Recommendations to emphasize benefits rather then features when communicating are so old that I think they may date back to cavemen. Still, some marketers don’t understand the difference, 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.