Need and Want. Two of the most misunderstood concepts swirling about the ethereal waters of human behavior.
Both are powerful psychological instruments used to drive engagement and action in any marketing campaign worth its salt.
What is Need?
As a verb, it means to require something because it is essential or very important. For example, I need to eat, or I need water.
What is Want?
As a verb, it means to have a strong desire to possess something. For example, I want to be rich, or I want that man/woman.
Want Drives Action
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see ‘Needs’ will almost always take priority over ‘wants,’ at least in the mind of any rational thinking individual. And, I think that’s where the confusion starts. The list of things we need to survive is short: Food, Water, and Shelter.
However, the things we want and desire is practically endless. It’s in those commodities that we as marketers deal.
“I need food,” is a communicating an entirely different problem than “I want pizza.” Different problems require different solutions. It’s important to understand the need your clients product or service is filling. But, even more important is understanding how the product or service fills the wants of its customers.
Outside our 3 basic needs, wants are the biggest drivers of human behavior – and, every marketers most powerful weapon of mass production.