Buyer Theory By Maslow Hierarchy Of Needs
The buyer can be categorized as a problem solver, the typical buyer in any market can be perceived as a problem solver. He has an array of unlimited needs to be met through the purchases. But the resources with which he has to make the purchase are limited. This places a constraint on his ability to meet all his needs. He service options which will enable him to meet all his needs.
He therefore aims at selecting a combination of products and service options which enable him to maximize his benefits, despite his limited resources. This he achieves (or hopes to achieve) by carefully allocating his resources to the most essential or pressing among his needs and purchasing those product options which will give him the highest value for his money.
The buyer theory by Abraham Maslow has carefully examined the nature of human needs and categorized them into five, they includes the following;
- Physiological Needs – These are the essential or fundamental means of survival. They can be associated with specified parts of the human body. They include the need for food, clothing and shelter.
- Security Needs – Otherwise known as safety needs, these concerns the desire for protection against present and future physical and emotional dangers. Their satisfaction usually involves the continual provision or assurance of provision of the means for satisfying physiological needs.
- Social Needs – These are the needs for one to gain the love and acceptance of others in the society. They include the desire to affiliate or interact with others and be accepted by them.
- Esteem Needs – These involves the desire for self respect, high status, reputation, recognition, or respect in the society.
- Self Actualisation Needs – These needs are also called self fulfilment needs. They relates to people’s wants to reach their ultimate or the best they can be.
According to the buyer theory by Maslow, human beings are basically wanting being. They want more and more. It is people’s want or need that motivate them to do the things they do. Human beings try to achieve their lower order need before moving to the higher ones. The physiological need and security needs are called the lower order needs, while social, esteem and self actualization needs are called the higher order needs. Man’s most important needs are their physiological needs. These needs have to be satisfied first before one can strive for the satisfaction of other needs. After satisfying the physiological needs, one moves to security needs and the others.
The physiological need and security needs are called the lower order needs, while social, esteem and self actualization needs are called the higher order needs. Man’s most important needs are their physiological needs. It is people’s want or need that motivate them to do the things they do. Human beings try to achieve their lower order need before moving to the higher ones. He therefore aims at selecting a combination of products and service options which enable him to maximize his benefits, despite his limited resources. This he achieves (or hopes to achieve) by carefully allocating his resources to the most essential or pressing among his needs and purchasing those product options which will give him the highest value for his money.
In the hierarchy, in an orderly manner, however, one does not have to fully satisfy a lower need before he moves to a high one. Once a satisfaction level of the achievement of one need has been attained, it ceases to be serious motivator of behavior and gives way for the next one to receive serious attention.
When trying to satisfy needs or wants, the Buyer Theory suggests that the buyer is faced with fur basic decisions, these decisions and choices are as follows;
- How much of his income should be spent and how much of it should be saved? This spend and save decision, which depends on the buyers disposable income, availability of credit facilitates, general level price, anticipated level of future prices and also the rate of interest on savings, among others.
- Which goods and services should he buy? This is a production decision. The products he would buy depends on which among his needs are most pressing at the time of taking decision. These again depends on the influence of other significant others and promotional stimuli on him, and consideration for purchases which were pushed forward the other day, among other factors. If the buyer is buying for a resale purchases or organizational use, the product decision would be influenced by the demand of other people for its goods and services.
- From which among the available alternative sources should he buy? This is a brand or store choice decision to spend a particular portion of his spendable income on wrist watch, he would also have to choose from a number of brands and sales outlets. The satisfaction he would derive from his purchases would much depend on the brand he finally choose and store from which he picks. All the sales outlets from which the preferred brand of wrist watch can be obtained also do not provide the same service to buyers. The market helps the buyer to make a satisfactory choice of product brands and sales outlets.
- What condition of purchase should he seek to enjoy? The choice here is essentially that of customer services. Customer services or the conditions of purchase are an integral part of a firm’s product. They form what is popularly known as augmented or extended products. They are used by marketers to influence buyer theory decisions with respect to their choice of purchase points and quantity they buy. These services are installation, after sales services, guarantee, warrantee, transportations, discounts, credit facilities and product demonstration. Organization buyers and those who are buying highly technical products which have high cost outlays normally demand high level of customer services along with their purchases.
The four decisions examined above are not independent of another. They affect one another. They are also not always taken in the order in which they are presented above. For example, the amount of money a buyer is willing to spend on a particular product can go a long way in determining the quality and quantity of customer’s services he seek at a particular time. At another time, he may desire high level of customer’s services in order to enhance his status and go ahead to save money or cancel some other purchases in order to have the means of enjoying it.
In conclusion, according to the buyers theory, it is the buyers decision to decide on what to buy, how to buy and where to buy, it is also his behavioral pattern that suggests how much he spends on a product or service, he also decides if he is satisfy or not. In essence, the buyer is in the center of every production function, hence his interest must be put into consideration.