My oldest son is 6, and he's a bit… analytical.
Maddeningly so, at times.
He wants to know the *meaning* of EVERYTHING.
I always know I'm in trouble when I see his little brow furrow into a thoughtful scowl.
“Daddy, what does ‘fun' mean?”
This innocent-sounding question is, of course, a trap.
Into which I blindly march:
“Well, it means doing something that you really enjoy.”
(short reflective pause, more scowling)
“What does ‘enjoy' mean?”
As it so happens, this posture of deep curiosity is EXACTLY the right stance to take when you're teasing out benefits from a great big list of features.
To review, the first step in finding the BENEFITS of your product or service is to write down every attribute or facet of the product that you can observe (i.e. the FEATURES).
The next step is to sit down with this “master list,” pick the first feature, and ask yourself, what does this feature MEAN?
Don't think too deep at this stage, just write down the first thing (or things) that come to mind.
For example, on my desk I have a black Swingline stapler.
One of the features I noted about this stapler (in addition to the way it doesn't bind as much as those Boston staplers) is that it has a slab of rubber on the bottom.
The rubber keeps the stapler from sliding around on my desk.
And it makes the stapler easier to grip when I'm holding the stapler and using it “freehand.”
A useful formula for coming up with these kinds of benefits is:
Because of the <feature>, I can <benefit>.
Don't agonize too much here, just come up with 1-3 reasons why each feature of your product exists.
You do that for each and every line on your “master list.”
And then the REAL fun starts.
To be continued…
P.S. I almost forgot to mention:
These benefits should be framed from the user's perspective.
Often as the creator of the product you made a decision to do something a certain way to make your life easier.
For example, that rubber bottom on the stapler might make it easier for the packing machines in the factory to grab the stapler and slip it into a box.
That doesn't mean that there aren't still benefits to the end user—keep looking at the product through their eyes.
This article is Part 2 on finding the benefits of a product. Read the rest here: