Whenever we work with product marketers at Brand Vista, we always emphasise the need to focus heavily on product benefits, not just its features.
But when a company has spent millions researching, developing and launching the next big thing, it’s no surprise that they want to talk about how great it is.
But a quick flick through the history books, this should always remind us that consumers are rarely concerned with how something works, or why its features are the best – instead, they want to know how it’s going to make them feel, and what benefit it’s going to have in their life.
In this instance I’m thinking about the Apple iPod versus Microsoft Zune.
While I write this, during mid-August, the first votes are being cast in the Labour leadership contest, and throughout the campaign it feels like three candidates are talking features and only one benefit.
Burnham, Cooper and Kendall et al don’t seem to have a higher belief; they’re simply obsessed with policies and wrestling power from the Conservatives – even The Guardian struggles to pull them apart.
Corbynmania – How Has it Happened?
‘Corbynmania’ has been fascinating. Here is a backbencher who was considered a joke by most of the Labour party, that’s until his support grew incredibly.
Corbyn doesn’t bamboozle with specificity, instead he focuses on inspiring through philosophy. He’s easy to throw mud at, but because his campaign is driven by a higher purpose, very little of it is sticking at the moment.
I struggle to understand why the New Labour old guard appears obsessed with ensuring that the Labour Party presents itself as the Conservatives in a red tie; Corbyn’s flying of the red flag only seems more attractive in comparison.
They want to fight for the fickle middle ground, rather than mobilising the disenfranchised 33% who didn’t even vote in the last election. Emphasising the benefits of these policies benefits could certainly help them do both.
Ultimately, the importance of the economy, and Corbyn’s belief in quantitative easing, may well prove his downfall, but if nothing else the debate has been fascinating.
I hope that eventually this will lead to the development of a Labour Party that is explicitly different to the Conservatives, giving the voters of Britain a genuine choice.
Maybe they’ll present the iPod in 2020, rather than the Zune of 2015!