Murray's psychogenic needs and Consumer Behavior

Consumers go through the decision-making journey for a product or service when they feel the need for it. Henry Murray has beautifully explained the different needs of consumers that, in turn, guide their behavior and develop their personalities. Firms can target particular personalities by creating relevant advertisements and products to fulfill their needs. In this article, we will learn aboutWhat are the different types of needs. According to Murray, what are the five basic psychogenic needs? How do these needs create different personalities? How can the firms target the different needs of the consumers as well as what they have targeted in the past to sell their products and satisfy the consumers?

The Different Types of Needs

Needs can be broadly classified into two types −

  • Primary Needs − These needs affect the survival of a human being. These needs generate automatically in a human being and are generally referred to as "intrinsic needs." The need for food, shelter, water, security, and oxygen could be some of the major examples. If these needs are not fulfilled, the physical survival of a human being is impossible.

  • Secondary Needs − These are the needs that do not affect the physical survival of a human being, but rather the mental behavior or the psychological well-being of an individual. It is very important to satisfy these needs as well. Some of the basic examples of this type of need could be the need for affection, the need for attention, and others.

Murray’s Psychogenic Needs

Murray’s psychogenic needs deal with the secondary needs of the human being, or the non-biological needs of the human being. These needs drive the actions of individuals and hence help in developing their personalities. These needs are not mutually exclusive but support each other, conflict with each other, and are interrelated. The six basic categories of Murray’s psychogenic needs are

  • Need for Achievement

  • Need for Exhibitions

  • Need for Affiliation

  • Need for Power or Dominance

  • Need for Order

  • Need for change

The need for dominance may conflict with the need for affiliation, as too much dominance may drive away their close ones. The need for change may conflict with the need for basic order, as an individual might feel lost.

Need for Achievement

An individual who has the need to succeed will always be trying their best to meet challenges, overcome obstacles, and take up opportunities. When they have succeeded, they would also want someone to appreciate their success, also known as "recognition."

Marketing firms or businesses have targeted these needs by providing products and producing advertisements like−

  • Titan Xylys − is a sub-brand of the Titan Company. This sub-brand only focuses on providing watches for corporate-going individuals. For them, watches are not just a matter of functionality but also a way in which they can show off their success. The tagline of the brand is "watches for the new-age achievers and the connoisseurs."

  • Lovely professional university (Educational Institution in India) − Private institutions have started advertising their courses, faculties, and placements. It shows how one can achieve something or become successful after studying at an esteemed institution. As a result, focusing on an individual's need for achievement.

Need for Change

Here, the consumer is tired of monotonous and predictable lifestyles. They are always looking for change and adventure. For them, exploring new cafes, trying out new cuisines, and engaging in adventure sports are the go-to activities.

Firms are targeting this need among individuals by producing and advertising exciting products. Some examples are−

  • Selections Hotels by Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) − What this company does is turn historical old places and homes into hotels. The main agenda of the company is to let people have the experience of living in houses like this with the utmost luxury. They target palaces in Rajasthan, badis in Kolkata, and others. This gives the consumer new experiences with each visit.

  • The Vibe, Rusk, Hayyat, and J. W. Marriot − Selling out their experience in the market for anyone who wants a break from the monotony of life through good food or vocational resorts.

Need for Affiliation

This individual needs to focus on belongingness and company. Individuals here want to be part of social groups and enjoy their status as such. These individuals spend a lot of time chatting, go out and will be lonely if left alone.

Firms target this need of individuals by showcasing their brand as one meant for their loved ones.

  • Cadbury dairy milk − most of the advertisements showcase individuals in big families or friend groups sharing something sweet. Even on special occasions, they show their products as something that could be gifted to and enjoyed by people of all age groups. The focus of the brand is to create sweetness in every relationship.

  • Nebula − This is a sub-brand under Titan. This brand has positioned itself for consumers as a brand known for gifting. The majority of its advertisements focus on "the joy of gifting."

  • Café Coffee Day − This brand showcases itself as a place where friends or colleagues can come in and have a great time together. The focus is on satisfying the individual's need for affiliation.

Need for Exhibitions

Individuals have the desire to be the center of attention at every party or gathering. Individuals here want to mold their personalities to the tastes of the room and own goods that can make them the talk of the town.

Some examples of the brands are −

  • Gucci bags − These bags are very expensive, but they act as a status symbol for their owners. The functionality of a normal bag and a Gucci bag is identically similar, but what differs is the price, the brand image, and the quality.

  • BMW or Rolls Royce cars − These brands again target the exhibition needs of individuals. Since their products are super expensive, they are not affordable by many, and hence the one who owns them becomes the center of attraction.

Need for Power or Dominance

Many individuals have the need to dominate people and situations. They want the thing to go according to their plan. They want to be leaders, supervisors, or people of importance in every room they visit.

Firms are targeting this need in individuals by showcasing their products as something that only very successful people and people with power can own.

  • Darko GTE, De Tomaso P72, and Ferrari LaFerrari – These are just a few of the luxury car brands available to consumers. The price of these cars is in the millions of US dollars. With these super-expensive products, consumers can feel dominant.

Need for Order

Not everyone craves change and adventure in their lives. Some people like organization, planning, and order in their lives. The companies can target this need of the consumer by showcasing clean, hygienic, and super-organized almirahs, drawers, books, stationery, and others.

  • The container store − They are showcasing their different container products set up in the almirah, which fascinates and attracts individuals looking out for orders.

  • Urban Company  This company advertises and sells deep cleaning, almirah cleaning, office cleaning, and other services to consumers. The company helps the consumer by meeting their need for orders.

Once we understand the different non-biological needs that human beings have, it is easy for firms to produce and market products that are going to sell in the market. Businesses must understand that to satisfy consumers, they first have to understand their different needs.