Needs versus wants

At any one time, most people have a number of needs.

They need to eat. They need a new item of clothing. They need to get the train home.

In other words, the need has to be fulfilled.

Needs are limited in nature.

On the other hand, most people have a series of wants.

“I want a new car,” they may say, although the one that they have is perfectly serviceable.

“I want a new smartphone,” just because the one that they own is starting to look outdated.

Therefore a want is aspirational.

Wants are unlimited. For example, you need a certain amount of money to survive in a city for a day.

The money is required to pay for food and the most economic form of transport around the city.

However, as you walk past the shops in the big city you may feel that you want the fashion designs, watches and consumer goods that you see there.

A great deal of money is spent by brands trying to get people to want their products and services.

Needs and wants should be marketed to in different ways.

Within B2B (Business to Business) marketing, marketers can try a logical approach to needs analysis.

They can put forward sophisticated arguments showing why an enterprise should buy their products.

Or they can appeal to the emotions of the buyers and get them to feel that they really want the item in question.

Design, brand appeal, images, video, engaging copy, humour and multi-channel marketing can be used to create demand for products and services, regardless of whether they are need or want based.

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