Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Core Human Needs and Marketing


Psychologists have long hypothesized, studied and tested what they believe to be the core human needs. While most psychologists highlight six basic needs, many also include a seventh need. Here are the seven needs:

  1. Certainty/Safety/Comfort/Control/Security
  2. Love/Affection/Physical and Emotional Connection
  3. Significance/Respect/Uniqueness/Feeling Special
  4. Competence/Mastery
  5. Contribution/Making a Difference
  6. Variety/Experience/Stimulation/Novelty/Satisfying Curiosity
  7. Independence/Freedom/Autonomy
Most people experience deficiencies in meeting one or more of these needs on a regular basis. Knowing this, marketers can target their brands' unique value propositions and marketing messages to address these needs.

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. As a marketer, consider your role to be that of delivering Kintsugi to your brand's customers, that is to help them to fill their perceived deficiencies or brokenness with your brand's "gold."

As an exercise, try to identify at least one brand that focuses on each of these core human needs.

As an example, here is my list:

  1. Certainty/Safety/Comfort/Control/Security - National Car Rental
  2. Love/Affection/Physical and Emotional Connection - Hallmark
  3. Significance/Respect/Uniqueness/Feeling Special - MINI Cooper
  4. Competence/Mastery - Footjoy
  5. Contribution/Making a Difference - Patagonia
  6. Variety/Experience/Stimulation/Novelty/Satisfying Curiosity - Dr. Pepper
  7. Independence/Freedom/Autonomy - Marlboro
These needs are fundamental and very powerful. Consider how your brand can promise the fulfillment of one or more of these needs. 

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