Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is largely used by marketers to identify customer’s motives in making a certain purchase. Indeed, it is a fairly simple pyramid that explains many decisions that humans make and could easily applied to consumer behavior research.
However Maslow’s theory is not without limitations. For example it is argued whether lower needs in the hierarchy should be satisfied before higher needs. For instance many scientists and revolutionaries neglected their physical and safety needs to peruse their self-actualization needs. In addition, some scholars see that this theory lacks scientific evidence as Maslow’s initial research and analysis was very much dependent on his own opinion in analyzing his subjects.
But what I noticed is that there is a very important need which is neglected in the hierarchy. A simple example that can illustrate my point of view is to ask why someone would buy prayer beads? What are the motivations and needs behind this purchase?
Some might state that acquiring religious objects is motivated by the sense of belonging to a certain faith, yet I believe that a distinct motive plays an important role in such decisions which is the spiritual need.
Leveraging on this motive could create huge opportunities for marketers as it could be so strong to extent where wars might be waged to satisfy one’s spiritual need like the crusades in the medieval era for example.