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  • Writer's pictureDr. Alan Grossnickle

Core Marketing Concepts

Customer Needs, Wants, Demands

Needs are the basic human requirements such as for air, food, water, clothing, and

shelter. Humans also have strong needs for recreation, education, and entertainment.

These needs become wants when directed to specific objects that might satisfy the

need. Many people want a Mercedes, only a few can buy one. Companies must

measure not only how many people want their product, but also how many are willing

and able to buy it.

Some customers have needs of which they are not fully conscious or that they cannot

articulate. We can distinguish five types of needs:

1. Stated needs (The customer wants an inexpensive car.)

2. Real needs (The customer wants a car whose operating costs, not initial price, is


3. Unstated needs (The customer expects good service from the dealer.)

4. Delight needs (The customer would like the dealer to include an onboard GPS


5. Secret needs (The customer wants friends to see him or her as a savvy customer.)

(Kotler & Keller). A Framework for Marketing Management, Pearson, p.5)

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