Certainly, motivated behavior is activity that is directed towards the procurement of a desired goal or objective. That stated, not all motives derive from physical drives. Having satisfied their hunger and other physical needs, people may be found buying such items as fashionable clothes or cosmetics. Evidently, the motives behind this behavior originate quite separately from those that involve the satisfaction of the physiological drives (also called biogenic drives) of, for example, keeping warm and “needing” to eat and drink in order to live. A whole range of psychogenic drives (e.g., the desire to be appreciated or to have status or feel “at one with one’s self”) stem from our social environments, culture, and social group interactions. Many even argue that want (or desire), which is basically social in nature, is the major driving force or motivation behind much of our contemporary consumption.
Every individual has the same need structure, but different specific needs will be to the fore in different individuals at various points in time and according to different cultural and social contexts. In what is referred to as “critical mode” it is argued that marketing adds to dissatisfaction, rather than satisfaction.
In 1971, according to E. J. Mishan, an English economist best known for his work criticizing economic growth, advertising, taken as a whole, conspires first to make men feel that the things that matter to them are the material things of life: the goods, services and opportunities provided by the economy. Second, it conspires to make men dissatisfied with what they have – so goading them into efforts to increase their “real” earnings so as to acquire more of the stuff produced by modern industry.
Mishan also maintained that the plethora of versions of products and services, with relatively little differentiation (apart from the “emotional”) again added to consumer anxiety and dissatisfaction. He preferred less choice but greater real differentiation.
So, marketers are often accused of creating a need for a product or a service that would not exist except due to some aggressive and repetitive marketing activities that educate, inform, and even persuade consumers to buy those products and services. For example, most advertisements strive to portray products in such an emotional and persuasive manner that consumers start to think that they ought to buy those products even if that specific brand is not a necessity for sustaining life. However, our proposition is that marketing does not create needs; rather it encourages us to want or desire brand Z by associating its acquisition with the satisfaction of a latent need.