Buyer Motivation

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Motivation is both a psychological and physiological process. Individual behavior is directly correlated with motivation. There are two levels of motivation: one is to satisfy basic physiological needs, such as oxygen, food and water. The second level of motivation involves satisfying psychological needs. This second level is satisfied only after the first level is satisfied. These individual needs, both psychological and physiological, combined with group influences, shape customer perceptions and buying motives.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

According to Abraham Maslow, basic human needs are arranged in a hierarchy according to their strength. Physiological needs are placed at the bottom of the pyramid. Physiological needs, sometimes called primary needs, are basic needs (hunger, thirst, shelter, and so forth), which tend to be very strong in the minds of most people. As basic needs are met, a person seeks to satisfy higher needs, such as, security, social, esteem and self-actualization. Security needs represent our desire to be free from danger. Desire to satisfy this need may motivate people to purchase burglar alarm systems, smoke alarms, medical and life insurance, traveler's checks, and so forth. Social needs reflect the desire for friendship, companionship, and long-term business relationships. Customers want to be treated as partners. Esteem needs reflect the desire to feel worthy, competent, or adequate in the eves of others. Customers want salespeople or organizations to involve them in the transaction. Self-actualization needs refer to the need for self-fulfillment, a full tapping of one's potential. These are the highest-level needs on the hierarchy.

Motivation & Buyer Behavior

According to Jerry Thomas, “Motivational research seeks to discover and comprehend what consumers do not fully understand about themselves. Implicitly, motivational research assumes the...
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