Maslow's hierarchy of needs is widely applied in many areas of life. Accordingly, marketing is the maximum application of Maslow's hierarchy of needs to analyze and identify market segments and target customer portraits in communication and marketing strategies.

What is Maslow's hierarchy of needs? How to apply when implementing Marketing strategies? Let's figure it out in today's article.

What is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? Levels, Meanings & Uses?

What is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

According to Maslow, human needs are endless. However, it is divided into two main groups: Basic and advanced needs (Meta needs). When basic needs are met, people move on to higher needs.

For example, if the needs of eating, drinking, sleeping, and resting are satisfied, people will tend to the needs of safety, respect, reputation, and status. Based on these, he created Maslow's hierarchy of needs, widely applied in marketing and business administration.

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a theory of human motivation in psychology consisting of five pyramids representing human desires, including:

  • Physiological needs
  • Safety Needs
  • Need for social relationship (love/belonging)
  • The need for esteem
  • The need for self-actualization.

On the five floors of the pyramid, human needs will go from the bottom to the top. The needs below are fully met, and we will move on to the new higher needs.

These five levels are divided into three groups, including:

  • Group 1: Physiological and safety needs. The first group refers to basic needs, ensuring human survival.
  • Group 2: The need to improve relationships and be respected. People have a desire to expand relationships after basic needs have been met. Then some in this group will need to be a leader to be respected.
  • Group 3: The need for self-expression. As relationships have been extended and respect has been earned from others, people begin to desire to express themselves. For example, the billionaires in the world continue to work and contribute even though their needs have been fully met.

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People have desire to express themselves

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

1. Physiological Needs

This kind of need is the lowest level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It refers to the most basic human needs. Physiological needs examples include good health, life, and survival ability, such as eating, drinking, sleeping, resting, keeping warm, and having sex. These are the simplest but most important needs, which should be fully met before going to the next floor. 

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Maslow's physiological needs

2. Safety Needs

After the basic needs are satisfied, people will be concerned about their safety. These needs include safety in health, physical, mental, financial security, employment, and family.

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Health and safety

3. Love/ Belonging

Social needs are the third level of Maslow's pyramid: the wishes to communicate, exchange, and exchange feelings. This need is established after physiological and safety concerns are met.

According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, everyone wants to integrate into the community, have friends, colleagues, and family, be loved, and be happy.

4. Esteem 

After being loved and having good relationships, people will need to be respected. This need is expressed through the desire to be recognized and respected by others. Each person has self-esteem, strength, confidence, independence, and freedom.

5. Self-actualization

Self actualization needs are the last level of human needs in Maslow's hierarchy. People at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs often focus on work, desire for contribution, and self-actualization. They constantly improve themselves to achieve great achievements.

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Love and belonging needs

Maslow's Expanded Hierarchy of Needs

In addition to the five main levels of the traditional Maslow hierarchy of needs, from 1970 - 1990, Maslow modified the pyramid into 7 and 8 steps. The additional levels of needs in the expanded Maslow pyramid include Cognitive needs, aesthetic needs, and transcendence.

1. Cognitive Needs

That is the need for knowledge and understanding. It can also be information needs related to existence and development. These needs require each person to explore, learn, absorb new things and accumulate experiences to develop themselves.

2. Aesthetic Needs

In Maslow's extended hierarchy of needs, these are beauty satisfactions. It is a spiritual need that helps create aesthetic values ​​in life.

3. Transcendence

It is a state of super-selfishness towards supernatural powers, humanity, altruism, and charity in life.

Some Notes When Using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

It would help if you kept a few things in mind when using Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

1. Human Needs Are Always Changing

It is not always possible to model needs according to Maslow's pyramid because human needs are always changing. Although Maslow's hierarchy of needs is true to human development needs, it is not absolute. Therefore, when researching customer needs, you need to base it on each person's situation.

2. Human Needs Don't Always Increase

Looking at Maslow's expanded hierarchy of needs, you can easily see eight main needs, from low to high. However, there are some cases where the pyramid model cannot be applied.

There are many reasons for a person's changing needs. The external environment is also a factor that disrupts development needs. However, the sequence of needs is still established from the first floor as physiological needs.

3. New Level Of Needs Does Not Depend On The Predecessors

Many of our basic needs are only met to some extent. You may not need to be too satisfied before moving on to another need. It is one of the things to keep in mind when using Maslow's hierarchy of needs in business.

Its Pros, Cons, And Influence In Marketing

Any theory has certain advantages and disadvantages. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a summary of human needs in life. It is extremely useful in analyzing and researching customer needs and target markets.

Through research, businesses can design, position products, price, and decorate retail stores most effectively.

Regarding marketing, Maslow's hierarchy of needs helps you focus on large groups of customers with specific needs.


Maslow's hierarchy of needs cannot accurately measure consumer satisfaction at levels before moving to higher needs.

The model is too simple and does not analyze each specific object's needs in-depth. It has no prioritization of needs on each floor.

Businesses can produce a product or service that satisfies multiple layers of needs at the same time.

Cultural differences in each region and geographical location are constrained, even if there is no value.

Practical Application of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in Human Resource Management

To apply Maslow's hierarchy of needs in human resource management, leaders need to research and clearly define the needs of employees. Capturing the right psychology and touching point of demand for employees to work hard and voluntarily stick around for a long time.

1. Physical and Physiological Needs

This need includes salary, bonus, and welfare regimes while ensuring employees maintain a minimum life. Some policies to help businesses meet this need include a good basic salary, vacation days, holidays, working time, and job evaluation.

It is advisable to ensure employee welfare such as initiative bonus, periodical health check, annual travel, vacation, sales bonus, free lunch, mid-shift meal, and periodical party.

2. Employee Health and Safety Needs

Safety and health are always the priority of each person. No one wants to do heavy and stressful work that affects their health. Therefore, businesses need to ensure the health and safety of employees by creating a favorable working environment.

  • Build a safe, clean, and fully equipped working space.
  • Reasonable overtime regulations, clear salary and bonus regime when OT (Overtime) employees.
  • For the production department, the working environment must ensure labor safety. It is essential to have full protective clothing, an emergency fire extinguishing system, and support equipment when working dangerously.
  • Ensure stability, fairness, and work.
  • There is a private space for employees to relax and exercise.

3. Employee Communication Needs

It is best to build a friendly working environment where employees can exchange and learn from colleagues, managers, and leaders. Businesses should pay more attention to employees, especially when they are in trouble or need help. Some other essential things to do:

  • Create conditions for employees to have the opportunity to cooperate and exchange with other departments.
  • Build a team of experts to manage the internal activities of the enterprise.
  • Encourage employees to participate in creative competitions, serving the development of the business.
  • Organize parties, gift-giving, and special occasions such as holidays and birthdays.

4. Self-Esteem Needs

For the need to be respected, employees need to be recognized and praised by their superiors for the value of their work. An employee who is respected by his superiors and colleagues will create motivation to work more enthusiastically and enthusiastically.

Enterprises need to have specific and fair regulations when assessing the capacity of employees. Reward policy for new employees, excellent employees, and employees with outstanding achievements.

Praise employees for their contributions and announce their achievements to the whole team. Promotion, salary increase, a hot bonus when employees have excellent performance.

5. Accomplishment Needs

Encourage employees to develop their abilities and apply creativity in their work. Acknowledge their contributions and improvements. Create an environment for employees to promote creativity and apply new initiatives at work. It is better to encourage them to study and acquire new knowledge to contribute to building a professional and talented team.

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The need to develop and express in work

Besides traditional human resource management methods, the application of technology software will help businesses optimize operations in the digital transformation process.

FieldCheck is a comprehensive human resource management software application on electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, laptops, tablets, etc. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the application possesses many preeminent features, meeting all the needs of employees.

The most superior feature of the application is that you can manage, check, report, and analyze data anytime, anywhere, without limitations of time and location.