We do this the best! (Proposals part II)

“So what?” — Everyone, Everywhere

Benefits are what matter

What you tend to find in tech companies is a preponderance of Bigger, Better, Faster and Cheaper. Which is great, but you are not going to convince the FD of any enterprise that because you have the biggest servers they should cut you a cheque for £10M.

This is because firms sometimes confuse a feature with a benefit.

I realise the benefit because of a feature or features; but features are not the benefit themselves. How about an example:

Our servers are the fastest in the world — Company X


You can run your production workloads in less time, because of our fast servers, and therefore save 10%. — Company Y

Both of these examples, arguably, say the same thing. Company X has fast servers and so does Company Y. That Company X’s servers are the fastest might be interesting to a technical reader but it doesn’t help me decide if that’s a good thing or not for my company.

The Bugatti Veyron is one of the fastest cars in the world. But I take the train to work. So I don’t need a faster car, I need a faster train.

Instead Company Y calls out the benefit rather than the feature. They place it in context for the reader and make it relevant. By making the reader think: “Company Y can save me money because their servers are fast”, it becomes compelling and relevant.

Talking about benefits matters because your customers have options, they can go with you, your competitors or do nothing. By talking about benefits you help to differentiate yourself, you make yourself relevant to the customer and you demonstrate an understanding of their business and their problems.

The benefit is what matters to me, and your readers, not the feature.*

*But if you want to give me a Veyron I will take it.