid-range, or budget level. This strategy caters to customers who prioritize different quality levels and are willing to pay accordingly.
Examples: Luxury vs. budget smartphones, high-end vs. affordable cars, premium vs. basic laptops
- Horizontal Product Differentiation: This focuses on non-price attributes, such as features, style, design, or target audience. This strategy differentiates the product based on its unique characteristics, appealing to customers who value those aspects over price.
Examples: Smartphone brands with different operating systems (iOS vs. Android), cars with distinct designs (sporty vs. luxurious vs. family-friendly), computers with specialized features for gaming,
graphic design, or programming
- Mixed Product Differentiation: This combines elements of both vertical and horizontal differentiation strategies, positioning the product at a specific price point while emphasizing its unique features or target audience. This strategy appeals to customers who value a balance of quality, price, and distinct characteristics.
Examples: Smartphones with premium features at a competitive price point, cars with luxury features and a mid-range price, and computers with specialized features for a specific target audience,
such as creative professionals or students.
Pro tip: To identify the advantages that are most important to your individual customers, ask yourself,
How does each feature benefit the customer? What makes each feature better than similar features of competing products or services?
What Is a Benefit?
In the context of products, a benefit is the positive outcome that a user gains from using a particular feature. It’s the “why” behind the feature, the reason why a user would want to use it in the first place.
Benefits are closely related to advantages, but there’s a subtle distinction. As you already know by now, An advantage is a quality that makes a product superior to its competitors, while a benefit is Why the customer will buy the product.
- Slack: Slack’s organized channels and direct messaging offer the benefit of improved team communication, allowing for better collaboration and productivity.
- SoundCloud: SoundCloud’s music discovery features provide the benefit of personalized listening experiences, helping users find and enjoy music they love.
- Google Maps: Google Maps’ real-time directions and traffic updates offer the benefit
of stress-free navigation, helping users get to their destinations efficiently.
Pro tip: To identify the Benefits of your product, ask yourself, What positive outcome will the customer experience as a result of using the product or service? How will the product or service improve the customer’s life?
But, are all benefits the same?
The answer is NO! You have a wide category of benefits that you need to know:
Functional Benefits: Those are the practical advantages that a product provides.
They answer the question, “What does this product do for me?”
Examples of functional benefits include:
- A car that saves you money on gas.
- A dishwasher that saves you time.
- A smartphone that helps you stay organized.
Social Benefits: They are the ways that a product helps you connect with others.
They answer the question, “How does this product help me feel connected to others?”
Examples of social benefits include:
- A social media platform that helps you connect with friends and family.
- A gaming console that lets you play games with others.
- A fitness tracker that helps you compete with friends.
Emotional Benefits: These are the ways that a product makes you feel.
They answer the question, “How does this product make me feel?”
Examples of emotional benefits include:
- A comfortable bed that helps you relax and sleep well.
- A book that transports you to another world and makes you feel happy.
- A piece of art that inspires you.
Epistemic Benefits: These are the ways that a product helps you learn and grow,
and satisfy a curiosity or a willingness to try something new.
They answer the question, “How does this product help me learn and understand the world?”
Examples of epistemic benefits include:
- An encyclopedia that provides you with information about a variety of topics.
- A language learning app that helps you learn a new language.
- A scientific experiment that helps you understand how the world works.
Aesthetic Benefits: These are the ways that a product appeals to your senses.
They answer the question, “How does this product look, sound, smell, taste, or feel?”
Examples of aesthetic benefits include:
- A piece of jewellery of a modern design that makes you feel confident.
- A sweater’s color that compliments your skin colour.
- A delicious meal that satisfies your taste buds.
Hedonic Benefits: These are the ways that a product gives you pleasure.
They answer the question, “How does this product make me feel good?”
Examples of hedonic benefits include:
- A chocolate bar that satisfies your sweet tooth.
- A roller coaster ride that gives you an adrenaline rush.
- A vacation that provides you with relaxation and escape.
Situational Benefits: These are the ways that a product meets your needs in a specific situation.
They answer the question, “How does this product help me in this particular situation?”
Examples of situational benefits include:
- A raincoat that keeps you dry in the rain.
- A first-aid kit that helps you treat minor injuries.
- A flashlight that helps you see in the dark.
Holistic Benefits: These are the ways that a product improves your overall well-being.
They answer the question, “How does this product make my life better overall?”
Examples of holistic benefits include:
- A healthy diet that makes you feel more energized and productive.
- A regular exercise routine that improves your physical and mental health.
- A strong social network that provides you with support and love.
Now, why do you think we need to know the exact type of benefits of our product?
Understanding the types of product benefits is like having a secret decoder ring for unlocking customer motivation. It’s about knowing what makes your product tick and how it resonates with your target audience on a deeper level.
Just imagine you’re selling a new fitness tracker. If you simply state that it tracks their steps, calories burned, and heart rate, you’re only highlighting its functional benefits.
However, if you emphasize how it helps them achieve their fitness goals, feel more confident, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals, you’re tapping into the social, emotional, and holistic benefits, making the product more appealing.
So to better understand the difference between features, advantages, and benefits, we can say that:
Features: What does this product have?
Advantages: Why is this product better?
Benefits: What will this product do for me?
Should You Focus On Features, Benefits, or Advantages?
Let’s break it down:
Feature-driven marketing is like showing off your new Product. You’re excited about your long feature list, and you want to make sure everyone knows about them. While this approach can be useful for technically savvy audiences, it’s not always enough to convince someone to buy your product.
Benefit-driven marketing, on the other hand, is like showing someone how your product can make their life better. You’re not just talking about the cool features; you’re explaining how those features can solve a problem, make their life easier, or bring them joy.
So, which is better?
The answer is simple: benefits.
Because people don’t care about features. They care about what those features can do for them.
When you focus on benefits, you’re speaking directly to the heart of what your customers want.
You’re showing them that you understand their needs, build an emotional connection with them,
and that you have a solution for them.
Advantage-driven marketing is a bit different. It’s about showing how your product or service is the best one out there. You’re highlighting your unique selling proposition (USP) and explaining why your product is better than the competition.
Advantage-driven marketing can be effective, but it’s important to make sure you’re not just bragging about yourself. You still need to focus on the benefits that your product or service’s advantages offer.
So, when it comes to marketing products or services, focus on the benefits. Benefits are what will resonate with your customers and make them want to buy from you.
A Real-life Example of FAB Framework
Here is a real example of benefits vs features vs Advantages of the Galaxy S23 page on Amazon
As you can see, the product description is very well-written and highlights the key features of the Galaxy S23 in a clear and concise way.
Here is a breakdown of the Features, advantages, and benefits analysis:
Feature: Galaxy S23’s Night Mode, high-resolution camera, fastest processor, powerful battery,
and ample storage.
Advantage: Capture stunning photos and videos in low light, create crystal-clear content, switch between apps seamlessly, stay productive on the go, and save all your memories without worrying about storage space.
Benefit: Capture epic moments anytime, anywhere, enjoy a smooth and responsive experience,
stay connected and productive, and preserve your cherished memories.
Overall, the product description effectively communicates the value proposition of the Galaxy S23 and makes it an appealing choice for consumers.
The number of examples of FAB is enormous, especially on websites like Amazon, Walmart,
and Ikea as they always show you a list of features and why you might need them.
To summarize, it’s crucial to keep in mind the wise words of the famous salesman Elmer Wheeler:
“Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” This is a common marketing adage that emphasizes the importance of highlighting the benefits of your product or service, rather than just its features.
By doing so, you can maximize your marketing efforts by helping potential customers see the Importance
of what you offer for them.
Remember, In the sales process, people are more likely to buy something that they believe can enhance their lives, rather than something that merely exists to fulfill a basic need.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the connection between Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and FAB?
USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and FAB are two marketing concepts that are often used together to create effective sales messages. USP is the “why” someone should choose your product over all the other options available.
FAB statement is a powerful advertising framework that helps you communicate the value proposition of your product or service clearly and concisely.
It focuses on the features of your product, the advantages those features provide, and the benefits those advantages offer to your customers.
How can I identify the benefits of my product or service?
To identify the benefits of your product or service, consider the following questions:
What problems does your product or service solve?
What needs or desires does your product or service fulfill?
What makes your product or service unique or different from its competitors?
What are the positive outcomes or advantages that users can expect to experience by purchasing your product or service?
What is the Importance of FAB Analysis?
FAB is not only useful in practice but also plays a significant role in the marketing process and sales strategies. It taps into the human mind’s decision-making processes, influencing consumer behavior and ultimately driving sales.
Consumers are more attracted to products or services that meet their specific needs and desires. Furthermore, FAB simplifies complex product information into a concise, easy-to-understand format.
FAB also establishes an emotional connection with consumers by demonstrating how the product or service can improve their lives. By targeting their pain points and aspirations, brands build trust and credibility, which increases the likelihood of purchase and maintains customer loyalty.