Why Some Products Stick With Us

Steakhouses, smartphones, and spoons: Truly great products meet our needs and make us better

David Portelli
7 min readSep 4, 2019


FFrom a consumer’s perspective, a good product is not necessarily a good-looking product, nor is it a product that solely delivers a frictionless experience. It’s not a bug-free product or a product that gets updated with fixes on a daily basis.

A good product is one that creates dependability by filling a gap in a consumer’s life. The reverse would be a product that could easily be substituted or replaced with another, or one the consumer may easily stop using completely because it never made a difference in their life in the first place.

Great products create a strong “why”

Image by Evan Dennis from Unsplash

Great products don’t just live on people’s phones and computers; they are top-of-mind because they fill a need wonderfully and people are clear on what that need is and how it’s being filled by the product.

I love to go out for a steak every now and then; it’s probably my favorite gastronomic treat. I’ve been to more steakhouses than I can count over the course of several years. However, I do have a favorite that (in my mind) is the best.

I consider this place to be the best because the steaks are fresh Argentinian cuts that are flame-grilled (the product), the decor is cozy wood that feels genuine and homey, and the service is great (customer experience).

The value I experience each time I dine at this place is clear enough to have created a “why” statement in my mind: “Best flame-grilled steaks in a comfortable environment with great service.”

This “why” serves as a constant reminder of why I should choose this restaurant again and again instead of trying new ones. After all, now that I’ve found a place that clearly cuts it, why would I try new alternatives that might conflict with the attributes I value?

This selective tendency is not limited to the offline world, either; the process of choosing between options is similar in the digital domain.



David Portelli

Product Designer and practicing writer