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Consumer Motivation Essay

2432 words - 10 pages

Consumer Motivation - SUMMARY

Motivation is the driving force within individuals that impels them to action. This driving force is produced by a state of uncomfortable tension, which exists as the result of an unsatisfied need. All individuals have needs, wants, and desires. The individual’s subconscious drive to reduce need-induced tensions results in behavior that he or she anticipates will satisfy needs and thus bring about a more comfortable internal state. Motivation can be either positive or negative.

Innate needs—those an individual is born with—are physiological (biogenic) in nature; they include all the factors required to sustain physical life (e.g., food, water, clothing, ...view middle of the document...

As needs become satisfied, new, higher-order needs emerge that must be fulfilled.

Failure to achieve a goal often results in feelings of frustration. Individuals react to frustration in two ways: “fight” or “flight.” They may cope by finding a way around the obstacle that prohibits goal attainment or by adopting a substitute goal (fight); or they may adopt a defense mechanism that enables them to protect their self-esteem (flight). Defense mechanisms include aggression, regression, rationalization, withdrawal, projection, daydreaming, identification, and repression.

Motives cannot easily be inferred from consumer behavior. People with different needs may seek fulfillment through selection of the same goals; people with the same needs may seek fulfillment through different goals. Although some psychologists have suggested that individuals have different need priorities, others believe that most human beings experience the same basic needs, to which they assign a similar priority ranking. Maslow’s hierarchy-of-needs theory proposes five levels of human needs: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, egoistic needs, and self-actualization needs. Other needs widely integrated into consumer advertising include the needs for power, affiliation, and achievement.

There are self-reported and qualitative methods for identifying and “measuring” human motives, and researchers use these techniques in tandem to assess the presence or strength of consumer motives. Motivational research and its current extended form (commonly referred to as “qualitative research”), seeks to delve below the consumer’s level of conscious awareness, and to identify underlying needs and motives. Moreover, quantitative research has proved to be of value to marketers in developing new ideas and advertising copy appeals.

1. Human needs—consumer needs are the basis of all modern marketing.
a) Needs are the essence of the marketing concept.
b) The key to a company’s survival, profitability, and growth in a highly competitive marketing environment is its ability to identify and satisfy unfulfilled consumer needs better and sooner than the competition.
2. Marketers do not create needs, although in many instances they may make consumers more keenly aware of unfelt or dormant needs.
3. Savvy companies define their business in terms of the consumer needs they satisfy rather than the products they produce and sell.
4. Because consumers’ basic needs do not change but the products that satisfy them do, a corporate focus on developing products that will satisfy consumers’ needs ensures that the company stays in the forefront of the search for new and effective solutions.
A. Discuss the statement “marketers don’t create needs; needs pre-exist marketers.” Can marketing efforts change consumers’ needs? Why or why not? Can marketing efforts arouse consumer needs? If yes, how?

1. Every individual has needs; some...

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