Understanding Customer Needs and Wants

Understanding Customer Needs and Wants

The success of a business depends on having increasing numbers of satisfied customers and understanding customers needs and wants is, therefore, necessary. This is a view propagated by marketing gurus long time back, albeit, in different words.

Peter Drucker an Austrian-born American management consultant contended that “purpose of a business is to create a satisfied customer.”

Philip Kotler an American marketing author argued that “marketing is offering the right product at the right price; available to a customer at the right time, and making a profit out of the exchange.”

Theodore Levitt an American economist held that “purpose of a business is to create a customer and sell products or services that he is willing to purchase.”

Purpose of a business is to create a satisfied customer.

These quotes visualized the requirements of a successful business even before marketing grew into a large industry. The underlining tenet of what they said was the importance of a customer in the success of a business and the key is to understand customer needs and wants and realizing them.

Understanding Needs and Wants of Customers

Understanding customers’ needs and wants along with their behavior pattern is imperative to provide the right product or service to them. The job of a business is to serve the best to its customers and keep them happy. This brings more business and profit to brands.

Businesses should strive to give its customers what they want as often as possible. They should not focus so much on whether customers need a product or not. A particular product may not be essential for a customer at an instance, but this should not bother businesses in marketing it to him.

When it comes to his requirements, a customer is normally confused and unaware about his needs and wants. It is not for the brand to define it for him but, it can use this knowledge intelligently and promote its products. Needs and wants of a customer play a vital role in the marketing management of a brand. Let us briefly understand what fosters your customers needs and wants.

Needs of a customer

The word “needs” implies the basic human requirements required for survival of a human being. It could be things like education, healthcare, pension, etc. These are products which people always buy, but, you will find that there are thousands of brands competing in this category.

Needs may not always be physical as sometimes it could be social. A need could be generated out of a social compulsion. A product can become a need for a customer even though it is not a basic requirement when compared to other customers.

Wants of a Customer

Wants of a customer are quite different from his needs. A want is a product which is not required for his survival. Want is, in fact, the opposite of need.

Another difference of ‘want’ over ‘need’ is that they are not permanent requirements and may change from people to people. For some customers, their ‘wants’ may change due to factors like location, climate etc. Wants are not necessities and it can create a problem if you keep on satisfying them. In such cases, there is a tendency for wants to transform into your needs.

What Propels Customers to make a decision to Buy

Our wants are often shaped by the society and surroundings we live in. By nature, a customer is more focused on his wants rather than his needs. This happens more on account of emotional and social reasons.
It is proved that businesses which give its customers what they want are handling them better and will get into long-term relations with them.

Businesses which give its customers what they want are handling them better.

On the other hand, if a business tries to convince a customer about his need for a certain product – which may actually be true – and offer it to him in a deal – it will have an opposite effect. He will back off as he may in most occasions believe that you are making a fast sale on him.

Key to Successful Marketing

Every brand in the business of selling need to identify its target customers and study how they shop to know why customers buy the products they buy. Several factors influence the buying decision of a customer. It could be that he likes a particular brand or he is deciding on impulse or maybe he is succumbing to the latest trend in the market. It could be anything. Whatever the cause, a brand should get into the root of a customer’s buying pattern and promote its products according to the cause.

The key to successful marketing is to offer products suiting to a customer’s wants. In fact, ‘wants’ fuels desire in a customer to possess a product. Successful companies address this emotion and offer these products to satisfy them with timely deals. Customers are more likely to convert with such offers. Research has also shown that customers attach more value to companies that give them their ‘wants’.

In the end, we see that between customer needs and wants, it is ‘wants’ that hook them. They motivate them to click the ‘buy button’. Successful brands should find the wants of their target audience and swiftly put an offer before their competitors take them over. Remember that in such cases price may not have a role to play in the decision-making process.

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