In banks and credit unions, we spend a lot of time talking about why it’s important for staff to discuss products and services more in terms of benefits than features.

Benefit vs Features

Features are easy – they are the bullet points inside brochures that describe the different elements of, say, a checking account. Features are readable. Features are also, frankly, boring. The vast majority of consumers simply don’t emotionally relate to features. Benefits, however are entirely different.

Stated simply: features tell while benefits sell.

A new commercial from Tile absolutely nails this concept.

To be upfront, I have purchased and used Tile products before. They’re helpful when trying to track down easily-lost things like keys and wallets. And you can load yourself up on the features of Tile. However, it’s the emotional impact of the benefits of using this particular product as illustrated by the commercial that really hits home. Nobody gives a rat’s read-end about things like search radius, Bluetooth connectability and battery life when their sweet baby girl has lost her precious stuffed panda. Good grief, check out some of the comments after the video. Hundreds of people openly admit to crying while watching the commercial.

As the video powerfully illustrates, the features matter little. The benefits are what stick it to the heart. This is brand gold.

So how does this Tile video apply to banks or credit unions?

You must reprogram your staff to talk to consumers about your products and services more in terms of benefits and features. For example, your auto loans can be described with things like APR, prepayment penalties and term. For the most part, consumers could care less. They’re not there for the features. They are there for the benefit – getting behind the wheel of that new car.

Shift your staff thinking to talking about all your products and services more in terms of how they benefit the member, his or her life, finances, dreams, etc. This could include broad statements like “using our app to deposit checks remotely can save you lots of time,” “refinancing at a lower rate will save money for your monthly family budget” and “starting a Christmas savings account early in the year can save you stress and headaches when it comes time for holiday shopping.”

And if you don’t believe this works, just check out the commercial again. I’ll wager good money you get at least a little choked up when that little girl found her panda.