If I ever find myself at the Winter Olympics, I’m gonna hang out with the Swiss ski team. Their ski poles always have corkscrews and bottle openers on the end … and nail files … and screwdrivers… and scissors…

Ok, yeah, it’s a cheap Swiss Army knife joke.  But it has a purpose.

The Swiss Army knife is the perfect tool, not only for camping and opening wine anywhere you want … but also for aspiring copywriters or salespeople. It helps you to practice the difference between features and benefits.


Something that your product has or is.


The results that users will experience by using your product or service.

People do not buy the features, they buy the benefits! How you define those benefits can be the difference between bustling lobbies and tumbleweeds.

So, back to our Swiss Army knife…

Swiss Army Knife

The uninitiated would look at this and say:

“You can do a lot with this. It has a knife, a bottle opener, a corkscrew and scissors.”

All features that are, frankly, stating the obvious.

A true sales genius would say:

“With this knife, you have an entire tool box in your pocket. No more looking for your screwdriver, it’s in your pocket. No more tearing coupons down the middle.  All cuts will be clean with these scissors. Be the life of the party. No bottle stays sealed when you’re around with your corkscrew and bottle opener in your pocket.”

Now, replace the Swiss Army knife with your banking products.

You don’t just have free checking. You have an account that is a flexible as your customers. With mobile deposit, you can deposit your team’s soccer jersey checks right from the game. With Person-to-Person payments, you can pay the babysitter faster so you and your spouse can get to your nightcap. With online banking, you can transfer funds between accounts while in your jammies and fuzzy bunny slippers.

You don’t just have auto loans. You allow your customers the ability to drive away in the car faster. You allow them to afford a slightly nicer vehicle. You can give them lower payments, so they can spend more money on rims.

During your next staff meeting, I encourage you to conduct a Features vs Benefits exercise with your key products. Taking the time to focus on individual products will help your staff to see your offerings in a different light and assure that your team is having more meaningful conversations at the front line.

Now I’m off to put the bottle opener of my Swiss Army knife to the test. Cheers.

Love this financial marketing blog?
Get the book! Click here to download “Aha Moments,” our
FREE ebook, chock-full of 80 short articles just like this.

In addition to being a strategic consultant for community banks and credit unions, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

email me directly (click)
Follow us on Twitter @MarketMatch