Posted By

What are the benefits of your product or service? Does it save time, does it save money, does it make your teeth whiter than white?

In a marketing company’s quest to communicate benefits when the client insists on focusing on product features, these questions become part of our mantra. Getting to the genuine tangible benefits can often take more exploration than you would expect.

But even tangible benefits are often not the most effective messages.

The real gold is in how your product makes the customer feel. It’s not white teeth you’re selling, it’s the confidence to smile wide on the first date. And if you take this one step further it’s the joy of the date that this confidence made possible. Quite a leap from the 3D–poly–tetra–whatsits that the competition use in their advertising isn’t it?

It’s obvious really (as much of marketing actually is!), but we get so caught up with the products we have designed that we forget how these products can make us feel.

A few recent examples have really brought this home brilliantly.

The first is from a source that is perhaps used to using emotion in advertising. MacMillan Cancer Support’s ad titled ‘A dad with cancer is still a dad’ recently stopped me in my tracks. Watch the video here:

And if you let YouTube play the ones that follow, you’ll find that each of the videos in this series are equally brilliant in their own right.

The easy route would have been to talk about how MacMillan councillors help people through their illness and this would have a strong emotional connection on it’s own. But MacMillan have dug deeper to get to the true benefit of what they do – they help you to maintain who you are, to maintain your identity, your sense of ‘you’, and your connections with people rather than be hijacked by your disease. It’s powerful, genuine, impeccably well judged, heart-warming and raw all at the same time.

The second example is far less obvious.

When IBM wanted to get app developers to sign up to their new development platform they didn’t talk about the cloud accessibility, or the open source thingamabob. Rather they focused on the sense of making a difference a developer could achieve by developing life changing apps on the platform.

Not once do they mention any features or tangible benefits of the product. In fact there is no mention of what the product even is until the last 10 seconds of the video. But the 1:20 before that demonstrates the ability to make a real difference in the world that a developer can experience using their product. It’s powerful stuff.

And at the end of the day, if you can genuinely engage people’s emotions, they often don’t feel as if they’re being sold to. Rather they are being connected with. After all your market are people – emotional creatures – not a market.

So give us a shout and let’s work out how to connect with the people who buy from you.