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Why we'll always need more

There was a time when Jaden wouldn't let us feed him. He wanted to eat by himself. Now at five and a half, he wants to be fed so he can concentrate on role playing Power Rangers. At two, Brooklyn's doing what Jaden did. She wants to feed herself. Never mind the mess, she won't have us anywhere close when her food's on the table.

Its easy to see why Jaden's moved on from feeding himself to being fed. He's had his taste of independence, so its no longer something to be attained. Not so for Brooklyn. In insisting on feeding herself Brooklyn's exerting her independence, something she isn't used to having at two.

What's playing out at our home plays out everywhere. As humans we respond to our needs and wants by seeking solutions. Once a need's fulfilled, we move on to higher order needs. And this climb never stops. Ditto for consumers too. The craving for products and services won't ever stop. All consumers will do is move to new and 'up-market' products (read, respond to higher order needs) once they've bought the 'down-market' ones (read, fulfilled lower-order needs).

Its fascinating for us as parents to see the need hierarchy unfold with our kids. For marketers too its an equally arresting sight. To witness consumers graduate from low-end products to lust after high-end ones!


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