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Cooking Up a Winning Benefit Statement

By: Claire Cunningham

Claire Cunningham, president of Clairvoyant Communications, Inc., has 20+ years' experience developing and implementing successful business-to-business marketing and communications programs. Sign up for Claire's monthly newsletter, Communique, at Claire can be reached at 763-479-3499 or e-mail to

In marketing it's about what you say, how often you say it, and who you say it to. You need three ingredients to cook up the all-important what - a benefit statement that sells:
  1. Knowing the customer. Who buys your product? Who influences the decision? What matters to these folks?

    How to get the information: Talk to your customers. Read trade publications.

  2. Understanding the competition. Who or what are you up against? What benefits do they tout? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

    How to get the information: Analyze competitive literature, ads, web sites. Talk to your customers. Read trade publications.

  3. Assessing your contribution. How do you meet your customers' needs? Address their concerns? How are you different from and better than the competition?

    How to get the information: Talk to your customers. Think.
Gather the information and chart it. What you're looking for is a hole where there's a customer need that you address and hopefully, the competition doesn't.

Found it? That's the core of your message. Found several holes? You'll need to prioritize.

Now, write alternative introductory sentences using words that create an emotional connection with your audience. Test your alternatives with prospects and see what gets the best reaction. A marketing consultant can help craft alternative benefit statements and provide an objective viewpoint.

© Copyright 2004, Claire Cunningham

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The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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