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The Age Old Marketing Question – Want vs. Need

​A need is the requiring of something because it is essential or very important. A want is a desire to posses, do something, or wish for. Necessity or misplaced desires can turn a want into a need. People have many needs to survive. However, people often will reassign a want as a need to prioritize on the list of things that are essential to survival.

A need is the requiring of something because it is essential or very important. A want is a desire to posses, do something, or wish for. Necessity or misplaced desires can turn a want into a need. People have many needs to survive. However, people often will reassign a want as a need to prioritize on the list of things that are essential to survival.

An example of a want becoming a need is someone who is contemplating buying a new car. Picture that you are sitting in an auto
repair shop, you’re worried that the bill is going to be exorbitant. You discuss the possibility of getting a new car, after all you want a new car. The mechanic appears with a list of items that need to be repaired for the car to be safe again… $1,200! You say: “My god, I really need a new car, this car continues to break down on me.” So now that want for something has become a need.

With that being said you wonder, when does a want become a need? Imagine watching television and seeing an advertisement for a
furniture company, you see a sofa and love seat that are really nice and priced well, it gets you thinking, “That would look nice in my home!” (Hence starting the idea of a want) Next day you walk into your home, and see a your current furniture and its not as nice as you once thought it was, with every day you walk in an look at your furniture, more and more you see that commercial the want for new furniture becomes a need! The desire quickly turns it being an essential part of your life.

The human condition can easily turn a want into a need. We need air, water and food to exist, we cannot sit around wanting them. Yet diamond earrings, new cars, or an iPhone as much as we may want them our existence can go on if we don’t have them! We convert a want to a need to legitimize its reclassification into a priority in our lives.

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