• Georgie Plant

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The interesting theory of the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ allowed me to look further into how that has subtle become the basis for how many people approach their lives and how they are motivated to make certain choices.

One thing I noticed about the Hierarchy and the levels within that was how similar it was to the average life-cycle of a person. People's needs change as they grow older and priorities often become more or less, depending on their stage in life. For example, Physiological Needs such as Air, Food, Shelter and Sleep are priorities normally associated with babies or small children. The thing they need the most in the early stages of life, are the basis for survival and to continue to grow. Safety Needs and Love and Belonging come through late childhood into the teens come as priorities change to developing friendships, protection, connections with family and what the next step will be when it comes to adulthood. More developed priorities like Esteem and Self-Actualisation comes from a person’s desire to establish themselves as someone worthy in other people's eyes, curating their lives in order to be the best person, whether that be in social circles or professional ones. If you look at the Hierarchy through this perspective, you see much of how people's needs change as they grow older, and then naturally become simpler. Exactly how the pyramid is laid out.

The main takeaway could be yes, that people's needs and desires develop with age along with societal demands, but it could also be that Self-Actualisation, is the goal for everyone to achieve, and that all the below factors are goals to be achieved in order to reach a higher or enlightened state. Many people say they can't wait to grow up’ maybe because it will allow them to reach the desire of who they want to be and the most they can possibly be. That can mean different things to different people, so self-actualisation can be down to the individual, at some point in their life, taking stock of what has happened to them so far, maybe through career or through family and being content with who they are now.

But how does that relate to marketing? Well, this theory can directly link to the relationship with brands and consumers. Brands can market a product, focusing on how it can help a consumer achieve a particular level. It could give the consumer much needed esteem, making them feel more confident or elevate their status. Or it could be simply just to meet the basic physiological needs, giving them the ability to sleep better, procreate or feed themselves. From what I can see from this theory, it’s the perfect way to capitalize on the basic needs of a consumer, meaning the chances of failure when it comes to selling a product or a service, is extremely limited. Everyone has specific needs that can be translated into this theory, so it creates an already established relationship between the brand and its consumer.

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