In our field we deal with plenty of copy – sometimes fully edited by the client and ready to go, other times simply a list of essential details we will whip up into copywriting magic.

Either way, one question always arises and sometimes the answer can’t be given: What exactly are you trying to achieve with your copy?

Sure you can communicate product attributes until the cows come home, but while they might be slightly different to the competition, are they meaningful enough to your customer to give you a sustained competitive advantage in the long run?

Copywriting Attributes or BenefitsImage by Tom Fishburne.

Maybe not.

Here’s where a cold hard look at a benefits communication strategy might come in handy.

There are three types of benefits to think about next time you’re putting pen to paper or briefing an agency for a copywriting project:

1. Functional Benefits: Does your product have an attribute that gives a functional benefit? If it does, great! Next step is to tell your reader why they should care. Here’s an example (for meat):

“Portion cut so that you can standardize your serving size, manage menu costs, easily plan large catering jobs and leave the kitchen knowing that even the apprentice can’t screw the portion size up when you’re not there.”

2. Emotional Benefits: Does your product have an attribute that could evoke an emotive response in the reader? Again, tell them why this matters to them. Tell them why they want that emotional benefit. Here’s an example (for wine, with a response of relaxation and desire)

“Aromas of plum and cherry combine with an earthy palate to produce a wine that invites a heady relaxation – the perfect wine for long winter afternoons.”

3. Self-Expressive Benefits: Got a product that people might want to communicate their self image with? When it comes to food, there are plenty that do- especially those that are organic, raw, foraged, imported, “free from” or particularly hip. Here’s an example for kale and ‘healthiness’…yes we’re going there!

“Farm fresh and nutrient dense, this super food is the only thing that really matters when it comes to green smoothies”

Or another, for honey and ‘foodie’ status:

“Pure, artisanal honey. So floral, so rare that you’ll have your friends thinking you’ve foraged for it with your bare hands.”

Still stuck for ways to move on from attribute-based communication?

Give us a call, we know what makes food consumers tick. We might even be able to move your communications from function-based to emotional-based benefits!