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When Selling Gets Personal

Pushing the intangible benefits

This story appears in the February 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What's the difference between buying a Ford and buying a Jaguar? Presumably, both will get you from point A to point B. But when you buy a Jaguar (or any luxury car) and park it in your driveway, it conveys an image of status-an often unspoken, though important, intangible benefit marketed to buyers of luxury cars.

Intangible benefits can be powerful motivators because they appeal to customers' emotional needs and desires. When formulating marketing strategies, entrepreneurs often focus on the concrete, tangible benefits, such as money saved or convenient delivery, yet overlook the intangible benefits, which sometimes carry greater weight.

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