Before creating products or services, most brands previously analyze the needs of the market, and according to the needs studied, they try to develop a solution to be able to satisfy people’s desires.
Once the product or service is obtained, the strategists who are behind the impulse of the product must know in greater depth the needs, in order to create messages, campaigns and develop an experience that can attract and sell what the company offers a solution.
Origin of Maslow’s pyramid
The Pyramid was created by Abraham Maslow in his work “A theory about human motivation”, in 1943, where this psychological concept seeks to understand how the actions that people take are linked to satisfy a need.
What is Maslow’s pyramid?
The pyramid can be defined as standardization of human action versus the need, said need, they are classified by 5 levels in a hierarchical way, where each of them is located at a particular level and are related to each other.
In the 5 levels, it starts from the base, which goes with the primary or basic needs of a human being, related to survival such as sleeping, eating, reproducing, …, and little by a little while ascending the desires will be understood in greater depth hidden that each person has.
Use of Maslow’s pyramid
The pyramid can be used from understanding the target market to hiring members of work teams, analyzing what they aspire to, and being motivated to follow and strive within their environment.
Within the world of marketing and advertising, the pyramid is used from product development, to really understanding the needs of consumers or customers, and thus developing a message or a graphic piece that is capable of transmitting the message that the person wants to hear. and that they feel that the company understands them and will offer a solution to their need.
The 5 levels of needs
As previously commented, the pyramid consists of 5 levels, each of which defines a particular need, they will be presented from the first level, which is the base level, to the last level:
- Physiological: the first level focuses on meeting basic survival needs, such as food, reproduction, among others.
- Security: the second level is related to the security of the person, who does not threaten his life, growth.
- Affiliation: the third level, focuses on emotions and interpersonal relationships, in short, it focuses on how to adapt to society and be part of it.
- Recognition: the fourth level focuses on self and environment recognition, making you feel accepted, with confidence, all of this raising your self-esteem.
- Self-actualization: the last level is directly related to personal growth.
As you can see, the 5 levels are related to each other, if the most basic needs are not met, it will be difficult for the person to show their full capacity. We will know in detail each level and how it is applied within marketing.
Here the fundamental biological processes are focused in the foreground, such as sleeping, eating, shelter, reproduction, …, this being the base of the pyramid, if the person cannot cover it, the other needs go to the background.
Marketing perspective: one of the first activities that the team must carry out is to define the target audience, and to understand how the product or service that was created, manages to cover a need or create a need, however, the areas that it manages to enter and cover Physiological needs are related to necessities (food), electricity, water, gas services (services offered by government entities and private alternative energy companies), housing (real estate or real state companies).
This level focuses on personal safety needs, and obtaining a space where it protects us and being able to cover the basic needs of the family, for it is necessary to work and offer stability, protection, and safeguard their personal and professional spaces.
Marketing perspective: to cover security needs, this includes physical security, job stability, sources of income, and constant resources to meet the needs, offer security and family stability, and maintain health.
Here enter the pharmaceutical companies, social security, personal protection and security, security systems, personal training, among others. And at the advertising and marketing level, it should focus on providing the feeling of trust, security, credibility, healthy, and profitability.
Once the two basic levels are satisfied, people begin to analyze and yearn to strengthen their interpersonal relationships, and take part in the social environment, according to the tastes and personalities of each person. Here it plays a fundamental role in emotional ties and empathy towards others.
Marketing perspective: many of the products or services offered in the current market it is necessary to cover this level, and in the creation of content, on many occasions, it looks for a way to develop empathetic, effective, sincere, and human content, at this point it is You can remember the 95 statements from the Cluetrain manifesto.
Brands also focus on creating a collective space, belonging to a social community, here comes the social networks, forums, or groups that share a taste, emotion, hobbies in particular.
Part of the advertising and marketing, looks for the way in its messages or audiovisual content, to recreate the yearning or experiences they have experienced, such as raising a family, participating in school activities, being a member of an activity club, co-workers or brotherhood. All this allows us to reinforce emotional ties with each person we want to connect with.
The fourth level focuses on personal recognition and our social environment, this allows us to strengthen self-esteem and personal achievement, it allows us to reinforce self-confidence.
It is one of the levels where the person struggles most of his life (in youth) to feel that he has achieved his goals in life and that he has left a mark on the world.
According to Maslow, there are two levels:
- Lower: that focuses on status, fame, reputation, honor, recognition, attention, and distinction.
- Superior: confidence, growth, conquest, prestige, and freedom.
Marketing perspective: this applies to certain products or services of the brands, for example, the Apple brand provides the feeling of power and confidence, and therefore the person who owns its products allows to strengthen self-esteem and prestige. Many luxury brands sell the prestige and recognition that people seek.
And in most of their messages and advertising, they focus on selling the lifestyle with personalities that project an attitude that shows confidence and conquest. This allows advertising consumers to crave.
This last and high level focuses on personal and professional development, seeking the meaning and purpose of life, in a few words, it seeks a way to achieve happiness and fulfillment.
On many occasions, people look for the reason for being, and what they can achieve in life, that is, to seek the goal of their life.
Marketing perspective: some brands are looking for a way to sell perfect happiness, with important achievements, allowing them to achieve their reason for being, therefore, the messages that you want to project in advertising and content, are more towards happiness in the medium or long term.
The brand or company creates needs
People’s needs exist and every day they work to satisfy them, however, some needs can be created and introduced into the person’s mind, as if that need existed and that it is part of them. And if it cannot fulfill it, the person feels incomplete, this happens with fast Fashion clothing brands.
At this point, not all brands know how to create needs, to achieve this, it is necessary to know in detail the target audience, and how it can be introduced into their life. Therefore, some brands use relevant personalities or influencers to convey the need. And at this point, it is tested whether the actions of consumers are based on the true needs or impulse to buy the product.
Maslow’s pyramid gives a general vision of what needs a person wants to cover, however, today’s society has a different perspective of the priority of a need and this can influence, therefore, sometimes it is not necessary to cover 100% of the first levels and aspire needs for recognition and self-realization.
Therefore, for the development of communication and strategies, it is necessary to focus on how to express empathically towards the target audience and depending on the product and services offered by the company.
Boeree, George. (2003). Theories of personality, by Abraham Maslow. Translation: Rafael Gautier.