The 6 universal needs that drive everything we do
December 1, 2016

The 6 universal needs that drive everything we do


We’re constantly telling our own clients that before they can effectively market to their ideal clientele, they need to really understand them. Understand what motivates them. What drives them to do the things they do. Only then can we come up with campaigns and collaterals that will really connect with them.

So while this blog is a little outside our regular marketing focussed content, we thought it was a really important topic to touch on. Especially given that the holidays are coming.

There are essentially 6 basic universal needs that drive us all. We all have these needs, but we value some more than others. And it’s the value we put on these needs that determines our ultimate direction in life.

So, while you’re reading this, take a moment and think about which needs are most important to YOU. The more you understand yourself, the easier it will be to notice the forces driving your customers. It’s from this enlightened perspective that we can offer better support and deliver a truly exceptional customer experience.

1. Certainty

We all need a certain level of predictability and stability in our lives so we can feel in control and safe. It’s kind of like a basic survival instinct. We crave comfort and security.

People who are dominated by this need take less risks in life cause they can’t handle the unpredictability that comes with it. These are the people who stay in the same homes, jobs and relationships.

2. Uncertainty

It’s exactly what you think. Basically the exact opposite of certainty. The need for that ever refreshing element of surprise in life that keeps things exciting and never boring. Believe it or not, we all need a little of both, but no one is dominated by both.

3. Significance

This is an important one. Many people, especially successful people, are dominated by the need to feel significant. That desire to feel important and special in some way.

Interestingly enough, there are a variety of wildly different ways to feel significant. Some people get it by being a hardcore health nut. You know those quinoa eating, vegan yogis who are up before the sun and always make you feel bad about your less than stellar choices.

You can feel significant by buying a home in an elite neighborhood, or closing the most deals in your brokerage. You can even feel significant by simply collecting an excessive amount of tattoos. Really, anything that will make you stand out from the crowd. Money can be a vehicle to gain significance but it rarely satiates the appetite of a significance dominated person.

4. Love

Love is what most of us want and need most in life. We find it in our romantic relationships. We find it with family, friends, pets and even in nature.

This human connection that we all crave can be a seriously compelling factor steering our life decisions. For example, the decision to commute for almost 2 hours, so that you can live closer to your parents. Yes, love is that powerful people.

5. Growth

Forward momentum, regardless of its form, is crucial to finding fulfillment in life. Whether it’s in your career, relationships or even your bank account. If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking. Or at least stagnant.

All of us seek mental, emotional, spiritual and financial growth for ourselves. But I think one of the main reason we all want to grow so bad is so that we have more to give. Which leads us to our final need…

6. Contribution

Most of the wisest people on the planet have eventually come to the realization that the only way to fully enjoy life is to share it with others. We are able to find greater meaning in our own lives by giving to others.

These last two needs are seen as more evolved needs, and usually only come to the forefront once our other needs are met. But don’t fool yourself, they are equally potent forces driving your clients behaviour.

Now that you’re aware of the basic needs that motivate us all, you can allow this awareness to manifest into greater compassion and insight into your customers behaviours, and hopefully use it to benefit them, and in turn, yourself and your business.

Stephanie Miles, Director of Digital Marketing

Topic Credit: Tony Robbins