Need, Desires and Demand in Marketing

In order to be able to sell, it is necessary to connect the product to the needs. Products are the solution to their needs. Following Kotler’s opinion, Marketing is about recognizing and fulfilling human needs profitably. The Understanding of human needs is an important thing to do before meeting needs. Because the needs fulfillment tool must be in accordance with the needs.

Suitability of requirements is a necessary condition, but not sufficient for the sale and purchase transaction. That need undergoes a change of shape to desire and demand. There are definition of three concepts  in the book of Philip Kotler: Marketing Management.


Needs are something needed to survive, be comfortable, happy, and satisfied. Regarding needs, humans need water, food, air, clothes and shelter. In a row, if humans cannot get their need, humans are thirsty, hungry, unable to breathe, ashamed, and roam amid the heat of the day and the cold of night. If that is fulfilled, there are still other psychic needs, namely, wanting to get recognition, self-esteem, feeling owned and possessed and loving and loved. If it has all fulfilled, humans want to realize their soul calls, or self-actualization.


Needs encourage people to want specific items. At that stage, the need to experience change becomes desire. The same need in some people can turn into different desires. For example, the need to eat can change into a desire for a plate of rice, but not always. There are people with the same needs who want different items, namely corn, sago, bread, tiwul. Marketers not only need to know their needs, but also need to know their desires, so they can determine the products offered.

Kotler’s conception of desire is indeed different from the conception of economics about desire. In economics, desire is something that is good to have but does not need to survive. Whereas the need is something that must be owned to survive. Economics is the science of public policy about meeting community needs. So it is necessary to differentiate between important and less important desires in order to prioritize. Whereas in marketing management as followed by Kotler, there is no need to differentiate, the important thing is that the cannot sell the goods. What marketing management needs is the distinction between unclear forms and needs that clearly point to an item / desire. The marketer’s job is


Demand is a desire for certain products with the ability to pay. Just want not necessarily be able to pay for the desired item. For marketing work efficiency, marketers target their marketing programs in the market segments they want and are able to buy. Thus, the chances of a transaction on its offer are much greater, rather than offering products to those who are unable or unwilling.

This distinction between the three concepts, needs, desires and demands is important to know what the psychological barriers to buying and selling are. Maybe the product suits your needs, but not as you wish. For example, everyone needs basic food, but when we give him rice, he refuses because he wants sago to satisfy his needs. In addition, goods can also be in accordance with the wishes, but the purchasing power is insufficient.

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