The story of Needs

How do needs affect consumer behavior? My group received this theme to be resolved during this school semester. We started opening the subject by asking questions about it and we came up with a question: “How to create needs for customers?”.

So we started to look for answers from sites which discussed the issue. The main points seemed to be that you need good communication and time to know your customer’s business and have a good relationship with them etc.

Our next step was that we summarized the main points in a mind map. We realized that the companies’ influence plays a big part in creating needs. For example, Apple can sell phones which contain two-year old technology and make it cost three times more than their contender’s.

Apple may have the influence but how do the smaller companies create needs for their customers? They need to create good relationships, and, to build trust, they need good communication channels. Once they get to know each other both can come up with ideas on what they need.

Companies may try different kinds of marketing tricks to get the customer’s attention. But if they really want to understand their customers’ needs they must go deeper. They must approach the issue from a psychological point of view to understand how the customer’s mind works.

Needs can be divided in several ways; the most common classification was made by Maslow. To make it easier, needs can be divided into necessities and necessaries. The former consists of issues which people must have in order to live, for example food, water, shelter and gear to survive in other words essentials to stay alive. The latter is much harder to define and it is based on your background, character, status and age etc.

This is the point where segmenting plays a crucial role. If you succeed in it you will have keys to influence the customer’s needs.

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2 Responses to The story of Needs

  1. ojalajenna says:

    Interesting post! It is crucial to know what your customers are thinking. You can’t really sell or do any marketing if you have no clue of your customers opinions, values etc. Maslow’s theory might be a bit outdated today, it can be turned upsidedown and it still works. He admitted that himself. 😀 Check out means-end chain and laddering! I find them being really powerful tools when getting to know your customers!

  2. mikkosantone says:

    A good text! Segmenting really plays a crucial role. You have to know your customers and their needs before they do themselves! And when you fulfill your customer’s needs, word-of-mouth comes to picture and marketing might do it’s job without your efforts.

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