Section 30 Functional features, advantages, and benefits

February 7th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
WINNERS = Products which have a multitude of both Primary and Secondary functions and benefits for the end-user.

A Functional Feature of a product is a characteristic or good quality built right in to the product and is the operation, activity, or purpose for which the product was designed.  The functional feature makes the benefit possible. The functional feature describes


 An Advantage is what a feature does or how a feature functions.  The advantage gives the benefit meaning by connecting the feature to the benefit through function.  The advantage describes:

  • WHAT THE FEATURE DOES ( or what it does better than competing products)

The Benefit is the specific gain that an end-user expects to get out of a product, or What’s in it for them.  It is easy to find poorly designed packaging that spells out only the features, but the customer buys the product only for the benefits.  The benefits address satisfactions, fulfillments, or problem solutions that result from the features and advantages of the product.  They are what the customer wants to buy!  The term benefit describes.


The most successful salespeople in the world have taught us that people do not buy a product FOR WHAT IT IS, they buy it FOR WHAT IT DOES FOR THEM.  The best example of this came from the salesman who said “Last year over three million people bought 1/4 inch drill bits, yet not one of those people bought the bit, they bought a 1/4 inch hole.  The hole is what is in it for them”.

The best packaging explains quickly yet in detail what the features, advantages and benefits are to the prospective purchaser.  Good copywriters are able to come up with “tag lines” or simple sentences that combine a description of the functional feature, a statement of the advantage and a recognizable benefit to the prospective buyer.  let’s break down the following sentence to find the functional feature, the advantage and the benefit:….”Black & Decker drill bits are made of high speed steel which makes them last longer and drill more holes”.

We can easily define the functional feature:  Black & Decker bits are made of high speed steel.

We can define an advantage:  which makes them last longer….

We can define the benefit to the customer:  and drill more holes.

The customer will buy the bit because he needs the hole, but he may be swayed to buy the Black & Decker bit because of the high speed steel feature which benefits him by giving him MORE holes.

Identification of the functional features, advantages and benefits is important to the evaluator because it helps to define appearance, pricing structure and distribution channels.

It is equally important to understand that a product may have both PRIMARY and SECONDARY functional features and benefits to the end user.  The PRIMARY function refers to the activity or purpose which the product serves, the SECONDARY function refers to the appearance, image, status or other pleasing qualities which the product conveys.  Here are a couple of examples:


PRODUCT: automobile


PRIMARY BENEFIT: freedom to go where you want



SECONDARY BENEFIT: improves your status among peers


PRODUCT:  leather jacket

PRIMARY FUNCTIONAL FEATURE:  heavy leather construction

PRIMARY BENEFIT:  keeps you warm



SECONDARY BENEFIT: improves your personal image.

In order to succeed in today’s markets, it is not enough to simply have a “ME-TOO” product with the same features as everyone else.  The product must really stand out, and the customers, or end-users, must be made aware of all of the reasons why they will be personally better off if they buy your product.

The bottom line is to design or invest in products which have the best and the most functional features, advantages and benefits, and be sure you explain ALL THREE to prospective customers, to maximize your sales potential.



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