False Needs Analysis

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MBM 401 assigment 1
Consumer Behavior: false needs

Qianqian He S126451
Vytautas Kubolis S126452
Ziyin Qin S126453

27.Sept.2012

Definition of false needs
Hoyer and Macinnis define the need as an internal state of tension caused by disequilibrium from an ideal/desired physical or psychological state. This tension leads to some outcomes that are necessary to serve the need. In other perspective, needs lead to certain goals which can be described as an outcome that one would like to achieve. It is hard to distinguish needs from wants because the line between these two is not clear. In order to survive, humans only need a certain amount of products and services or basic needs, whereas everything else could be defined as a want. However, depending on different social, economic and cultural status and personal beliefs, values, lifestyle the needs can differ as the importance of other than basic needs increases. What is more, different goals might be set in order to satisfy the same needs and different products or services might represent the same need. With the development of marketing, the “seller's market” has transferred to “buyer's market”. In old days, customers’ needs decided what the market looks like; however, nowadays, large proportion of market is organized by the marketers. In brief, it’s “customers should buy what we offered”. As a result, false needs appear. Marcuse describes false needs as, “needs that are superimposed upon the individual by particular social interests in his repression: the needs that perpetuate toil, aggressiveness, misery, and injustice” (Marcuse 5). He hold the critical views that the satisfaction of false needs might make the individual “euphoria in unhappiness” since the needs are predetermined and controlled by external forces but rather imposed upon him/her as satisfactory. False needs form in the shadows, when customers are not really conscious of the process. Marketers creating false needs and selling the products those consumers actually do not need. That because the needs are objects of desire. From another aspect, as goals can be divided into concrete goals or abstract goals, it may approve opportunities to marketers to create false needs. Abstract goal of customers can be “healthy body” or “happy life”, which are not concrete goals or needs to pursue certain things. In that case, marketers have chances to offer them products which they consider can be used to achieve their abstract goals. In fact, sometimes the products don’t work or even the goals are impossible to reach. The false needs products are always communicated or advertised in a rhetorical excess way that contributes them to be necessities rather than just wishes to own them. In many cases, they are described as they would serve particular needs, but they actually do not. Types of false needs

Needs could be categorized as physiological, safety, social, egoistic, and self-actualization needs. Another way to categorize is social and nonsocial (according to relation to other individuals) or as functional (solves consumption-related problems), symbolic (related to sense of self) and hedonic (related to stimuli). False needs exist in every type of them. Physiological needs are the basic needs of an individual that are needed in order for him/her to survive. But functional food is a specific need, it is a food where a new ingredient(s) has been added to a food and the new product has an additional function (often one related to health-promotion or disease prevention). Although, most customers can get enough vitamins, minerals and other elements through the food and even overconsumption of them might lead to various diseases. These products are advertised so heavy, that people actually start to think about them as a part of their physiological needs, and then it becomes a necessity (a need for dietary supplements). In another word, functional food is a kind of psychological suggestion, and the need of them is a false...
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