The distinction between customer needs and desires, and why it matters 

It might not exactly be “news” that a business seeking to make the right impact with its target audiences needs to place those target audiences – its would-be customers – front and centre in its priorities, if it is to achieve sustained custom, growth, and success. 

However, there are still all too many organisations that invest considerable time and resources into the collection of customer data, and the assembly of a skilled marketing team, while still not truly understanding their target customers’ needs, and how they can create compelling emotional connections with those customers. 

This necessitates ambitious organisations conducting not only a customer desire analysis in order to better understand these target customers, but what is effectively a customer needs, desires, and pain analysis. 

Those businesses that do so will be better placed to understand the preferences, likes, and desires of their target customers, so that they can devise well-informed strategies. 

Consumer needs and consumer desires are not exactly the same 

If you are a key decision-maker for an organisation, you may arrange to have a customer desire analysis carried out on the (correct) basis that your target customers will ultimately buy what they want, and not necessarily what you are trying to sell them. So, it could barely be more important to make sure these two elements are aligned before you launch a given product or service. 

There are, however, very real distinctions between consumer needs and desires

  • The term “consumer needs” touches on many of the basic needs that any human being has, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Such “needs” can also be of the more emotional than physical variety, including in relation to their social or personal lives. The typical consumer has very few needs, but those needs are very strong, greatly driving their behaviour. As a brand, you cannot create a need, but you can identify and address the needs your target customers have.
  • Satisfying a given human being’s basic needs is not the end of the story; once a person’s needs are met to the extent that they feel healthy and secure in their environment, they will seek comfort. This brings us onto the subject of consumer desires. A given individual may be able to reach a particular location on foot, but this might not prevent them from desiring a car. Or they may be able to wear almost any item of clothing, but this may not prevent them from desiring the apparel of a particular brand. 

Unlike needs, which are basic and tend to be small in number, desires are limitless, and human beings frequently dedicate themselves to fulfilling whatever desires they have. So, ambitious brands will benefit from knowing what the desires are in their target customers, to allow for strategies to be devised to target those desires. 

There are likely to be certain desires in your target consumers that your brand may not have even yet identified, let alone effectively targeted and addressed. A customer desire analysis can therefore provide an important foundation for achieving this. 

Now that you know the importance of customer desires, it’s time to start decoding them 

The process of better understanding consumer wants, and taking the right approaches to capture the most relevant customers in light of your understanding of these desires, can be considered both an art and a science. It is a necessarily intricate and painstaking process, grounded in tapping into the emotions, personal values, and even social trends and peer influences that drive consumers’ purchasing decisions. 

Grasping these aspects of your own brand’s target customers will leave you advantageously placed to build powerful and enduring connections that translate into sales and growth – objectives that can all be accomplished with the help of Conversity. 

Simply reach out to us today to begin learning more about Conversity’s technology, and how we can work together to help your brand forge those all-important and potent customer connections.