Today I’m working on improving our messaging across the customer journey using a FABA map within Transformation.ai that I can visually create, collaborate on and then connect to data.
What’s a FABA? It’s something I created by taking one methodology and adding a letter. It stands for:
A: (Comparative) Advantage
A: Advantage (of the Benefits)
Features are things your product does – in the example at the top of the screenshot, it is the fact that the shirt is made of cotton (I got this example by the way from the video I’ve included in the background below). The way I use it, is that I have feature categories in my product – in the example screenshot it is our Background Builder category and within that I list all of the features that make up that category (Background Builder is used to create and save custom backgrounds for Journey Maps, Process Maps, and tools like FABA and JTBD). In terms of how I’m using it today, as you see from the screenshot below, one of those features is is the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator.
(Comparative) Advantages are what make those features different, unique or better – in the example at the top the cotton shirt breathes (implied is that it breathes better than say polyester or other synthetic fabrics). Taking the features in your product and making sure you understand their comparative advantages versus the competition (be the companies or alternative ways of doing things) and build your messaging at different stages of the journey to communicate those advantages clearly, and in context. Applying the same to features you are thinking about building may save you a lot of time in avoiding creating features that don’t have clear comparative advantages and also make your rollouts of new features more impactful. Continuing with the example, I’m working on you can see below that one of the advantages of the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator is it recreates existing backgrounds in other media such as PowerPoint, butcher board etc.
Benefits are what all this means to the customer, what they get out of using the feature. In the example at the top the cotton shirt that breathes well keeps you cool on a hot day. That’s what it means to a customer who buys that shirt. Taking the time to link your features and advantages to benefits helps to remind you to talk to those benefits in your messaging and put that messaging in context to the stage of the journey. Once again, this is also a great exercise for product features that haven’t been built yet, to help in decision-making in terms of prioritization and whether or not to build something at all. Following along the map with the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator we can see below that benefits include the ability to use maps and touchpoints that are already “the way of doing things” thus reducing costs associated with having to learn something completely new, and ability to build background templates that best match a companies unique needs.
With the FAB analysis you stop at Benefits but what is really powerful is to figure out the Advantages of those Benefits. Keeping you cool on a hot day is great, but avoiding embarrassing sweat stains makes it clear the penalty incurred for not achieving the benefit. This attack of the status quo makes it much more clear the value of the benefit that you are getting. This is powerful not only for messaging during the Acquisition process but also and especially during the Adoption and Assimilation parts of the journey, because it can serve as a good reminder why the work to move away from the old way is necessary and worth it. Finishing off the map for the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator we can see an advantage of its benefits is greater adoption of journey mapping and other collaborative strategy efforts leading to more and greater results from journey mapping and collaborative strategies, and for the View, Load and Edit Existing Backgrounds feature the advantage its benefits is achieving greater innovation velocity.
What’s also great about the FABA map, is that now that I have it I can hook in data to confirm or deny what I’ve written. This could be survey data from an integrated SurveyMonkey survey and it also could be product usage data or content analytics using tools like GoogleAnalytics piped directly into my FABA touchpoint.
What’s more, with the chat interface integrated directly into the touchpoint, along with my notes, media and data, I have a one source of truth place to talk about this specific feature, comparative advantage, benefit, or advantage of benefit, making it easy to have everything at hand and everything in context.
The background on the FABA is that I started with the FAB analysis methodology and you add the the last A of Advantage of the Benefits. I got started with this when Michael Kovalio, our VP of Marketing introduced me to the Features, Advantages, Benefits analysis, which is a great exercise. As is my wont, I did some further research on the Internet Body of Knowledge (IBOK – I think I just invented that term) regarding FAB and came across this great video which contains the inspiration for the cotton shirt analogy.
Coincidentally, at the same time I was researching how to refine my personal voice on social media (perhaps the topic of a future post) and I came across this great copy writing video that looked at an FBA analysis (Features, Benefits, Advantage of Benefits).
Basically I combined the two and voila! – the FABA came to be.
If you’d like to put the power of FABA to work in your business, sign-up for a free trial today and then go to Map Library -> Global -> FABA map template and use the Action -> Clone map function to get started!