Why you should build your brand on beliefs not benefits or features

Reading time: 2 minutes

If you want to sell what you make online your customers need to believe in your product.

Listing features used to be a great way to get people to buy that really amazing thing that you make.

Times changed, more brands came on the scene, we’ve become more sophisticated so we begin to talk about benefits. They allow our customers to buy into an aspirational future… and our product is an essential part of that.

Now we’ve evolved beyond benefits into beliefs. We have to offer customers an identity, a sense of belonging and community.

A handing holing a notebook showing the difference between features, benefits and beliefs

The identity of your brand are invented beliefs. These are created to make it more desirable, to sell it, and to make a profit.

In an infinite ocean of choice we will choose a brand we believe in. Once you have a convert that loyalty builds a barrier to competition.

What about causes? Causes are also an important part of branding but shouldn’t be mistaken for or replace beliefs.

Beliefs explain the world to your customer.

Unfortunately that amazing thing you make is not actually that important. The near religious experience you spin around it is.

A hand holing a note book saying beliefs are not causes

How do I figure out what my brand believes in?

Chances are you started your business because you had a belief. You’ve put in the hard work and here you are with an online business selling that thing you made.

Or maybe you’re just filling a gap in the marketplace… but that doesn’t mean you can’t align yourself to something meaningful.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Look at the people who buy your products, what matters to them?
  • How do you create meaning in their lives?
  • What’s the bigger impact beyond product benefits?
  • Does your brand shape the products and services you offer?
  • What will make people understand why you exist in the first place?
  • What do I want customers to believe about themselves?
  • Ask some friends or reals customers if you can to describe their experience with your brand?

Your brand belief is bigger than the thing you’re making it will allow you to connect better with customers.

When we have infinite choice we will choose brands based on beliefs that align with the identity we aspire to.

What is a feature?
What is a benefit?
What is a belief?
Belief is the new benefit