You need to get a $15 hair cut at Top Cuts but you want a $600 hair cut at Sally Hershbergers.
You need to a bus pass but you want a $2,400,000 Bugatti Veyron Super Sports .
I need to eat an apple but I want to eat an entire 9 by 13 pan of nanaimo bars.
In our daily lives, differentiating between needs and wants is annoying. It’s easier to let our bank accounts fall into the negatives and get everything we want. It’s not a smart decision but hey, who cares. Sadly, the same thing happens in market research.
You need a ten minute survey but you want a 30 minute survey.
You need to buy 700 completes but you want to buy 200 completes.
You need to do a couple of focus groups but you want to run a survey.
You need a survey design expert but you want to launch the survey today.
If you really put your mind to it, you can distinguish between needs and wants in nearly aspect of the research process. The problem is that we often focus on the wants – we want the easy route, the cheaper route, the familiar route. And that doesn’t give us the research results we really need. It gives us poor data quality, unreliable results, and weak predictive validity.
As you begin your next project, think carefully. Which parts do you really need and which parts do you simply want. Put aside speed and familiarity and focus on quality and relevance.