Recommendations to emphasize benefits rather than features when communicating are so old that I think they may date back to cavemen. Still, some marketers don’t understand the difference between features and benefits, so they miss out on an opportunity to connect more powerfully with their audiences.

Simply put, a feature is some aspect of your product or service. A benefit is what makes it a good or useful thing. If a bank tells you that they have 24-hour ATM access, they’re calling attention to a feature. If an automaker mentions stability control, that’s a feature.

Now, if the bank says you have the freedom to access your account whenever you want, that’s a benefit. Same thing if the automaker tells you that you can drive down the roughest road with confidence.

An easy way to identify benefits is to take a feature, and ask yourself why anyone would want it. Your answer will reveal the benefit.