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What People "YOU" Really Want

 What People "YOU" Really Want

People are people and human nature is human nature.
We are neither as complicated nor as simple as we might believe.

Yep, there are some ba­sic, even universal appeals that work over a broad spectrum of markets.

Every person has his or her own reasons for responding to a given message. There are lots of appeals, and they each take many forms. More than one is usually at work in any message.

People want what they don’t have:

Time  — for themselves, their family, their interests

Comfort  — ease, luxury, self-indulgence, and convenience

Money — to save, to spend, to give to others

Popularity  — to be liked by friends, family, and signi@257; cant others

Praise — for intelligence, knowledge, appearance, and other superior qualities

Pride of accomplishment — doing things well, overcoming obstacles and competition

Self-con@257;dence  — to feel worthy, at-ease, physically or mentally superior

Security — in the home, in old age, @257;nancial independence, provisions for adversity

Leisure  — for travel, hobbies, rest, play, self-development

Fun — feeling like a kid again, doing something for no good reason, goo@257; ng off

Prestige — feeling of importance, a member of a select group, having power

Enjoyment — food, drink, entertainment, sex

Health  — strength, vigor, endurance, longer life

Better appearance  — beauty, style, physical build, cleanliness

Exclusivity — being in on something special

Envy — having something others have

Ego Grati@257;cation — to support or enhance self-image

Business Advancement  — feeling successful, getting a better job, being one’s own boss

Social Advancement — keeping up with neighbors, moving in desirable social circles


People want to avoid loss of what they have:

Just as people seek to gain what they don’t have, they also seek to avoid losing something once they have it. The potential loss of any item on the previous list is a strong motivator.

People want to avoid unpleasant experiences:

While people are driven to seek out pleasant things, there is an even stronger drive to avoid unpleasant things. This is not to say that negative appeals are always best, just that they work on a more basic level. When a negative appeal is appropriate, it can be potent.

  • Embarrassment
  • Offense to others
  • Domination by others
  •  Loss of reputation
  • Pain
  • Criticism
  • Risk
  • Work
  • Effort
  • Discomfort
  • Worry
  • Doubt
  • Guilt
  • Boredom


People want to act in a particular way:

People usually have a speci@257;c, emotional reason for doing something, though they may not be conscious of it. Remember, though, that most people want others to think they act logi­cally and unsel@257;shly — and they resent any suggestion otherwise.


  • Express what they view as their unique personality
  • Satisfy their curiosity about some subject
  • Feed their appetite for something — physical, emotional, or spiritual
  • Act or appear like their heroes
  • Attract the opposite sex
  • Acquire beautiful or rare objects or trappings that “say” something about them
  • Improve themselves in some way, physically or mentally
  • Gain affection of family, friends, and others whose feelings are important to them
  • Be accepted into another social circle
  • Get ahead at work
  • Add beauty or elegance to their lives
  • Impress others, build and reinforce their reputation
  • Ful@257;ll what they view as their duty
  • Enjoy themselves or just play
  • Create or accomplish something they can be proud of, to make their mark
  • To get rich or make money
  • Reward themselves for something
  • To protect themselves from harm of some kind 

People want to see themselves and “be seen” in a favorable way:

People genuinely want to be good people with desirable qualities, which is why they are con­stantly trying to improve themselves and their lives. Perhaps even more important, they are sensitive about what others think of them.

  • Smart or savvy
  • First or best at something
  • Unique, one-of-a-kind
  • Creative, either generally or in a special area
  • Good parents
  • Ef@257;cient
  • Recognized authorities
  • Up-to-date, well-educated, or “with it”
  • Gregarious and sociable
  • In@258;uential, able to get things done
  • Independent and individual
  • Popular, well-liked
  • Part of a group, “one of the boys”