People Don’t Remember Features

Peter Abilla had a great quote in his post On Customer Obsession:

People remember experiences. They don’t remember attributes or benefits or features.

The quote is from A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter and Gamble, in the January 28, 2005 Business Week.

It’s something I struggle with often as a product manager. Like most product managers, I’m technical, so I love all the new features and gewgaws. But as I look back at my previous releases and at customer response to them (and my own response – at my previous job I used my own product on a daily basis), I find it hard to remember which features were new and which were always there. My experience today with the product is what matters – it’s a great result when the improvement of experience aligns with the new features.

I’m happy to say that the new version of my product is delivering some experiences that my customers are getting value from. But I’ve certainly shipped features in the past that excited me as a technologist, and that were expensive and fancy and worked well, but that didn’t improve the customer experience.

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