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Needs: Hedonic Versus Utilitarian Essay

1178 words - 5 pages

Utilitarian products and hedonic products can be similar products. When consumers are shopping for various products, some will seek a product which will give them more product for the money spent. Others, however, purchase items based on the brand or enjoyment the product will provide them. The difference between the two products is the need which the consumers is trying to fulfill with their purchase. An example of a product which could be compared are automobiles. When a consumer is interested in purchasing a new or used car, the consumer is going to search for vehicles which are equipped with certain features. For example, when I was searching for a car I was interested in an automatic transmission, smaller engine (four cylinder), power windows, power door locks, and was a sedan (four doors). I found a vehicle which had all of my requirements, which satisfied both utilitarian and hedonic needs. The smaller engine satisfied a utilitarian need because the engine would be more efficient, which would increase the gas mileage of the vehicle. The “comfort” features of an automatic transmission, power window and door locks, and four doors, satisfied hedonic needs.
Utilitarian and hedonic needs are not always found within a single product. Some consumers purchase a product because it satisfies a hedonic need, others satisfy a utilitarian need. A consumer could choose to purchase a product based on the brand name of the product, such as Coach (when purchasing accessories), instead of Route 66 (a store brand product). The two products will both satisfy the need for the accessory, the name brand product will likely provide the consumer with a satisfied or happy feeling when they are witnessed with the item. A utilitarian focused consumer is going to focus on the products in the market which are more useful and economical, products which provide the consumer the most use for the money spent. A consumer who is purchasing products based on hedonic needs are searching for products which are going to make said consumer happy, or satisfied.

Utilitarian Needs

Shelter, a biogenic need, often comes with other needs. Yes, some consumers rent apartments, but others rent or own homes. One utilitarian need when you rent or own a home is a lawnmower. A lawnmower is a product which consumers will purchase when they have a need to maintain a property. There are many lawnmowers in the market, which range from gas, electric, and manual power. When purchasing a lawnmower, the consumer is going to determine what features are necessary to satisfy their utilitarian need. Every consumer is going to have a different feature requirement list when they are shopping for a lawnmower. Some will require a gas lawnmower, others will require a unit which has a specific size deck. The need is determined by the consumer’s desire to get the job done in a certain manner. For example, one consumer could have a small back yard, which would encourage the consumer...

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