Consumer behavior and needs

The purpose of marketing is that the company tries to figure out what kind of needs their clients have and how the company can fill these needs with their own products or services.

Human needs can be divided into different categories. The most common needs are the need of security, the biologically need, the need for rest, the mental need, the social need, the need of nursing, the need of benefit, the need of pleasure, the need of ownership and the need of independent.

Satisfying basic needs is essential for human life. People must to eat, drink and rest enough.  Derived needs are needs that people fulfill to brighten up or to bring comfort into their lives.  This kind of need could be example a trip to abroad.

Needs are one of biggest things which have influence customer behavior.  Needs can be defined as some kind of deficiencies or imbalance which can be fulfilled in some way.

In the marketing world consumer needs are usually divided into instrumental needs and the needs of use. Customer needs usually mean needs of use. Nowadays one product can fulfill many different needs.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

The most well-known theory of human needs and their influence customer behavior was developed by Abraham Maslow. Maslow’s model explains human needs very well and simply.  He believes that human activity is strongly hierarchical. Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire the secondary or higher level needs.

Thinking of Maslow`s theory as an entrepreneur or marketer, which product or service fulfill most of needs?

In my humble opinion a mobile phone could be such a product. Mobile phone satisfies person’s social needs because nowadays most people own mobile phone.  Mobile phone creates also feeling of safety. For example in an emergency situation you can always call for help. For many people mobile is a status symbol, for example young people or business men.

Which product or service comes to your mind?


Bergström, Seija & Leppänen, Arja 2003. Yrityksen asiakasmarkkinointi.

Kotler, Filip 2006. Marketing Management.

Solomon S. Bamossy G. & Askegaard S.P. 2007. Consumer Behavior, A European Perspective.

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8 Responses to Consumer behavior and needs

  1. raisavarsta says:

    What about womens’ handbags? 😀

  2. saripajala says:

    At least a one true good friend in need is a friend indeed.
    And hereby I mean a friend in true flesh and blood, not a virtual one : O )

    Althought I have to admit, that without my mobile phone and my handbag in which to carry it around, I couldnt agree to see this friend…

  3. mikatuppurainen says:

    Yeah, I think that mobile phone is nowadays a basic product that people “must” have. Like you said it gives security etc. But the value-hierarchy is shown in the different categories. With a basic phone you can satisfy basic needs like calling and texting and with a smart phone you can go up the levels so that you can satisfy more personaliced and social needs like keeping touch with people in Facebook or Twitter. The question is “do you really have to” and the answer to a really big group is “yes”. It’s like Elisa adverticed a few years ago “with everybody, all-the-time and everywhere”. And yes, to some people it still is a status symbol but I don’t think it is in the original way because young people (sorry, their parents ;)) are buying these expensive phones. It is more like a way to differentiate yourself and to tell other people that you belong to a certain group; people who use iPhone or people who use Android. Well, iPhone isn’t a niche product in the smart phones, but still… If you use Apple products you get somekind of a label on your forehead. And that is the status. I use Android :D.

    I remember the days from 20 years ago when I was studying att Malmi Business College and in our class of 30 persons only two had a mobile phone. Well, I was one out of the two…

    Now, that was a great status symbol at that time! ;D

  4. metsapeiju says:

    For a woman it’s a handbag, for a man it’s a car. Believe me 😉

  5. maritaparkk says:

    For my children it’s a smart phone with web connections and all virtual games. I’m pleased for a normal mobile phone. But smart phones will be today’s word with all connections.

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