People buy things they need and/or want.

Needs are why Comcast stays in business.

Wants are why Budweiser stays in business.

Combining needs and wants is why Apple stays in business.

The marketing strategy of any company should be to combine need and want. Any time a company is performing only one, they’ve exposed their weak point: wants are unstable (i.e. passions change, a recession occurs and damages an unnecessary industry), and needs are the easiest industries to disrupt by adding a want to the equation (i.e. Tesla becomes a big player in the automotive industry by creating a sexy electric car).

As an entrepreneur, this should be the basis of your business strategy. Start by cornering a market where your product is absolutely necessary – this fulfills the need of the equation. A guitar needs strings to play, a car needs fuel to drive, and a human needs food to survive.

Then, think creatively and reflect on how you can cause customers to want your products. This is where creativity will give you an edge over your competition. For instance, Facebook’s first users registered because they wanted to check out members of the opposite sex. Apple created beautiful, rebellious, yet friendly machines instead of the clunky competitors on the market.

In the end, Need Want simply explains the core philosophy of marketing: position yourself in a market where you are necessary to prevent someone’s failure. Then, make that person see you as the go-to solution in that market.

Make something people need, and make them want you.