reverse engineering to uncover your benefits


When designing a new product or service, what’s your first step?

You don’t launch into designing your packaging or anything like that (I hope).

No. Instead you think about your target audience:

  1. Is there one for what you want to offer?
  2. Who are the types of people you want to sell to?
  3. What is it that they want?
  4. How can you best deliver that?

It’s important to find the ultimate goal/benefit of your offering and to make sure it matches what your customers want.

In other words, you reverse engineer the process. Rather than designing something pretty and then trying to find a market for it, you have found your audience, discovered what their burning issue is, and created a product or service that takes away their pain.

What does all of that have to do with copywriting and content production?


Never start from the beginning

What happens if you start writing your content from the beginning?

You completely miss the point.

Starting from the beginning means you’re starting with the product or service. You’re focusing on that and what it does.

That means your writing will be full of features – and features don’t sell.

Instead, you have to look at your customers, just like we did above.

Then you have to ask yourself: ‘if they had my xxx, how it would make their life easier/better?’

That handbag isn’t just something useful to keep your customers’ bits and bobs in; it’s a stylish accessory that oozes style, boosting confidence and aspirations.

You see, your content needs to focus on the emotional impact your product or service offers.

The only way you’ll find that is by looking beyond what’s in front of you and concentrating on the feelings it invokes in your audience.

  • Dishwasher – gives you more time to spend with your family
  • Insurance – peace of mind and security
  • Suit – greater confidence and empowerment


Writing compelling copy is all about starting from the end.

Discovering the emotional connection, your buyer will have with your product/service will identify the main benefit.

Features are still important, but if you want to sell, you have to show them the benefits.


Sally Ormond is an international copywriter. Working across all industries, she creates on-brand content for on and offline marketing as well as internal communications