Features vs. Benefits: Who Wins?

Ralph Maniscalco by Ralph Maniscalco | 02.04.2013

In the security industry, we often tend to speak too much in terms of product features. We like to tout our widgets and talk about how a particular product is the first to offer such and such a feature.

Features are important – but we also need to remember that the average consumer doesn’t care nearly as much about features as they do benefits. Every feature we design into a product is there for a reason: because consumers have a specific challenge they want us to solve. So rather than talking in terms of features, we need to also remember to tell them in plain terms how those features will make their everyday jobs and lives easier.

One of our most-important product launches of 2012 is a great illustration of that concept. When we launched LYNX Touch 5100 in the spring, we made sure to call attention to a very critical industry first this product introduced: the first to offer Wi-Fi alarm communications.

Yeah, great. But how does having Wi-Fi in my self-contained unit make my life easier? We recently received feedback from some of our dealers who were among the first to gain experience with L5100. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:

  •  “Fewer wires has literally made the difference between averaging one install per day to where we are now, which is four installs per day.”
  • “It’s a lot easier to retrofit a system when the underlying technology you need is already there.”
  • “This kind of connectivity has been talked about for a long time. With an all-in-one system, the technology isn’t just pieced together; technology features are included that work and work well together.”


Read the rest here. Language like that tends to resonate with people a lot better than simply talking specs and widgets. This all points back to a key premise of selling: It’s not enough to talk about the product – you need to also talk about your customers’ problems, and how you can help overcome them.