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Learning to Build a Feature-Benefit Matrix


“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” So spoke George Bernard Shaw. And at Servify, we have an unreasonable desire to learn and grow.

We have different teams here that organise learning sessions for their team members. A while back, our Product team had one such session on Feature-Benefits Matrix, where we discussed about features and benefits of different products, how they help us and each product manager was to write Top 3 feature-benefit of their product. Here is a small note on that.

What is a Feature

A feature is the characteristics of the product, which defines its usability. It's definitive (doesn't change usually) in nature. A feature

  1. has capabilities
  2. gives user empowerment
  3. has usable functionality
  4. solves a problem

‘Feature’ focuses on what your product or services is.

What is a Benefit?

A Benefit is the outcomes or results that users will (hopefully) experience by using your product or service. It says what can customers achieve from it or what business problems it solves. This is relative and varies.

'Benefits' focuses on how your product or service will improve every user’s life.

TL;DR (Too long; didn't read): – a feature is what something is, and a benefit is what users can do or accomplish with it.

What is capability of a feature?

Capability is what that feature does or the ability of that feature to do something.

Let’s look at Simon Sinek’s Why-How-What model:

  • WHY - Why will someone buy your product (Flexibility, Simplicity, Empowerment, Friction-less Experience).
  • HOW - Capabilities (Email, SMS, Social Plugin Registration)
  • WHAT - What is the feature? (On-boarding)


Product - Water Bottle

Features (WHAT)- Stores water.

  • Has a cap.
  • Has a notch which helps you open it.
  • Transparent which helps you see if water is clear.
  • Hexagonal in shape.
  • Stores 1 liter water.

Capability (HOW) - Helps you store water.

Benefits (WHY) - Keeps you hydrated.

“Customers don’t care about what your product can do, they care about what it can do for them

To sell your products or services you need to stress the benefits, not the features.

Example: People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.

Why? Because customers really don’t care about you or the products and services you’re selling. They just want to know what’s in it for them and how your product can benefit them.

The Benefits Pyramid

A better way to understand ‘features and benefits’ of a product is with the Benefits Pyramid.

The next level is “Advantages”. This is what differentiates your product from your competitors. It’s what gives you the edge.

The next level is “Benefits” and then we move up to “Ultimate Benefits”.

To define a benefit you ask yourself, "So what?"

Example 1:

Servify offers device protection plan.

So what?

Your device is covered for hardware service issues, accidental damage & liquid damage.

So what?

Huge cost savings, convenience and hassle free servicing when your device breaks. [benefit]

So what?

Life becomes easier and gives you some peace of mind by protecting your device. [ultimate benefit].

Example 2:

The oven preheats quickly.

So what?

It’s quickly ready to start cooking.

So what?

Your food is on the table sooner. [benefit]

So what?

Life is less stressful. There’s less hanging around the kitchen waiting for the oven to get ready. And you don’t have to worry you might forget to preheat your oven. [ultimate benefit].

Example 3:

This electric kettle boils water quickly.

So what?

It takes less time to make your cup of tea.

So what?

You’ll be able to enjoy your tea sooner [benefit]

So what?

You’ll have more time to do the things you want to do [ultimate benefit].

Example 4:

This power drill has a hammerhead action.

So what?

It can drill through brickwork and concrete

So what?

It can make a hole in the wall so a picture hook can be inserted to hang a photo [benefit].

So what?

You'll be able to look at your beautiful daughter [ultimate benefit].

You can see by using so what in the above examples, we’ve been able to transition from features, through to benefits, and finally, ultimate benefits.

Build Your Own

Now that we have a good understanding of features and benefits, you should try and build your own. Map the ‘Feature-Benefit’ matrix of your product by highlighting its Capabilities with the customers that use the features. 

- Dipak Majhi
Product Specialist