Marketers trying to see where consumers are heading might consult Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This ubiquitous pyramid explains our psychic slide in needs (and hence consumption behavior) resulting from the liquidity crisis strangling most Americans. The run up Maslow's ladder coincided with America's wealth creation in the mid-'80s. Many people became so secure in having food, clothing, shelter and in feeling safe and secure, they spent time and energy pursuing more ambitious goals that consumerism satisfies, such as belonging, status and self-actualization. Economist Thorstein Veblen coined it the leisure class. We saw a marketing opportunity.
Apr 8, 2009