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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
19/10/2020

Relevant, insightful and powerful – time to dust off Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Remember Fox’s Glacier mints, lime cordial and the overuse of PowerPoint animations? There was a time when every marketing course, business conference and training day incorporated all three.

And alongside these, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs would resurface – an aesthetically pleasing pyramid model accompanied by the standard discussion of its merits, with a scheduled finish of 11 am for Marmitey coffee and Danish pastries.

But nearly 80 years on, Maslow’s explanation of human behavioural psychology is more than just a model – it’s a meaningful, relevant business tool that resonates more with creatives, brand managers and marketers than ever before.

Appreciate its value, and your business will become more responsive, more adaptable and more in tune with your customers and buyer personas.

The essence of Maslow’s ideas Maslow, an American psychologist and human behaviour specialist, created his Hierarchy of Needs in 1943 to illustrate the connection between basic human needs and human desires.

In other words, what do humans need to be happy?

According to Maslow, only once we meet our most basic needs can we move up the hierarchy and focus on satisfying our next most pressing need. It’s a systematic progression through 5 levels, from physiological needs to self-actualisation:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for measuring customer needs- Self-actualisation: Our desire to become the best we can be. It’s what Maslow believed humans ultimately strive for.

Esteem: Primarily self-respect, respect for others, confidence and a sense of achievement, or value.

Social: These included our need for love, friendship, community and relationships.

Safety: This is our need for personal safety, health and financial security - emotive drivers in any decision-making process.

Physiological: These included oxygen, food, water, and sleep. Without these, we would struggle to function.

Sometimes, it all feels a bit dated – and rigid. For example, an academic can be a recognised expert in her field (therefore reaching self-actualisation) but might live alone, on a low income, therefore struggling to satisfy her more basic needs.

But for businesses, Maslow’s Hierarchy is a valuable tool that explores what it means to be in tune with the ‘consumer’.

For more information on  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs  talk to  Vision One Research

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