How Our Needs And Wants Changing Over Time

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The basic principle of marketing is need, want, and demand. Actually, those three factors are the focus of marketing management. However, peoples need, wants are changing over time and marketers have to adapt to those changes to meet people’s expectations. To meet the customer expectation, marketers must have to know how peoples need and want change, which factors change people’s expectations, how can we fulfil their demand. How personal and social life influence need and want. About forty years ago peoples need was limited but in this age of science and technology, peoples expectancy become unlimited. I will discuss how peoples need and want to change over time and what the factors influencing it. We all have some basic needs, which is compulsory to fulfil to survive, but as much as we achieve we want more. Maslow explained our need categorically to understand the current position of individuals.

What is the need? The concept of need is the basic requirement of humans to survive. The essential components like food, water, cloths air etc. need dose vary by peoples preference, it is already there, Even almost, we are doing everything in the world to fulfil our need.

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What is want: Want is quite different than need its change according to time, location, age, gender etc. Want is kind of a result of the need for example you need food to live, you can eat anything to survive but you choose a burger, the burger is your want.

Want to vary by peoples preference their likes and dislikes, want is the result of need. If there is no need that means there is no want.

Levels of needs: According to Maslow, need hierarchy there is five-stage of needs. I will discuss each stage and how it is changing over time.

There are five basic need of humans, need in the lower down must be satisfied before archive higher one. The five needs are Physiological needs, Safety needs, Belongingness and love needs, Esteem needs, Self-actualization. I discuses one after detailed and give example how our need is changing. Maslow first announced his concept of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’ and his successive book Motivation and Personality. This hierarchy proposes that people are motivated to satisfy basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs.

While some of the current schools of thought at the time (such as psychoanalysis and behaviourism) tended to focus on difficult behaviours, Maslow was much more attracted in learning about what makes people happy and the things that they do to accomplish that aim.

As a humanist, Maslow believed that people have a natural wish to be self-actualized, that is, to be all they can be. In order to attain these ultimate goals, however, a number of more basic needs must be met such as the need for food, safety, love, and self-esteem.

Physiological Needs: Physiological needs includes the essential components for us to survive. For example food, water, air, clothes etc. Maslow also includes sex as a physiological need. Apparently, our physiological need are still the same because we need food water etc. but to fulfil our needs we choose different options.

For example we all have different types of tests over food. Today we can choose different types of food to eat when we are hungry. Our food test is changing because we have available options. Before we use to have limited option, but now food industry has been diversified. They are fulfilling our need with different alternatives and we choose what we want to satisfy our need.

There are many influencer, which is changing our physiological needs. Age, culture, location, awareness, habit, religion, health etc. are main factors. People are more aware with their health and healthy food is now became a trend. Peoples now want to know what they are eating or drinking, how much calories, and carbo hydrate they are taking. Here we can give an example of coca cola. Coke is the most popular soft drink in the world; in early of 80s, the marketing department of coca cola realize that peoples are being more aware about their health. They does not want extra calories to be healthy. In 1982, coca cola introduce diet coke to target those customers and it was a successful project. However, the main point is we created the need of diet coke and coca cola just followed it to satisfy our need. This is how our physiological needs change according with time.

Safety and security needs: As we move up of Maslow’s hierarchy, our needs become more complex. In this stage, people want control and order in their life, they want safe shelter, financial safety, safety from unwanted situations. For example: life insurance, health insurance, secure job, social safety etc.

Our safety need has been changing because of recession, war, increasing crime, less job security, different type of disease etc. In recent 20 years peoples are became more aware for their safety, and that is why we needed safety equipment, jobs in recognize company, secure house etc.

For example: In 2008 lots of people lose their job because of recession, we had a hard time during those years. In a research found that European peoples are becoming more financial safety aware after 2008 recession. They are saving their money for any unwanted situation and banks are providing good interest rate for long-term deposit but people are choosing that financial organization, who were not bank corrupt during 2008. The point here is we created the need of savings account with good interest. However, in terms of saving money we are choosing our trusted organizations, whom we think can insure our financial safety. Therefore, because of this experience our need and want has been changed.

Social need: Social need includes love, belongingness, acceptance, friendship etc. emotional relationship changes human behaviour, we follow some people we love or admire ant that’s change our need and want from the society. Humans are social animal; we love to connect with each other to make our self-batter. We can give an example of Facebook here, as human our need is social connection and interaction with each other but how we will engage with other peoples its depends on was. About hundred years ago, people use to write latter for social interaction or maybe visit their home, mostly people use to interact with those people they know. However, today internet changes everything, we want know those people who does not even exist in our life. Facebook changed the structure of social gathering, now we know what our friends and family doing by their post or massages. Technology changed our social need as well as our want; we can reach anyone any time any ware. We can choose the medium of communication, social needs now more depends on social media and internet.

Esteem need: Esteem need includes respect and appreciation, in this stage people want to accomplish something. They want be recognized and valued by the society, Involvement in qualified activities, academic accomplishments, athletic or team contribution, and personal hobbies can all play a role in satisfying the esteem needs. As it is hard to achieve, esteem need has not changed much over time. Now peoples are more interconnected with each other and they want to let peoples know their accomplishments to satisfy their esteem need. We can give an example of Donald trump, as he is the most powerful person in the world, he want to show people that he can do whatever he want and also he want recognition of his accomplishment.

A very little amount of people can reach and satisfy their esteem need but people also choose the way in which way they want to be recognized. Famous peoples has different medium to fulfil their esteem need, some people maybe want a national award or some people want chirrup from mass people, however our esteem need is mostly similar as it was.

Self-Actualization Needs: At the very top of Maslow’s hierarchy are the self-actualization needs. ‘What a man can be, he must be,’ Maslow give details, referring to the need people have to attain their full possible as human beings. According to Maslow’s definition of self-actualization: “It may be loosely described as the full use and exploitation of talents, capabilities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and to be doing the best that they are capable of doing. They are people who have developed or are developing to the full stature of which they capable.’ Self-actualizing people are self-aware, concerned with personal development, less worried with the opinions of others, and interested fulfilling their probable. May be one per cent of the people in the world can reach and fulfil this need.


The first three level of Maslow heroically; we can see that it is constantly changing over time but upper level need has not changed as much. I tried to explain all the terms with example to visualize how our needs drive us to want. Our needs and wants are changing as our surrounding environment is changing. Multinational companies are coming with new ideas to fulfil our need, want, demand. We always feel motivated to rich upper level of need when we achieve the lower one. Most of the people spend their life to achieve esteem and self-actualization need, but now we are closer to it. Maybe after hundred year maximum people will rich the pick and there will be a new type of need and wants, which people will run after it to achieve.


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