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I like when marketers try to spin product characteristics as features. “98% plant derived” or “contains 70% organic ingredients”. There are many plant derived things that can be bad for us, and many non-organic things that are perfectly OK. There are some properties of products that need to be binary for the story to be true. And there are also properties that are meaningless. To be meaningful, or at least non-meaningless, they need to be have a definition tied to them and perhaps some oversight for certification.

We like to tell ourselves stories about ourselves and the things we consume. “I’m a good person because I’m a vegetarian” or “I’m a good person because it’s natural to eat meat, almost all creatures consume other creatures.” When we acquire some product because of a label, it affirms our beliefs.

From a product development perspective, how can we label features in our products in a way that will help reaffirm the beliefs of the people who use the features? It might be as simple as adding in tooltips, alerts, or other messages when the feature is used.

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