1.21 Customer Needs

There are 6 key customer needs:


One of the key issues with considering whether or not to buy a product is the price. It may be possible to buy a pair of jeans for £1,000 in Gucci or £8.99 in Primark; customers will make a decision about how much they would like to spend. Companies will make pricing decisions based on how much they think customers will be prepared to spend.


Some companies pride themselves on the quality of their products – Marks and Spencer and Selfridges being good examples. Higher quality usually means higher prices, but this is not always the case. Aldi and Lidl often win awards for the quality of their food and drink beating much more expensive brands. (Personally, I prefer Tesco Orange Zero to Fanta, Fanta is almost 4 times more expensive).


Customers like to be able to choose from a range of different products. It would not be acceptable to a customer if a sport shop only sold one type of hoody or only one style of trainers. If you visit the cereal aisle in a supermarket you will find lots of different choices, many of which are produced by the same companies.


There are lots of ways that companies make products and services more convenient:

Preparing food – most large supermarkets prepare vegetables by peeling slicing or dicing them to save time for customers. Supermarkets and takeaways also prepare meals so customers do not have to cook at all.

Delivery – many companies will deliver products direct to the customers door whether they order in store or online.

Short Queues – customers like to be able to purchase products quickly. It is inconvenient if they have to stand in line at the checkouts.

Wide range of Stock – customers like to be able to go to one store to buy all the items that they need. This is the reason that large supermarkets and huge DIY stores are so popular in the UK.

Efficiency/ Reliability

Some companies pride themselves on reliability. Toyota and Volkswagen claim to sell reliable cars that rarely break down. Kia offer a 7 year warranty to convince customers that they are just as reliable.

Virgin Trains aims to ensure that all trains arrive on time, if a train is substantially late they will offer customers a refund. They are trying to convince customers that they are reliable.


This usually relates to the look of a product – Samsung aims to design beautiful phones while Porsche aim to design stunning cars. However, design could also refer to the fit or style clothes when we talk about fashion (e.g. skinny jeans or flares, smart or casual shirts)