Trends Report

What People Really Need

Building A Needs-Based Product Strategy

February 4th, 2010
With contributors:
Mark Mulligan , Laura Wiramihardja


Business and technology innovation has brought us to a point where companies must stop employing internal or industry excuses and finally give consumers what they really need. However, this lofty goal requires answering a deceptively simple question: What do people really need? Despite the mountains of consumer insights that companies generate each year, product strategists are fundamentally ignorant of what makes people really tick. We synthesize decades of consumer research and academic thought to propose four fundamental needs that all consumers have — and that all consumer product strategists must serve in order to succeed. The firms that serve these needs the best while removing the barriers to need fulfillment will create the products, services, and experiences that will shape the future.

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