Your product could be innovative, but it doesn't matter if people don't want it.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs tells us people first need to fulfill their physiological needs. That's when we buy commodities – food to survive, clothes, a home.

With physiological needs taken care of, people then buy stuff to reduce pain or to gain pleasure.


  • What's your customer's pain?
  • What is his fear?
  • What are his hopes?
  • What are his dreams?

Michael is a parent who's struggling to get his son to read books. He fears his son will have difficulties coping with his studies. He hopes his son will spend less time on computer games. He dreams of coming back home every day and seeing his son in a corner, deep into reading a book.

Now, if you're an educational business that helps high-schoolers pick up reading, it's clearer how you would position your business.

The best marketing works backward. Start with the customer, not the product.

Share this post