Benefits sell, features just describe - SKUFood
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Benefits sell, features just describe

Getting your product on the shelf and into the shopping cart is a big challenge. There are many hurdles to overcome and even great products only maximize their potential when customers and consumers see the benefits. You have to make it easy for them and remember to talk their language, not yours.

So many producers and processors are great at getting food and beverage products produced and into a package. They are passionate and knowledgeable about what they do. The challenge happens when they have to promote their products. Many see “telling the story” as talking about all the features that the product has. Unfortunately this will not get the product (even if it is great) onto the shelf and into the shopping cart.

Retailers and consumers are busy. Your message needs to capture their attention and articulate how the product will help them. There is a big difference between what the product will do and how it will help them. Consider the following example using a shopping cart.

It would be easy for the shopping cart company to talk about the features of the cart:

1. Vulcanized rubber wheels

2. Stainless steel frame that delivers 12 cubic feet of cart

3. Child seat with a rubber seat and colouring book holder

Now let’s take a different approach. First you need to think about the target market for selling a shopping cart.

  • Retailers buy shopping carts
  • Conventional stores interested in growing average order
  • Stores target younger families
  • Retailer who sees shopping cart as an expense and a cost they want as low as possible

Likely the person making the decision is in the operations side of the business so they are focused on managing costs and keeping employees servicing consumers in the store.

With this description of the target market in mind, change the features into benefits for the retailer:

1. Our wheels are so strong they will never break. You do not have to spend money fixing wheels or have a pile of carts out back that do not work properly. If they do break, they are 100% guaranteed and we will fix them at our cost.

2. Our stainless steel frame will never rust so you will have these carts for 10 years longer than other frame materials and the average grocery order that will fit in the cart is 20% larger than your current model.

3. One of the biggest reasons parents leave grocery stores is because their kids get upset and they cut the shopping trip short. Our new colouring book holder and comfortable rubber seat has been proven in our tests to keep kids happy for 50% longer, giving parents much more time to shop in your store.

Now the 3 points resonate with that person making the decision and the benefits are in a language they can relate to. By taking the great features of the product and turning them into great benefits for the buyer, the purchase decision is very different.

Telling your story

July Recipes for Success, presented by FCC

At SKUFood we understand it is important to give back. We have the ability to share insights and information you can use in your food business right away. If we were able to get in the same room for an event you would hear me say, “Success in the food industry is not just about making great products to sell; it is about selling the great products you make.” Telling your story effectively is one critical piece of selling the great products you make.

It is more important than ever to tell your story effectively to consumers and customers. Consumers are shopping differently in store and online. Your products need to be on their list before they start shopping. If you are not top of mind chances are you will not make it into the shopping cart.

Join us Wednesday July 15th at 2 pm Atlantic (1 pm Eastern) for the second of our 4 part series; Telling Your Story. I will help you turn your product features into benefits that resonate with your customers and consumers.

We have two great guests in the last two segments this month.

Carly Minish from Smak Dab Mustard will join us on July 22nd. She is doing a great job telling her story. Carly will share some insights into how she is doing this and what is working for her.

On July 29th we will have a really interesting conversation with Dany Duguay who (believe it or not) just opened a restaurant in the middle of this pandemic. Dany will help you understand how to develop win/win relationships with influencers in the food and beverage space. She has worked with a number of different food products to help consumers understand the benefits these products bring to the market.

Both Carly and Dany are doing this every week and it will be awesome to have them here with us on our SKUFood Recipe for Success, presented by FCC.

During Carly’s journey towards achieving her Red Seal Certification, she recognized the versatility and significance of mustard in the kitchen as a special and effortless element to bring familiar meals to new heights – that a simple spoonful of mustard makes all the difference in the flavour and overall composition of a dish. Using her skills and talents as a trained chef, she has carved her own entrepreneurial and culinary path, filling the gap in the local food market for high-quality mustard that people of all cooking levels can easily dabble with.

Chef Dany Duguay has been working in the food industry for over 20 years. She currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she works as a sole proprietor for Caper and Olive Catering, as well as owning and operating, in part, Harvest, a farm-to-table eatery. 

Specializing in curated dining experiences, in home private chef services, food photography and recipe development, Dany brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table when working with clients to help get their products noticed through social media campaigns, as well as utilizing them in her day to day operations.

If you have a challenge with a customer or need some advice just send me an email at or give me a call at (902) 489-2900.