As humans, we have this need to identify and classify the world around us.
We are compelled to name things and sort them into boxes.
We do this to everything—from flowers and clouds to thoughts and actions.
We are prone to see groupings even where there aren’t any, since that’s the way our brains make sense of the world.
Put this tendency to work.
Coin an evocative name or symbol for something you want to encourage.
Conversely, find a distasteful name for something you want to discourage.
Labeling draws attention to whatever’s been labeled.
Labels can make one group feel exclusive and another group feel excluded.
By switching labels, we can also change how something is perceived.
And over time, we can change people’s behavior too.