Tout the Advantages

A car has a very useful benefit. If you turn on the engine, shift the gear into drive, and step on the gas pedal, the car will move forward — taking you, hopefully, where you want to go. But is this a benefit you should highlight in your copy? Probably not. The reason is that all cars do this. It is of no particular advantage when compared to the competition. (Unless the competition is bicycles!)

When you research a product or service, you'll soon discover that not all features and benefits are equal. There is going to be at least one feature — hopefully more than one — that is a distinct advantage over anything else available on the market. And if that's the case, you should tout that advantage in your copy. Bring it up front and shout it from the roof tops. It's your best foot. Put it forward!

So what exactly is an advantage? It is simply a feature that the competition either does not offer or does not do as well.

A stapler, for example, might have the ability to make 2,000 staples before reloading is required. If every other stapler on the market only takes 500 staple cartridges, that's quite an advantage. Everyone who has ever worked in an office knows the hassle of having to fumble through a desk drawer looking for staple cartridges. So a stapler that lasts five times longer is a real convenience.

Highlight the advantage of a product or service, but don't ignore the other features and benefits. They're important, too! While the main advantage should take center stage, be sure to cast the other features and benefits in strong supporting roles.

You can determine the advantage of a product or service by filling in the blanks of the following statement:

“The [product or service] is the ONLY one that has [this] or does [that], which is meaningful to the prospect because [the reason].”

So for our stapler we can say: “The OfficeMate Stapler is the only one that features 2000-staple cartridges, which is meaningful to the prospect because refilling an empty stapler is a time-consuming hassle.”

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