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Marketing Academy.

Increase Sales by 50% by Presenting Products for Benefits


In the world of marketing and e-commerce, we are constantly looking for innovative strategies to improve customer experience and increase sales. Today I would like to share with you an interesting discovery that could have a significant impact on how we present our products to consumers.

Recent research conducted by prestigious universities such as Durham, Neuchâtel and Lausanne has highlighted an intriguing phenomenon: categorizing products based on the benefits they offer, rather than their characteristics, can lead to increased sales in certain product categories .

This approach, which we could define as "benefits-based organization", deserves in-depth analysis to understand its potential and limitations.

In this article, we will explore the results of these studies in detail, try to understand why this strategy can be effective, look at some examples of companies that are already implementing it, and discuss how it could be applied in different business contexts. Furthermore, we will analyze possible limitations and carefully consider how to test this approach responsibly.

The Study: Methodology and Results

The researchers conducted a series of eight experiments, both online and in the field, to evaluate the impact of benefit- based versus feature- based organization of products , as is typically done. The field experiments were carried out in two stores of a national supermarket chain, involving 642 shoppers. The results were surprising:

  1. Yogurt: When categorized by benefits, sales increased by 49% .

  2. Jams and spreads: There was a 57.5% increase in sales.

  3. Tea: Sales grew 17.5%.

  4. Nutrition bars: An increase of 10.9% was observed.

It is important to note that these results refer to specific product categories, mainly in the food and beverage sector. We cannot automatically assume that the same effects would occur in other product or service categories, but the rule of thumb certainly appears universal .

Person doing yoga
Organizing products by benefits eases the customer's cognitive load and relaxes them

Analysis of the results

Increase sales with specific benefits

An interesting aspect that emerged from the research is that the positive effect on sales was more marked when narrow and specific benefits were used, rather than broad and generic benefits . For example, categories such as "weight loss", "energy boost" or "stress reduction" have proven to be more effective than generic categories such as "health protection".

This observation – consistent with much other research – suggests that consumers value detailed, targeted information that helps them understand exactly how a product can meet their specific needs.

Use cases and references that are not very "fluffy" always win.

Why It Works: Psychological Analysis

To fully understand the effectiveness of this approach, it is useful to examine the underlying psychological mechanisms:

  1. Perception of Value : When products are presented in terms of benefits, consumers can more easily evaluate the value these products could bring to their lives. This increases the perception of the overall value of the product.

  2. Connect with personal needs : Categorizing by benefits helps consumers quickly identify which products meet their specific needs, making the selection process more efficient and personalized.

  3. Visualization of use: Categorization by benefits indirectly stimulates consumers to imagine themselves using the product. This mental visualization can increase the desire to purchase. And it even makes the explicit use of viewing oneself positively after using the product superfluous/harmful - something that always gives excellent results in copywriting.

  4. Reduce cognitive load : Presenting products based on benefits can simplify the decision-making process for consumers, reducing information overload and making choice easier.

  5. Alignment with purchasing motivations : Often, consumers purchase products to solve problems or improve aspects of their lives. Categorization by benefits directly aligns with these purchasing motivations.

Implementation Examples

While many companies continue to categorize products primarily by features and it has helped them drive sales robustly , some have already adopted a benefits-based approach. Here are some examples:

  1. Herbal Essences: The shampoo brand allows customers to filter products for benefits like volume, shine and scalp hydration.

  2. Kiehls: The skincare company categorizes its products based on the problems they address, such as fine lines, enlarged pores and dark circles.

  3. Dettol: The brand organizes its products by type of surface to be cleaned, such as fabrics, stubborn grease or baby equipment.

  4. Twinings: While not a comprehensive categorization, the tea brand offers a "Wellness" section on its website, where teas are organized by benefits such as "Detox," "Digestive," and "Sleep."

  5. MyProtein: The nutritional supplement brand offers categorization by both product type and goal, such as “weight loss,” “build muscle,” or “post-workout recovery.”

How to Implement this Strategy

If you are considering taking a benefits-based approach to categorizing your products, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Product analysis : Carefully examine your product range and identify the key benefits that each product offers.

  2. Customer research : Conduct surveys or interviews with your customers to understand what benefits are most important to them and how they describe them.

  3. Creating categories : Develop benefit categories that are specific, clear and relevant to your target audience.

  4. Phased rollout: Start with a small selection of products or a specific category to test the approach.

  5. A/B testing : If possible, run A/B tests on your website to compare the performance of benefit-based versus feature-based categorization.

  6. Tracking and analytics: Carefully track key metrics like conversion rate, average order value, and number of products per order.

  7. Iteration : Based on the results, refine your categories and presentation strategy.

  8. Staff training : If you have a physical store, make sure your sales staff is trained to discuss products in terms of benefits rather than just features.

Product organization
Even if the task seems extreme at first, following a process can help in re-categorization

Limitations and Considerations

While the results of this research are promising, it is important to consider some limitations and contextual factors:

  1. Product categories : The experiments focused mainly on food products. It is not certain that the same effects would occur in other product or service categories.

  2. Price of the products: The tested products were relatively cheap. For more expensive or complex products, consumers may be more likely to independently seek benefits in advance, potentially reducing the effect of this strategy.

  3. Real Purchasing Behavior : In real life, consumers often purchase products from several categories at the same time. This could influence how they evaluate benefits across different categories.

  4. Consumer Familiarity : Some consumers may be accustomed to searching for products by specific features and may find benefit-based categorization initially confusing.

  5. Product Complexity : For very technical or specialized products, you may also need to maintain a feature-based categorization to meet the needs of experienced customers.

  6. Industry Expectations : In some industries, consumers may expect to see products organized in a certain way. A radical change could cause confusion.

  7. Veracity of benefits: It is critical that claimed benefits are accurate and verifiable to maintain consumer trust.


Benefits -based product organization is an interesting approach that deserves to be explored by companies across various industries. Research findings suggest that, under certain conditions, this strategy can lead to a significant increase in sales.

However, it is important to approach this strategy with caution and awareness . This is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a tool that can be effective if implemented correctly and in appropriate contexts. For companies interested in experimenting with this approach, I recommend:

  1. Start with small-scale testing

  2. Monitor results carefully

  3. Collect feedback from customers

  4. Be ready to iterate and adapt the strategy

Remember that success in marketing and e-commerce does not come from the blind application of a single tactic, but from a holistic approach that takes into account the specifics of your business, your audience and your industry. Finally, as we explore new strategies to improve our sales performance, we never forget the importance of putting the needs and satisfaction of our customers first.

A benefit-based product organization, if implemented correctly, should improve the customer's shopping experience by making it easier for them to find exactly what they need. As always in the world of marketing and e-commerce, innovation and adaptation are key. Continue to test, learn and improve, always with a keen eye on scientific evidence and the evolving needs of your customers.


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