How Brand Strategy Influences the Need Vs. Want Mentality
In order to successfully brand a product, it is important to understand the difference between want and need. All too often, companies make the mistake of assuming that what customers want is what they need. However, this is not always the case.
Wants are typically luxuries that people can either afford because they have the disposal income or people just want something because it makes them feel good. Sometimes people just want something because other's have it. This part of the want is called mimetic desire.
Conversely, a need is something we should have for basic and necessary care such as food, clothing, shelter and good health.
Convincing customers that they need a product is more difficult than just appealing to their wants.
Wants are based on emotion while needs are based on practicality.
In order to convince customers that they need a product, marketers must use persuasive techniques that focus on the benefits of the product rather than the features. It's not about what the product does, but what it can do for the customer.
When it comes to convincing customers that they need your product, it's all about understanding the difference between want and need. Your customers may not always be aware of what they need, but they definitely know what they want. As a brand, it's your job to bridge that gap and show them how your product can solve their problem.
However, there's another level to this distinction that’s often overlooked: demands. Demands are needs that have been raised to such a high level that they've become wants. In order to meet the demands of their customers, brands need to create a brand strategy that goes beyond just satisfying needs or wants.
So, what influences the difference between needs and wants, and how do brands go about meeting the demands of their customers?
There are a few key factors:
- Price: The price of a product or service can play a role in whether it's considered a need or a want. If something is seen as too expensive, it may be seen as a want, even if it's something the customer needs.
- Availability: If a customer can't easily find a product or service, they may see it as a want, even if they need it. This is why brands that are available in multiple channels, such as online and in store, tend to be more successful.
- Perception: The way a customer perceives a product or service can also influence whether it’s considered a need or a want. For example, a customer may see a basic necessity like food as a need, while they may see a luxury item like a vacation as a want.
- Influence: Remember the mimetic desire? The influence of others can also play a role in whether something is considered a need or want. If friends or family members are talking about how great a product or service is, it may increase the chances that the customer will see it as a want and a need.
Brands need to be aware of all of these factors when creating their brand strategy. Meeting the demands of customers requires more than just satisfying needs and wants; it requires understanding what drives those decisions and catering to those desires. By doing so, brands can create a strategy that goes beyond the basics and meets the needs of their customers in a way that's unique to their business.
Of course, this is easier said than done. It takes a lot of research and careful planning to create a brand strategy that resonates with customers on both an emotional and practical level. But when you get it right, the results can be truly amazing.
Here are a few tips to kickstart your branding strategy:
1. Do your research.
Before you can even begin to think about how to convince customers that they need your product, you need to understand what they want and why they need it. This requires doing some in-depth research to define your target market and buyer persona. Your goal is to gain an accurate identification of their pain points, and what kind of solutions they're already using. Think about why your customers really need your product or service rather than just want your product or service.
2. Find the right balance.
Your brand strategy should focus on both the emotional and rational needs of your customers. On the one hand, you need to tap into their emotions and show them how your product can make them feel. But you also need to appeal to their rational side by showing them how your product can solve their problem. This is where your marketing strategy kicks in. It's a tricky balance to strike, but it's important to remember that both emotional and rational appeals are necessary in order to persuade customers that they need your product. Branding is about appealing to emotions. Marketing is about moving buyers to take action.
3. Use stories and testimonials to show how your product solves problems.
One of the best ways to convince customers that they need your product is to show them how it has helped others just like them. Stories and testimonials are powerful tools that can help you do this. They show customers that your product is capable of solving real problems and making a difference in people's lives. This is the kind of persuasive content that can really make a difference in whether or not customers decide to buy from you.
4. Focus on the customer, not the product.
At the end of the day, customers don't care about your product nearly as much as they care about themselves. They want to know how your product is going to make their life better, easier, or more enjoyable. Your brand strategy should include a framework the illustrates how customers will perceive your product through storytelling, how your product will improve their life, and why you are the right company to purchase this product from. Consider the customer journey: from a customer's awareness of your product, their education about your company and product, their buying experience, user experience through training and customer support. Brands that focus on the customer first are the ones that succeed in convincing customers that they need their product.
5. Create a narrative-based marketing message backed by data.
You don't want to come across as too sales-y or pushy, but you also need to make sure that your brand is relevant, impactful, and necessary. The key is to find a balance between being helpful and being promotional. Create the NEED by uncovering key benefits and practical data, if available, that proves your product's value and makes it essential in improving your customer's life. What can your product do for your customer? How will it make their life better?
Cement the WANT by making it easy to find and buy your product. Be sure to include a call to action so they know how to get in touch with you when they're ready to buy.
About Lisa Silverman: Silverman is principal of Brand-Device, LLC. As a senior account director, branding and content strategist for over 30 years, Silverman has stewarded regional and global brands with an unparalleled skill set and a proven record of success in team leadership, driving growth strategy, executing marketing communication plans and creating billions of dollars in ROI for healthcare and financial clients.