A Feature is NOT a Benefit!

I’ve always been fascinated with how frequently sales and marketing people use the word ‘benefit’ when they really mean ‘feature’.  A feature is NOT a benefit.

Air conditioning in a new car is a feature.  If you live in Florida, it will benefit you in the summer.  If you live in the Arctic Circle, you most likely will never use the air conditioning so it is not a benefit, it remains a feature.  A feature only becomes a benefit if the person buying actually cares about the feature.  
So what does this have to do with ?

Rescuers plucking people off their roofs after Katrina
Smoke jumpers who communicate with the command center
Troops in theatre who rely on satellite phones

and provide phones and service that make all of these activities (and a million more!) possible.  Companies like create the rate plans and other value-added services that enable users to derive the benefit from satellite phones.

It’s always interesting to hear people mis-used the term ‘benefit’ and after reading this post you can understand the difference and more importantly understand why are so critical to so many situations and end user.