Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is an important concept which helps us understand consumer’s perceptions. Maslow created his triangular diagram with the most basic human needs at the foundation and the least vital needs at the top. From bottom to top these requirements include: Psychological, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Self-Actualization needs (concept described on p.143 of the text). Marketers are able to take advantage of the logic behind human needs described by Maslow. Advertisements such as the following for Gatorade present products in ways that appeal to the unique needs of each consumer who perceive the ads in a slightly different way.

Looking at the Gatorade ad, the creators have chosen to use a modified version (for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games) of their classic theme incorporating an athlete and a visual of Gatorade. At the most simplistic level this sports drink can be classified as a Psychological need to satisfy thirst. The ad depicts Gatorade not just as a drink but as “fuel” implying how essential it is. However, the primary need the ad focuses on is Esteem as consumers desire Gatorade so they can obtain the status of a premier athlete (in this case an Olympian) and stay on top of their game. Aside from feeling recognized as world-class athletes, Social needs are also represented since consumers can feel part of a team just like the pros when they are drinking Gatorade. They feel a sense of belonging to a talented group.

Ashley Russell, Section E

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