Needs Wants and Demands: Marketing Concept

Needs, wants and demands are a basic part of the marketing principles. On the surface, these three words look like simple, easy to answer concepts.

Though, it’s a primary method to answer the timeless question “what do customers want?”.

Let’s look a bit deeper.

Needs, wants and demands play a vital role in terms of marketing management. It becomes easier to deal with monotonous problems, related to marketing.

What’s the core idea of this strategy? Needs, wants and demands help us build a strong relationship with the consumer.

In other words, understanding this concept is vital for your business’ success.

Needs Wants and Demands: Marketing Concept

To begin with, needs, wants and demands are tied. We, humans, have infinite wants and demands.

When the feeling of deprivation emerges and our mind requires something, we call it needs. Now, let’s have an in-depth discussion about all three of them.


The easiest explanation of the concept “needs” is the basic human requirements like shelter, clothe, food, water, etc.

These are essential for human beings to survive.

If we take the topic further, other needs are education, healthcare, insurance, pension, etc.

Basically, things that we can associate with “needs” don’t require a boost because these are the products and services people always buy (for example, people who are into home security, always purchase Arlo or Arlo Pro Security Cameras).

Though, don’t feel relieved if you’re planning to promote a product or a service that falls under the “needs” category.

In the 21st century, thousands of brands are promoting the same products and services from the needs category.

In other words, there are thousands of competitors trying to sell the same things you are.

In addition, needs aren’t only physical. Needs can be a social thing, for example, social class, belonging to a certain society and need of self-expression.


This is quite different from needs.

Wants aren’t permanent and it regularly changes.

As time passes, people and location change, wants change accordingly.

Wants aren’t essential for humans to survive, but it’s associated with needs.

For example, if we always manage to satisfy our wants, it transforms into a need.

Psst… Here’s An Illustration of Needs, Wants and Demands

Illustration of Needs, Wants and Demands


For instance, iPhone, CD player, dryer, eating out, Coca-Cola, big screen TV, satellite, Starbucks Coffee.

To summarize this concept, let’s say wants are shaped by one’s society and surroundings. When, you have the desire to purchase a product that isn’t essential for your survival.

Simply put, A want is a product desired by a customer that is not required for us to survive. So, want is the complete opposite of need, which is essential for our survival.

Today, majority of products desired by customers can be classified as a “want”.


Because, for most people, the only needs are shelter, water, food and clothe.


Let’s discard the boring explanation process and start with an example.

There are two options, you either buy a Samsung’s or Apple’s product.

Though, the prices are really different. The Samsung’s phone costs $150 and the Apple’s iPhone $780.

We’d prefer to purchase the Apple product, but the question is, can we?

If we, financially, are strong enough and can allow ourselves to buy a $780 iPhone, it means that we’ve transformed our want/need into a demand.

So, the key difference between wants and demand is desire. Consequently, for people, who can afford a desirable product are transforming their wants into demands.

In other words, if a customer is willing and able to buy a need or a want, it means that they have a demand for that need or a want.

Bottom Line

To say it frankly, needs wants and demands are an essential component of a marketing strategy. It helps the marketing department to decide, whether a product effectively sells or not.

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