Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

Consumer Needs: Types and How to Define Them

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By David Tomas, on 23 May 2022

Keeping up with consumer needs is key for any company seeking to develop an impactful marketing strategy and increase sales.

By doing this, you can offer consumers a product or service that is uniquely tailored to them and create effective marketing campaigns that have a higher chance of resonating with them.  

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What Are Consumer Needs?

Consumer needs lead a person to seek and pay for a product or service that satisfies them. The need is a driving force in the purchase decision. The more effective a brand is at detecting these needs and offering products or services that meet them, the more sales it will have.  

Moreover, according to the American psychologist Abraham Maslow, these needs are organized hierarchically into 5 levels:

  1. Physiological needs: These are needs directly related to human survival–such as eating, drinking, and maintaining a good state of health. This means that food products, beverages, and medicines would be at this level (the base of the pyramid).

  2. Security needs: This level is about a human being's need for being protected. This includes everything from access to housing to alarms and life insurance.

  3. Belonging needs: All people feel the need to be part of a group and connect, in some way, with the world around them. This level includes all those products and services that promote social activities.

  4. Esteem needs: These needs are related to self-esteem and are manifested through acquiring products that represent your status in society–for example, cars or jewelry. 

  5. Self-realization needs: This is the top of the pyramid and where needs related to individual happiness are included. They are much more specific. For one person, it may be to travel and for another, it could be to get a university degree.

According to Maslow, all individuals need to fulfill their needs according to this hierarchy. For example, before meeting security needs, the person will need to meet physiological needs.


Consumer Needs Types and How to Define Them


12 Types of Consumer Needs


1. Functionality  

When a customer has a problem or need, they need the product or service they have paid for to work properly.


2. Price

Most customers have a budget when it comes to products or services that meet a specific need. This means that the price of the product or service should be tailored to your target audience


3. Experience 

The product or service offered by the brand must meet the consumer's need in a simple and convenient way. This means that it must be easy to use and have an intuitive design. 


4. Reliability 

It is important that the product is reliable and that consumers are able to use it for a long time.


5. Efficiency  

The product should be simple to use so that users don't have to spend a lot of time getting familiar with it. 


6. Compatibility 

As far as possible, you should try to offer a product or service that is compatible with other products that the customer is already using. 


7. Empathy 

Make sure that your customer service is well-trained and friendly since the user is not only looking for answers, but also for the brand to be understanding. It is important that the customer service is quick and reliable as well. 


8. Transparency 

Customers value transparency. Brands can do this by specifying the terms of service and keeping users informed of price changes or company news. The more transparency and sincerity, the more trust customers will place in the brand.


9. Control

Consumers must feel in control at all points in the buying process. They should be the ones who decide what to buy, how and when.


10. Options

Customers like to have different options before making a purchase. They like to choose between different products and services–even if they perform the same function.


11. Information 

Users need information about the brand, both before and after making a purchase. That's why it is important to have a blog with articles related to the products or services offered, a profile on social networks, or any medium that serves as a platform to keep consumers informed.


12. Accessibility 

Customers should be able to contact the brand from different communication channels. This means that having an email, phone number, WhatsApp Business, or live chat is key to offering that attention to the consumer.


How to Identify Your Customers' Needs

There are several ways to identify consumer needs. Customer data analysis is one of the most important ways to do this. Doing this can identify common patterns and problems that could have arisen before, during, or after a purchase. 

It would also be worth checking interactions to find out what the public thinks of the brand and whether the products or services offered have met their needs as they expected. The type of questions they ask or the content that generates the most engagement are clues to what consumers are looking for. 

You can even ask them for their opinion through surveys or by inviting them to leave a comment on any of your active platforms.

Competitors are another source of information since the problems that customers expose regarding a product or service of another company are data that can be used in favor of the brand.

Lastly, keyword research indicates what customers are looking for and what they are interested in.


How to Respond to the Needs of Your Consumers

Consumer needs change, so regular analyses must be performed. Today's consumer needs may not be the same in a few months, so it is important to stay up to date. Aspects like offering good support and customer service are some of the best ways to get more information about what consumers are most concerned about.

It is also important to make the buying process as easy as possible and respond to any problems that arise immediately.

The rest is, above all, listening and gathering information from customers so that you can understand them and ultimately help them.


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David Tomas

CEO y cofundador de Cyberclick. Cuenta con más de 20 años de experiencia en el mundo online. Es ingeniero y cursó un programa de Entrepreneurship en MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. En 2012 fue nombrado uno de los 20 emprendedores más influyentes en España, menores de 40 años, según la Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 e IESE. Autor de "La empresa más feliz del mundo" y "Diario de un Millennial". ______________________________________________________________________ CEO and co-founder of Cyberclick. David Tomas has more than 20 years of experience in the online world. He is an engineer and completed an Entrepreneurship program at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2012 he was named one of the 20 most influential entrepreneurs in Spain, under the age of 40, according to Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 and IESE. Author of "The Happiest Company in the World" and "Diary of a Millennial".