The Benefits Ladder. A great tool that I use to really help focus on what I want to communicate to customers.
The fact is that when we’re putting together marketing material, we tend to focus on the practical side. We tell people all about our product, but forget about the other elements why our customer buys the product. At times this is appropriate, but the reality is that’s emotions that sells not facts.
A benefits ladder helps to remind you of all the elements you need to communicate, but also helps you focus on the customer.
How does a Benefits Ladder work?
It has 5 levels, which you start from the bottom:
Rung 1: Your product – what are you selling?
Rung 2: Product Features – what are the key features of that product
Rung 3: Product Benefits - what benefit does that product bring
Rung 4: Customer Benefits - what are the benefits those product benefits bring to the customer
Rung 5: Emotional Benefits - how will it make your customer feel
Actually it’s quite easy, but an example is always good, so here’s one for Lucozade
You can see it’s short, sharp and succinct. It highlights everything you need to know about Lucozade Sport. It gives you a great overview of the product but also hammers home why the customers want to buy it.
What to do with it
So you’ve put together your ladder, now what? Well the main reason for it is to create your positioning – your ‘why’ to the customer’. And then to enable you to back it up with the more rational side. You have all the facts together, in one place, so you’re not scabbling around for more information.
That why can then be turned into a strong marketing message:
Here’s what Lucozade did with it:
Tapping into the emotional benefits, but then backing it up with Celebrity Endorsement. “If it does that for him, it’ll do it for me.”
The power of emotions
And just to finish.
It’s important to understand that emotions have much more influence over peoples buying behaviour than rational product messages.
You’ve seen the John Lewis ads, how does Elton John have anything to do with the products that John Lewis are selling? The answer is that he doesn’t, but what the ad brings is an emotional response.
It takes people back to where it all began, to his childhood when he was given a piano for Christmas. It help us realise that we could do that for our families, that one gift can make all the difference to them. And then when you start your Christmas shopping, you go past John Lewis in the high street and you remember the warm and fluffy feeling you had watching the ad, and so you go in and you buy.
So when you’re using your benefits ladder for your marketing remember to try and start with the emotional benefit that your product will give, and then go back and verify it with the most relevant bits from your Ladder.
If you’d like to understand more about creating your benefits ladder, get in touch – email@example.com