Our needs are fickle things. There are things we need that we don’t seek, and things we desperately search for that don’t benefit us at all. They vary in intensity and significance, and too often we don’t realize how important a need is to our wellbeing.
There are other factors that affect our need fulfillment besides what we feel. We measure our needs against that of people around us, and society as a whole. We try to gauge the appropriateness of our options within the context of our culture. After all, society plays an enormous role in what we identify as our needs.
We also consider our resources, current and foreseeable, when we’re seeking solutions to our problems. Things like time, money, and stress factor into our decisions regarding our need fulfillment.
In case you haven’t noticed–brands, products, and services are becoming increasingly catered to our needs. We know that pretty much anything we could ever want is out there, and most of it is pretty easy to obtain. Even services that used to be local or boutique have now been productized (sold similarly to the way a product is sold) to make it easier for us to consume the things we need.
So if everything we could ever want is out there, why aren’t we buying all of it? You could say it’s because we each have different personalities, with buying histories and habits. That doesn’t really explain it, though, because everyone is in the market for something. We all need things to survive.
Because of the psychology of the way we consume goods and services, it’s not always a simple transaction of problem and solution. Just because there is an obvious need in our lives doesn’t mean we’re motivated to fulfill it. What some people and businesses have learned, and even built their brands around, is that we the consumer need to be shown the less obvious problems. Someone driving a beat-up, inefficient car to work every day might not be in the market because of a basic need for reliable transportation, but their interest will probably be peaked by the prospect of paying less at the gas pump, or even having sufficient air conditioning.
The less obvious problems are the ones that motivate us to solve the obvious problems. The every-day inconveniences are the things we don’t notice, so when we realize what we’ve been missing we tend to go into remedy-hunting mode, and are then more primed to purchase a solution once we see how our lives could be.