Meaningful marketing: Satisfy human needs

Anna Hartelius
AIS London

Brands should consider how they fare in meeting Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs pyramid when creating a meaningful marketing strategy.

Apple made a $46.3 billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2011, a tech industry record. Its brand was worth the same as Peru's GDP in 2011, according to Millward Brown, making it the world's most valuable brand. In the same study, Nokia plunged 38 places down the list, to number 81. It lost $1.4 billion in 2011.

Apple and Nokia sell the same types of products. So why is there such a difference in performance of their brands? The answer is that Apple offers their customers meaning beyond their actual products.

If you want to create a meaningful brand, you have to start by understanding consumers and their needs. Maslow's theory on the Hierarchy of Needs has been debated for the past 70 years, but it is still useful as a starting point, in my view.