Features are characteristics of a product that offer benefits to the customer. When it comes to developing a consumable product, marketers face several decisions related to product features including:
- Features Set vs. Cost – For marketers, an important decision focuses on the quantity and quality of features (i.e., features set) to include in a product. In most cases, the more features that are included or the higher the features quality level, the more expensive the product is to produce and market.
- Is More Better? – Even if added cost is not a major concern, the marketer must determine if more features help or hurt the target market’s perception of the product. A product with too many features could be viewed as too difficult to use.
- Who Should Choose the Features? – Historically marketers determined what features to include in a product. However, the Customized or Micro Marketing targeting strategy offers customers the opportunity to choose their own features to custom build a product. For instance, for the vast majority of websites, the actual computer files that produce the site reside on computers managed by a website hosting service. Such services charge a fee that varies depending on the service features the website owner chooses (e.g., data storage options, processing speed). Also, for traditional products, such as clothing, companies may allow customers to stylize their purchases with logos and other personalized options.