Products/Brands that satisfy Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a psychological theory introduced by Abraham Maslow in 1943. In layman terms, this theory suggests that every human has needs, some of which must be met before others.

Marketing a product/ service requires basic understanding of human psychology. Understanding consumer behavior will help in better communications through marketing. Marketing experts often try to target customers needs based on their product type. As consumers, we also have products we need or wish to need at each stage. Let us now discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs from basic to self fulfillment with examples:

Physiological Needs – These are categorized as our most basic needs. It pertains to our survival needs like air, water, food, shelter etc. Failure in fulfilling some of these needs may lead to death. I have been using products from Amul since a very long time. The brand manufactures a wide range of dairy products at affordable prices. Hence, it caters to our need for food. In India, every person at some point in their life has either used or will use an Amul product. The brand has truly become ‘The Taste of India’.

Safety Needs – Once the physiological needs of a person is satisfied, safety need takes the front seat. It includes personal, financial and employment security; health etc. A lot of websites like , etc been successful in fulfilling the safety needs of the consumers, by giving employment opportunities. Menstrual hygiene product brands like Whisper, Pee Safe have catered to the health and hygiene needs of women.

Social Needs – Humans are social beings, we need to belong to a group big or small. According to Maslow, it is important for humans to love and be loved by others. Absence of this need may lead to mental illness such as anxiety. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc provide a perfect platform for everyone to socialise. Coca-Cola in its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign had tried to connect to the consumers using relationship as a key concept. The theme of the narrative being, ‘ Har Rishta Bola, Mere Naam ki Coca-Cola’. Brands often try to connect with the emotional chords of the audience and targeting social needs makes it easier.

Esteem Needs – Need for status, recognition, strength, attention etc falls under this category. Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign launched in 2004 managed to attract worldwide attention.The aim was to celebrate every women and to encourage them to be comfortable and happy with themselves. The ad went viral and actually managed to fulfill the esteem need of consumers. Through a study conducted by its PR agency, Dove managed to perform a case study on 3000 women in 10 countries, only 2% of who considered them beautiful. This is how the idea of a campaign originated. It proved how people need strength, attention and confidence. It also showed how a brand can satisfy esteem needs.

Self-actualization Needs – It is the final stage which deals with achieving one’s full potential. It is extremely difficult for marketers to appeal to this need. Maslow defines this stage as ‘ What a man can be, he must be’. Online learning platforms like Udemy satisfy the self-actualization needs of the audience. They provide a wide range of courses for people to learn and achieve their full potential.



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