Marketing is about understanding your customers – finding out what makes them tick and anticipating their needs.

This isn’t news to good marketers, but how we do it can be far simpler than you think; because customer needs aren’t products or services, they’re part of their basic psychology.

Customer needs are deep-rooted psychological desires that drive every decision, action and behaviour. In fact, according to strategist Tony Robbins there are six core psychological ‘needs’ that each person constantly strives to achieve (Entrepreneur, 2014).

By tapping into these unconscious psychological triggers you can market in more powerful ways. You can add value to your offering, find a true connection with customers and shape every decision and action.

In this post we take a look at the six basic human needs, how products and services meet them and how you can use these to connect with customers better.


Every human being has a need for security – to know they’re safe and secure. It’s only natural, we want to feel protected so we can carry on the continuation of our DNA. If you’re marketing a product that makes people feel safe in the ever-changing world, then don’t be afraid to tap into this basic human need. From pension plans, finance and security alarms – connect with a customer’s deep-rooted need for a safer and more certain world.



At times we want to break free from the humdrum of life – the routine, expectations and predictability. Products such as holidays, a new car or exciting experience meet a need for variety. We use these products to interrupt periods of stagnation allowing us to develop who we are and who we want to be. So if you market products or services that provide variety then tell your customers how you’ll deliver a sense of adventure, spontaneity and a break from the norm.



Everyone wants to feel like they matter; we want to create an identity and to play our part. Fashion and beauty are obvious examples of products that help us feel significant, help us differentiate ourselves but also help us gain group approval. Make it clear how your products make customers feel significant and valued in the world.



We all want to be loved – humans crave connection, intimacy and partnership. If your product or service helps people gain deep connections with other human beings then don’t be afraid to promote it. Beauty and technology are obvious examples of this, we use products to attract others and maintain relationships to quench our insatiable thirst for human connection.



Our very survival is dependent on growth; physical, emotional and intellectual. We want to know how what we’re consuming will help us lead healthier lives or help us be more contented humans. If you’re promoting a service which has such an impact, such as gym membership or academic courses, then don’t be afraid to tell customers how what you’re offering will help them achieve growth.




Most of us want to contribute towards wider society, it helps us feel like we’re making a difference which makes us feel good. Connect your customers with those happy hormones by telling them how they’re helping the wider planet or community by buying your brand. It’s easy to see how charities can turn the need for contribution to their advantage.



What you’re marketing may fit more than one of these needs, and some of these needs – such as security and variety – may need to be balanced. People may feel they are experiencing too much of one and seek the oppositional need in order to rebalance their life.

If you can identify how your customer will connect with one or more of these six needs then you’ll drive a deeper connection with them. You’ll be able to step into their shoes, then link your product or service to create powerful campaigns that tap into the customer’s psyche.

Also, by connecting what you’re promoting to an irrefutable human need your customers will place far more value on your offering than you thought possible. Tell them how you can help them achieve security, variety, significance, love, growth or contribution and customers will be inexplicably attracted to your campaign.

If you don’t believe it then just look at the brands who connect their product claims with these needs. Products like Creme de la Mer which boasts an ability to transform lives – promising people that they will feel more secure, attract lovers and feel like they’re making a wider contribution. It’s the successful connection between the product and human needs that is the reason why Crème de la Mer is valued more per gram than gold (Visual Capitalist).

So next time you’re planning a campaign think about the customer’s basic needs, how the offering fulfills them and see if you can find deeper and more creative ways of connecting.

Transform your customer marketing