Needs, Benefits, Care-abouts and Good-ats.


There are a number of tools marketing and brand planners use to assist in the development of strategy and plans. One such tool is the Needs/Benefit Analysis. As I understand it this tool, used by P&G, delves deeply into consumer needs and product benefits. No one can go wrong studying the needs of the consumer. The iPhone met consumer needs in aggregate, though Steve Jobs is correct in that no one ever woke up before its invention and said I wish I had a phone that played music, took pictures and made and played movies.

And as for the benefits, they, too, are all-important, as they’re the rational and emotional deliverables of the product. With these needs and benefits in hand, the job of the brand planner is to boil them all down into a memorable and cogent value proposition that distinguishes the product.

At What’s The Idea?, our approach is a little different. We are all about the needs, which we call Customer Care-Abouts, but diverge when it comes to Benefits. Though benefits are the outcome of product features, they are consumer centric. And we favor building brands via endemic or built-in product value. We call those Brand Good-Ats. It is quite okay for brands to tout their inherent advantage.

Brand planners using care-abouts and good-ats are also faced with the challenge of boiling them down into a memorable, cogent value prop.  With two masters, though, this becomes harder.

But the result is more lasting, powerful and ownable.