Abstract 1 Introduction 2 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Consumer Motivation 2 Conclusion and Recommendations 12 Footnotes 14 Bibliography 16
List of Tables and Illustrations
Table 1 17 Table 2 18 Illustration 1 19 Illustration 2 19
Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs is useful for advertisers because it helps describe the motivations that consumers have when they buy certain products or services. Evidence from various studies shows that there is indeed a link between the motivations of consumers and the hierarchical ranking of needs found in Maslow's theory. Advertisers have found it particularly useful to appeal to "higher" needs (such as status or social belonging), even when making pitches for items relating to the "basic" needs (such as food or clothing). Maslow's theory has also been found helpful in creating methods for segmenting markets; in other words, consumers can be ranked according to their lifestyle characteristics, which are in turn derived from Maslow's views on the needs that motivate people. Although Maslow did not explicit discuss the topic, it has also been found that "fun" is an important consumer motivation, and advertisers need to take this factor into account along with the other motivational needs.
This paper will be concerned with Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and how it relates to the needs of consumers. It will be seen that people are often motivated to make purchases because of their desire to fulfill the types of needs identified by Maslow. Because of this, it is important for advertisers to make use of Maslow's theory of human needs when developing their campaigns. Various aspects of this topic will be covered in this paper, and the conclusion will include recommendations based on the findings of the research. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Consumer Motivation
In his 1954 book Motivation and Personality, Abraham Maslow introduced his theory of the hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, the basic needs that all human beings share can be seen as forming the shape of a pyramid, with the most basic and fundamental needs at the bottom and the more refined, "higher" needs at the top. At the lowest rung of the pyramid, we find the physiological needs, which include such things as the fulfillment of hunger and thirst and the obtaining of shelter. The second level consists of safety needs, such as "needs for a home in a secure environment and a stable job."1 The third rung on the hierarchy is concerned with social needs, such as the desire for belonging. The fourth level is where we find esteem needs, which include desires for recognition and status. The fifth and topmost level of the hierarchy is concerned with self-actualization needs; people at this level are motivated by such things as a desire for creativity and self-development. People can experience desires from the different levels of the hierarchy at the same time. However, it is generally understand that people tend to satisfy their lower needs first, and then work their way up to the higher levels. As noted by Merrill Cassell, the lower needs are described as "deficiency needs." Once those needs are satisfied, a person can move on to the higher "growth needs." As outlined by Maslow, the four growth needs, which are found alongside "self-actualization" at the top of the needs pyramid, are: cognitive needs (to know, understand and explore); aesthetic needs (symmetry, order and beauty); self-actualization needs (to find...