What Is a Consumer Benefit in Consumer Marketing?

A consumer benefit in consumer marketing is the positive value that a product or service provides to a consumer. A consumer benefit can either be inherent to the product or service, or it can be something intangible that the consumer might perceive about the product or service.

Within consumer marketing, it is necessary to differentiate features from benefits. Benefits are the positive values that a product or service conveys, whereas features are the characteristics of the product or service. For example, a driver-side airbag would be considered a vehicle feature, while the increased level of safety that the airbag provides is the tangible consumer benefit. The same vehicle might prominently display a fancy logo. In this case, the logo itself is a feature of the car, while the feeling of prestige driving this vehicle is the intangible consumer benefit. In this case, the benefit is classified as intangible because prestige is not inherent to the vehicle but rather lives within the shared cultural perception of both the consumer and society.

In general, the accepted practice for marketers is to prioritize consumer benefits within consumer marketing, because benefits in general drive more emotional reactions. Findings from marketing research confirm that emotion is a necessary ingredient to almost all decisions, and so prioritizing benefits over features is a generally accepted practice within consumer marketing.