Consumer Needs and Wants

Consumer Needs and Wants
Needs and wants of a consumer are infinite. A person achieves his needs and wants by an identified process. Needs of a person are crystallized as wants and in order to fulfill wants, a person takes some actions. As a result of the actions taken, wants of a person are satisfied. This process is not a linear process, it is cyclical in nature, because as soon as one want is satisfied another crops up and the whole process is repeated again. There are some basic needs which are physiologically based and are unlearned. A person fulfills such needs without any influence from external factors or any intrigue; therefore marketing techniques are not required for such needs. While needs and wants which are learned and not physiologically based, are shaped by marketing.
Needs, wants and demands of people are often not very clear and easy to satisfy, and differ from person to person (McKinley, p. 7). A person is sometimes not aware of his exact needs and wants. This mostly happens in higher level needs, which include luxurious objects. Marketing can be used to make it clear for people by making them aware about the features of a product and its uses. Marketing creates an imagination and idea about a product in minds of people which eventually turns into a want for that product and ultimately a person starts taking actions to achieve that want.

Marketing has an important role to play in shaping consumer’s needs and wants. Whenever some new technological gadget or product arrives in the market, marketing strategies come in to play. People never long for something they are not aware of. Marketing makes them aware about the product, its features and attributes. Thus marketing creates an expectation among consumers regarding the new product. Baker Michael defines this process in his book ‘Product Strategy and Management’ as ‘commercialization.’ It is a pre-planned and formal process which is conducted before the launch of a new product, in order to create expectations among the consumers.

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Commercialization is observed in case of launch of any new product in the market, specially, whenever a new telecom company enters the market, initially it goes through months of marketing and commercialization process, and ultimately when it launches its services, people are already aware about it and it leads to the success and stability of the new company. Another example might be of the recent launch and success of Apple’s iPad. Their commercialization strategies were a direct success because of the factor of innovation in their new product. According to an analysis by Vertygo Team, success of iPad was backed up by a complex strategy. Apple initially launched iPad in a limited territory and for a limited time, while everyone else in other territories looked forward to it. When the expectation reached its highest level, iPad was launched in other parts of the world with varied prices in accordance with its varied features.

Commercialization has always been a useful tool for success of a new product. It is used to create expectations among consumers regarding a new product and it leads to the success of the product and long-term stability of the company. Marketing tools shape the needs and wants of consumers, specifically those which are not physiologically based and are unlearned.


Baker, Michael. Product Strategy and Management, Second Edition. India: Pearson Education India.
McKinlay, Irma. (2007). Marketing, First Edition. South Africa: Pearson Education South Africa.
Vertygo Team. iPad Marketing Strategy. Retrieved August 22, 2010 from

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