Overt Benefit: Finding That One Thing

- April 3, 2012

Strategic Tuesday/Positioning

Hello, I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing.  It’s Strategic Tuesday and today we are going to talk about overt benefit and finding that je ne sais quoi for your product.

What is overt benefit?  Before we answer that let’s take a look at the old movie City Slickers.  Jack Palance as Curley and Billy Crystal as Mitch were driving cattle across the range.  Jack Palance says “There’s one thing to the secret of life” and he holds up his finger.  Billy Crystal asks “What that?”  Jack Palance replies “That’s for you to find out”.  The same thing is true in determining the overt benefit of your product.

Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch probably coined this phrase.  It’s all about discovering that “certain something” beyond the features and benefits of the product, one thing that, at the highest level, stands for your product.  It may be why you entered into business or why you created the product or service, perhaps to solve a problem or fill a gap in the marketplace.

In one of his books, Doug talks about a company that manufactures electric BBQ grills.  Their grill was so good it wasn’t allowed to be used by professional cooks in BBQ competition because it provided an unfair competitive advantage.  That was the overt benefit to him.  He was now able to tell the client that they should leverage the fact the grill was banned from competition when creating their marketing campaign.

It is important for you to understand overt benefit.  In today’s world consumers/clients have a vast array of choices.  Overt benefit could be the means to communicate what is unique about your product and differentiate it from the rest.

Think about something as simple as dental floss.  You used to be able to go into Walgreens and quickly pick up dental floss.  Now there are probably 60-75 different kinds of dental floss available.  How does the consumer make the choice?

Now give some thought to the new phone apps.  It seems like every business has a phone app.  Again, if there are > 500,000 phone apps, how is yours going to be found by your customers?

Knowing your overt benefit allows you to cut through the advertising clutter and strengthens your position to build your brand in the mind of your customer over time.

It’s not always easy to determine what the overt benefit is but it’s absolutely critical that you do so.  Once you know your “certain something” you will be able to share that with your customers and create an accurate image of your product in their mind.

That’s our advice for today.  Be sure to tune into tomorrow for Action Wednesday.  To discuss an online or face-to-face service engagement and enhance the marketing and branding for your organization, contact James Glover: (505) 501-1330 or onceadaymarketing@gmail.com.  I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing and we’ll see you next time.