Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, November 6, 2009

Features and Benefits

One of the basic ways to market a product is to list some of the features and benefits. Some key points to remember when you're trying to generate those for your product:

1) Know the difference. A feature is some aspect or attribute of your product; the benefit should be the reason it matters to the potential buyer. Your product may have many features that your potential buyers don't care about, and thus you shouldn't bother to list them. (My favorite feature listed on a product was "Four-color box"... which was good for a laugh but had nothing to do with why I might have bought the product.)

2) Keep it brief. An exhaustive list of features usually exhausts your target's patience; it can even have a paradoxical effect (gee, if it has so many features it must be complicated... I really want something simpler). A good guideline is to keep your feature/benefit list to 3 items. Your space is probably limited (on a package, a one-screen web page, a flyer) so keeping the list short, and keeping the actual descriptions of the features and the benefits brief, allows you to make them bigger and more visible, or to put in other elements that you also want in there.

3) Make it compelling. You should select the features and benefits on the basis of how important they are to the potential customer (not to you!), and the words you choose should make them as compelling as possible. Check out some feature/benefits listed for Borderlands on Steam. Here's the first one:

Role Playing Shooter (RPS) - combines frantic first-person shooting action with accessible role-playing character progression

So they list a game feature, briefly and in bold, and then explain the benefit to the potential buyer. It does assume that the buyer understands character progression and why it's desirable, but that's reasonable given the customer demographics.

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