Selling the Benefits

If you have little or no understanding in the area of marketing you will quickly become consumed with what you think your consumer wants to hear about your product. Businesses seldom communicate the benefits of their products clearly, instead owners will confuse their audience by giving them too much information without knowing what their audience wants to hear.

Primary Benefits

There are two classifications of benefits. The first we call primary benefits. These are the benefits that go directly to the five categories of basic human needs (survival, love, importance, variety and convenience). The average consumer may not even be aware of these categories or think and talk in terms of these benefits, but they are true, emotional reasons why people buy

For example:

Be the envy of the neighbourhood with a beautifully, organized home – a benefit statement that goes right to the primary need to feel important.

Unfortunately, these kinds of statements are commonly left out of advertising messages. They are the ones people most often assume the prospect will figure out for him or herself. This is a mistake; you should lead your prospects so they clearly begin to feel the emotional primary benefits they will experience when they buy your product or service.

Secondary Benefits

The second classification of benefits are secondary benefits. We call them secondary because they are mostly performance oriented rather than emotional. This can be a bit confusing, because these benefits are more obvious. In fact, they are the first result you will see provided by the features of the product. 

For example:

“You’ll never have to worry about the closet sagging”
• “Enjoy the most organized home in your neighbourhood”

Each of these benefit statements mentions a specific, tangible result. But the result is secondary to the emotional or driving need. In the first statement, it is survival. In the second, it is the need to feel important. In each case, the primary benefit is left unstated while the secondary benefit is spelled out.


Don’t undervalue the importance of utilising primary benefit statements in your marketing strategy. You want consumers to have an emotional reaction to your message.

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