How to Identify, Describe, and Choose Product Features that Attract the Most Customers?
You’re happy about how your Product or Service turned out, but not so happy about the sales?
You’re not sure which feature shines the most?
You don’t know which features to choose to market to each Buyer Persona you’re targeting?
In this post, you’ll find out how to correctly identify, describe, and group your Product Features.
Your Product’s Features are part of your Marketing Foundation. They stand at the base of every decision, every piece of text, and choice of promotion.
Download the Product and Features Template and follow along while you adjust and adapt your product or service features to perfection.
What is a Product Feature?
A Product Feature represents a product’s trait or attribute that delivers value to users – and sometimes even differentiates a product in the market.
What you’ll learn in this post
What are Product Features?
Why are Features Important?
How to identify your Product Features?
How to describe your features?
What are Product Features?
Features are a product’s attributes that ultimately deliver value to end-users and differentiate that product on the market.
The size of the camera lens of an electronic device can be considered a feature. So can the material a purse is made of.
When we look at software, Product Features can include an application’s capabilities, functionalities, and even its visuals. Simply put, a feature is something that your product has or does.
SaaS companies typically offer functionality through a software program that enables users to do something.
And there are instances when the word “feature” in one’s marketing doesn’t work so well, and instead, they use “services,” as it is more representative of what they offer. Such an example could be a consulting firm that provides a wide range of services.
Types of Product Features
The following are the basic types of Product Features.
Each function helps a customer perform a particular task. For example, photo editing software offers the user the ability to crop photos.
Style includes the artistic elements of form, shape, color, line, tone, and texture. For example, the structure and color of a bike helmet can be considered a feature.
The intangible elements of products and services create the customer experience. For example, how a cup feels in the user’s hand or how it deteriorates over time.
Quality-centered features showcase the merit of the product or service and include both tangible and intangible characteristics—for example, the health benefits of a food product or its taste.
Why are Features Important?
Features are important because they give your customers hints about how well your product or service will deliver its benefits.
However, benefits are generally more important than features, but there are instances when features can make all the difference. For example, when products or services can be easily compared with competitors’—as the Internet makes increasingly possible—consumers can choose products and services with the most features.
You can find out more about Product Benefits in the article “How to Create Product Benefits that Entice People to Buy”, but for now, let’s stay focused on features and their role in building your Marketing Foundation.
How to identify your Product Features?
If you’re planning to release new features for your product or a new product altogether, you need to put the effort in to get those right. Although designing a new feature may not be as resource-intensive as creating an entirely new product, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
Identifying your features based on solid research will ensure that you’re not wasting your company’s or your customers’ time and money.
In this section, you’ll learn how to structure your decisions around features. You decide which features to offer, which features to no longer offer, and the order in which you provide or retire those features. When you choose what to include, take out, or leave out of your product, you think about features and how valuable they are to the customers.
But first, let’s figure out your Product Features.
Identify your Product Features
Group your Product Features
Prioritize your Product Features
Choose your Product Features
1- Identify your Product Features
Look carefully at your product and make an extensive list of features. Many things can be a feature, and in this stage, feel free to list them all. You’ll do the cutting later. Some features are so small, they’re barely worth mentioning.
For example, in software, every action you can take, every button you can click on is a feature. But they’re so many and small that at best, they should be part of a main big feature like “user-friendly experience” or just “easy to use”. In this way, they become secondary features to the main feature mentioned.
In this step, you should do a brainstorming session and put down all your product’s features on paper, no matter how small they are.
You’ve probably had your mindset on three or four main features ever since the beginning of your product development, but for this exercise, you should think about everything your product is or can do and write them all down.
Features can be a characteristic like the small weight of a phone or an action like the ability to store 50GB on the Dropbox servers.
Even if your feature is a characteristic, it’s best to represent it as an action.
This way, the user can relate to it easier and connect with something the product needs to do for them. If we take the weight of a phone, we can say that it is “easy to carry and hold due to its lightweight”.
The end result of the brainstorming will most likely be an enormous number of features – a chaotic collection that seems overwhelming to deal with. But don’t worry, we’ll bring the order back and clean out the mess in the following steps.
2- Group your Product Features
It’s time to start bringing in the order among your many features. In this step, you’ll need to categorize your features based on a common point.
Depending on the nature of your product features and what you are trying to achieve through them, they can be categorized in the following ways:
1.Connection: Relation between Product Features.
– If we look at Adobe Photoshop, we can take the features: “ability to change the color of your light” and “adjust your shadows”, and group them under a category of Product Features called Light Work. This category name can also become the Main Feature and the things related to it, subfeatures or secondary features.
2. Physical: What the product has.
– Its material and structure (Made from 9 Carat Gold)
– The color, design, or appearance (A limited edition ‘Ivory White’ colored frame)
– A state-of-the-art physical component (Uses an advanced dual-lens camera)
3. Functional: What the product does.
– Its capabilities (This product is compatible with the following and can be used on multiple devices)
4. Added value: What the product is accompanied by.
– An innovative manufacturing process (Made using 100% ecological cotton)
– Services and extra things (A three-year warranty)
3- Prioritize your Product Features
During this step, you’ll figure out how to decide which Product Features are most important.
You likely have many ideas to review by now, and you’re thinking of many ways to approach this. A prioritization process is essential to determining what you will showcase in your marketing to come. This makes it easier to understand what a feature will entail and how to send the right message related to the feature into the world.
To offer maximum value, Product Features must be prioritized effectively. Features should be evaluated based on quantifiable ways related to the end-users’ goals and expectations. Product Features should also be prioritized based on how well they can achieve your business objectives.
It can be challenging to know where you should start from.
Tip: Rank your Product Features based on Marketing purpose
Try to quantify the importance of features against metrics that matter the most to your target audience. Then, rank these features based on those scores. For example, you can find out what your buyer persona needs the most and prioritize those features.
When choosing which Product Features to focus on in your marketing, look at your competition’s products as well:
- What’s the differentiating feature between your product and theirs?
- What’s your unique selling point in terms of features?
Answering that will bring forth features that stand out when compared to competition, and another good way to prioritize your features based on Marketing purpose.
4- Choose your Product Features
Now it’s time to pick the Product Features that are worth showcasing or even mentioning, and say Goodbye to some.
Certain Product Features are so evident that it’s not even worth bothering to mention them.
When was the last time you saw a smartphone company saying that their product “can access the internet with it.” Fifteen years ago or more, that would have been a great selling point. So choosing the features based on relevance is something you should keep in mind as well.
This step is tricky. No one wants to give up on their “children,” but you should. You have to consider business goals, strategy, marketing, and your customers.
The customers are a deciding factor because they ultimately weigh in on a product’s success, and the features are the measuring tools they use. Or, to be more precise, the benefits, but to get to the benefits, you need a strong foundation first, which consists of your Product Features.
When you understand what your customers are looking for and why, you can determine if the Product Feature makes sense to them or if they need to explore further to find a better solution.
Just because you have customers asking you to satisfy a particular need, it doesn’t mean that it makes sense for your product or your organization as a whole.
In terms of product development, you need to understand your organization’s strategy. Use that strategy as well, as a filter to determine which needs to satisfy and which to ignore. Use that strategy as a filter to decide which features to deliver and which ones to ignore. Your organization’s strategy should serve as a guiding star for your product marketing decisions.
How to describe your features?
At this point, you should have your main features and their subfeatures chosen, grouped and prioritized by everyone. But how can you communicate them in the most convincing way to your target audience?
Your features might be clear and straightforward for you, but are they clear enough for a possible customer who comes in contact for the first time with your product or service?
There are several ways to describe your Product Features:
Represent features as solutions
Sometimes you know what to deliver to provide your customers with what they seek. In this case, the simplest thing is to represent your feature as it would be described on your features page. For example, you may specifically call “PDF Export” or “Prioritization Matrix” Product Features.
Unfortunately, representing features as a solution can lock your staff into that specific solution. That might lead to solving a need that users don’t have. You’re never really sure of the best way to solve a problem when you first start out, so it’s best to represent features as needs in that situation.
Represent features as needs
When you express your Product Features as needs, you don’t describe how you’re going to accomplish an outcome; you find out what you want to achieve. Instead of describing the feature as “PDF Export”, you describe it as “I need to be able to share data with my boss.”
When you describe the feature as a need, you leave your options open for how you’ll satisfy that need. You increase the chances for an innovative solution, and your team is more engaged in delivering that solution because they have a say.
Use a mix of both approaches.
You may be best served by using both approaches. When you have a clear understanding of the solution, and it doesn’t make sense to do more exploration, define the feature as a solution. When discovery is obvious and guaranteed, describe your features in terms of needs.
You have your Product Features. Now what?
Now that you have your Product Features all figured out, the next step is what you can do with them.
Product Features are a crucial part of your Marketing Foundation. They serve as the basis for your strategy, promotional content, and even customer service. But the first in line after Product Features are the Product Benefits.
Together with your buyer personas’ pains and goals, you can use features to create benefits. People make purchasing decisions based on benefits and not on features. To get to the benefits of your product, you can follow our detailed article “How to Create Product Benefits that Entice People to Buy”.
To assist you in figuring out the key features of your product, download our Product and Features Template here and get closer to your sales goals.
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