Features vs. Benefits: What Do You Highlight When Describing Your Product?

Pantene Ad

As some of you may know, I recently relocated to Toronto and now that the dust has settled and I’m able to wrap my head around things like content marketing instead of painting walls while getting Benjamin Moore Alabaster White in my hair and waiting for the internet guy, I’m back to blogging–YAY!

Today I want to talk about Features vs. Benefits.

While browsing websites, I often notice that some web content writers seem to be confused about whether they should highlight the features of the products they are trying to sell, or the benefits. By that I mean, they list all the bells and whistles their products include, without telling the readers WHY those bells and whistles are good. This is a big mistake, because not everyone knows why a particular feature is good, especially when we’re talking about highly scientific or technical features.

It’s important to always write in a way that communicates how your product is beneficial to your prospect, which helps drive home the desire to purchase it. Highlighting benefits, especially when you use an active voice, can greatly improve your web content and make it much more compelling for the reader to act.

Take this example:

FEATURE: Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner contains panthenol, the alcohol analog of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and is thus a provitamin of B5.


BENEFIT: According to Wikipedia, panthenol is a humectant, emollient and moisturizer that binds the hair shaft readily and is a frequent component of shampoos and hair conditioners. It coats the hair shaft and makes the strands appear shiny.

You can see how this benefit is highlighted in some current examples of Pantene web copy:

Example of web copy describing Pantene products

They really drive the message home by using active words like ‘experience’, ‘discover’ and ‘get’.

Which one is more appealing to you? Which one makes you want to buy? Think about this example when writing your own product descriptions and see if you notice a difference in how many people buy.


About the author: JessicaGrey

I'm a copywriter for web, print, radio and video. Contact me to get content that effectively communicates the benefits of your product or service.

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