The Difference Between Need And Desire Explained [Copywriting Know How]

When we desire something, there is only one thing that matters to us: we haven’t yet got it. The mission in our mind becomes simple: we MUST get it. The stronger the desire, the stronger the mission.

On top of this, every desire has the potential to become an obsession, and when it does, we will buy anything connected with that obsession.

This is how collectors start. Selling collectables is easy once you’ve found a way to discover where your collectors are. They will stay with you for years (often for life). It takes a force stronger than the obsession itself to separate collectors from their mission.

A starving person becomes obsessed with food. The mission is the same. The more they starve, the more they feel the need to eat and they will take whatever it takes to seek out even the most meagre of morsels.

These two extremes are similar, yet they feel different. One is a desire, the other is a need, yet they affect our moral judgement. One is OK, the other isn’t.

One is about survival, the other is about ownership. And it’s the latter we’re talking about here. You don’t need copy to sell food to a starving audience.

Humans LOVE to own things. But there’s a problem. Once we own it, we reach a crossroads. Either we’re done OR we feel the need to own more.

This is another way of defining your audience. Are you looking for one-hit wonders, or long-term customers?

Obviously, it depends on what you’re selling, but almost everything is bought more than once (or has items connected with it that also need buying or upgrading at some future point).

So next time you write some copy, think about where your audience stands with ownership. It might give you a new angle to work on.


Desire, need

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