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Needs, Wants, and Demands 101

The human race has needs which can be satisfied in different forms, which is where business then comes into play, being able to satisfy the need by things or services that a person will want and demand with their cash. So the secret to business is in understanding what the customer’s need is and how to transform it to what the customer will want and demand.

1. Needs first before the want

A simple example is in considering a client who wants to buy a car. When they enter the showroom they may look like they just want to buy a car, which in all things is a wrong assumption. The customer wants to buy a car but in real sense their needs could be any of the following
• Customer needs to travel to work in a vehicle which is their own
• The customer needs a car which is not expensive but within their budget
• The customer needs a car that makes them look good

Water is a need
Explain the need like you are explaining why people need water in their lives.

When the customer is speaking the sales person should be able to ask questions which will enable them to identify what the client really needs. Knowing what the client needs will help to be able to bring them to the object (car) which fits what they are looking for. An aggressive sales person would try to sell a luxury car to a person who is looking for a budget car which results in the customer walking away. This is what most businesses do; they create wonderful products but neglect to ask themselves what is it that the customer really needs. If the customer needs to quench their thirst then what kind of product do you sell?


2. Make the want attractive

When you know what the customer needs then make the product or service to resemble what the client wants. Don’t put things that the client is not interested in. This includes being able to use a language that resonates with what the client needs. Colgate could simply be an advert on the tube with the toothpaste but they insist in showing the white teeth (another way of saying healthy teeth). The white teeth are what the customer needs. Colgate is then associated with white teeth which is what the client needs. Let’s look at some of their adverts tags

It’s more than just a product, it is about being able to communicate to the client what a lovely smile they will have and how the product is part of that.

• When a single smile brings so much joy, it’s worth protecting with Colgate®
• Because your family looks to you, you can look to the experts.
• See how care and education bring healthy smiles to millions of children in 80 countries.
• Caring for your smiles generation after generation
Reference to Colgate.com

Though in real sense they are advertising the toothpaste they talk more about the family, smiles and generations which all bring us back to the smiles.
The difference with a business that does not understand the needs of the customer is that the business will talk more about the product and forget how to actually address the customer needs.

3. How to address the demand

Create a good product that addresses the needs and make it attractive whilst the demand has value , then the queue will be long

Kotler (2014,) defines demands as “products backed by an ability to pay”. There is no point in coming up with a product then people not being able to buy. If you come up with a product then you need to assess how many people are able to buy it hence the demand that will be created. So you create a fast food takeaway and your best meal is $25. The question that comes into mind is how many people are going to be prepared to pay for that meal. There is a value that people attach to their needs and eventual wants. They might want a product but if the product is priced beyond what they can afford then they will look for substitutes which can still meet their needs. So you might have the right product but pricing it for the wrong market. No matter how big the budget for marketing is there will be no point as long as the product is priced beyond the market that you are advertising to.

• Kotler, Philip, Keller, Kevin Lane. Marketing Management Global Edition, 14th Edition. Pearson (Intl), 04/2014.
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