Tales From Russia – Product Benefit vs. Product Performance

“3X more cleaning power than the next leading detergent”. “3 blades”. “5 blades”. “Most technologically advanced”. These are all claims anyone in shopper marketing is accustomed to seeing. Product performance. As marketers we are grounded in understanding the technology that goes into new products and telling consumers why our shiny, new toy is better than their old one. For years we have believed that technology and product enhancements will win the hearts and wallets of consumers around the world. However, while recently spending time in the emerging market of Russia, we were alarmingly told otherwise. After spending several days with consumers in their homes and on their shopping trips, we quickly learned that product performance is not enough. What will 3X more cleaning ingredients do for me? What will extra blades on my razor do that my two blade disposable won’t? In a market that does not have a history of product innovation, people have no performance benefits to compare new technology with. So how do Western innovative brands overcome this lack of performance benefit? How do we communicate the benefit of our product through performance claims?

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-Contributed by Stephen Moon