Features vs. Benefits

You shouldn’t make such a big difference between material and digital goods. In the world of material things, rarely anyone has the time to listen to you talk about specs, technical stuff or anything else your super revolutionary rotor-cutter can do. People just want to know:

  1. How can the product improve their lives = benefits

The Digital World

Switch to digital goods and the landscape dramatically changes. All of a sudden it’s all about features. We can all play developers today. You can find enormous amount of page builder plugins, DIY website builders, in-browser developer tools and we can all play designers with built-in color pickers, layout switchers and the all-mighty chameleon WordPress templates.

In the world of digital, people usually want answers to a totally different set of questions:

  • How many sliders?
  • How many different skins?
  • How many header layouts?
  • How many color schemes?

Surely, you can spot the pattern. If the answer to all this insanity is – “Unlimited”, then congratulations, you’re the winner!

Features & Benefits. Proportional or Not?

The more features you have the more time and money you’ll spend configuring them. If a WordPress theme, for example, has unlimited color pickers, it means that you’ll have to think about and match every theme element, your links, nav items, active nav items, fonts, visited links, footer fonts…

What about font options. You’d have to think about body text, headings (6 of them), sidebar widgets, footer and navigation and you have to take care of hierarchy, legibility, contrast on different color schemes, etc. It can and will take you days to do this right.

I understand if you’re that parasitic all-in-one web development agency that resells other people’s work and you want to be in control of every aspect of “your” website. But, for the majority of people, end-users, opting for “benefits” is the clear choice. WordPress was made to be easy to use and it is our duty to preserve it as such. The developers and designers have to figure out which features will benefit end users. By benefits I mean:

  • Ease of use
  • Stability & compatibility
  • Security
  • Configuration speed

It will take some time before the digital market adopts this philosophy, but it’s getting there with all the talk about WordPress best practices lately. Too many options is something you shouldn’t be bothered about.

People shouldn’t spend their time configuring, but using digital goods.

Apart from the Swiss knife, the all-in-one solutions are rarely a good idea. Figure out what kind of digital products your business needs and go find the ones designed specifically for that.

The result of this thinking ahead will save you the only currency that counts in the end – time.

Dragan Nikolic
I am the SEO & social media guy here at ThematoSoup, sharing tips on how to simplify your online business and make it more manageable.
Dragan Nikolic

@NikolicDragan

Co-founder & project manager at @ThematoSoup, interested in #minimalism and #WordPress. In love with nature.
RT @nenad_severovic: haha Apple pay - http://t.co/tPKwnY2wyf via @liddlealien - 2 hours ago
Dragan Nikolic
Dragan Nikolic
Dragan Nikolic

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4 thoughts on “Features vs. Benefits

  1. Great post and great thinking Dragan. Every feature should align a benefit, otherwise it would be completely obsolete. Creating obsolete features leads to clutter, clutter leads to complexity, and complexity leads to “jack of all, master of none” products.

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