The Ultimate Guide To Wants And Needs Part 1 [Copywriting Guides from the ICA]

Every half decent copywriter on the planet has heard of wants and needs. We sell the want but deliver the need (or at least we do if we care enough about what we’re doing and who we’re doing it to).

These two words, wants and needs, are by far the most important terms you need to get to grips with if you want higher conversions. Of course, you must also understand target markets and ideas such as awareness levels, but with those in place, wants and needs are both what you want AND what you need.

Up until the 18th century, the whole world was built mostly around needs. There was very little in the way of wants other than wanting more food and more security.

The elites (mostly aristocracy) had it all, and the rest of us – the peasants, had pretty much nothing (with almost no chance of ever getting past that).

But the elites (the considerably less than 1% at that time) had one thing the peasants didn’t have. They had WANTS. They thought those wants were needs, but as with all wants, if you already have what you need, you don’t need any more.

In other words, the wants were mostly about greed and power. Extrapolate that to today, and you’ll see it’s no different. We think we want things, but in reality they’re not important. All that really matters is we get what we need.

So this week’s mini series is all about wants and needs and how you can exploit them ethically (unless you’re a villain) to get what you NEED. Ready? Good. Continue to part 2 (or sign up to the Science of Copywriting Weekly Newsletter so you get notified to this and every other series published here each Sunday).


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