Wants Of The Third Kind

Quick Read: At a simplistic level, needs tend to get recast as wants when marketing kicks in.But do all kinds of wants come with the same ‘baggage’? Are some kinds of wants more interesting than the others for a marketer?

Make things people want OR Make people want things? 

If there is one slide deck that is worth your 10 mins time today, it would be this, by John V Willshire – Founder at Smithery

An instructive concept that he shares in this presentation (and also his blog) is about three different kinds of wants that are generally prevalent from a marketer’s perspective:

  • Existing wants: are what we are typically surrounded by every day, on our supermarket shelves and smartphones. It’s simple for marketers to spot these wants, and so competition is fierce and sometimes desperate (more on that later).
  • Latent wants are obvious gaps in the market; things there are no present solutions for, but are easy for people to describe. If someone starts a product desription with “I wish such and such a product would do this”, then you know it is a latent want. For e.g., Nest as an idea was born out of a latent want for Tony Fadell.
  • Incipient wants are the things that customers have no idea could exist, but once made available can’t imagine how they have lived without it.

Any major habit forming technologically advanced product can arguably fall under this third kind. E.g., Walkman, iPod, iPhone etc. But, are incipient wants only about new, ‘fancy but necessary’ products?

Think about it for a moment. 

Now that’s why, incipient wants tend to be the most interesting territory for a markter today.

Marmite is a fascinating brand. You either love it or hate it, there is no midele ground. But, in the recent years the iconic UK brand had a challenge. A healthy user base but declining usage levels. Now, when you consider that this brand had typically high levels of affinity, the obvious question stares in the eye – why are then consumers using it less? 

Apparently, the insight to explain this dichotomy of high affinity and low usage could have been that Marmite has become an incipient want – “I have no idea that I was missing it, but once I saw it (stowed away in my cupboard) , I couldn’t imagine how I had lived without it all these days.”

The result. A genius of a campaign that draws attention to those neglected jars that linger, unloved, in the back of the cupboard with a simple call to action – Love it. Hate it. Just don’t forget it. 

Marmite Billboard(MARMITE – Just Don’t Forget It. Billboard – Source)

Besides, as Mr. Bhat puts it here “It takes a bold, confident team to run this campaign where the brand name & packaging is not even visible fully.” And that’s what I love about these executions the most.

And getting back to the Existing Wants – the areana of conventional supermarket aisles – competition here can sometimes get a bit too desperate. For e.g., did you realise that there are this new revolutionary bananas that can also be consumed on the go?

Chiquita On The Go(H/T Robert Campbell. Pic Source.)

(Featured image source)

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