Understanding how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Aristotle’s causes of human nature intersect, can help a peace builder grow their brand in the market. Understanding needs and nature—both of which can drive your peace building product—can help the peace builder grow a brand long term. And they can help ensure that your clients bond with your process, services, and products and make referrals to others to help you grow.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes the path of human needs and motivations, from physiological to emotional. At the bottom of the pyramid are basic needs—such as food, clothing, and shelter—that drive your clients. At the next level, safety—physical, emotional, moral—becomes the primary client driver. This may be a place where your peace building brand operates easily. However, the next level is love and belonging—friendship and family intimacy. These needs are where many a peace builder focus their marketing efforts, but the brand may not connect to clients on that level. Esteem—self-confidence, achievement, respect of and by others—is the next level on the pyramid. A brand built on ensuring clients’ esteem (or face) connects deeply with clients. The last level is self-actualization. This is where morality, creativity, loss of prejudices, and acceptance of facts affects how a client relates to what a peace builder does.

Aristotle analyzed and described the causes of human actions and tied them directly to human nature. Understanding how these causes impact the ways a client views your brand, can help the peace builder move forward in a deliberately and intentionally.

  • Chance lines up with understanding where your clients are located on the hierarchy of needs—and how your branding speaks to those needs. 
  • Nature engages with both a client’s internal nature and the client’s surroundings (their external nature). Understanding where their nature lines up with belonging, esteem, and safety can help you build your brand.
  • Compulsion lines up often with fulfilling basic needs, such as the ones at the base of the triangle, and understanding that sometimes client’s will be looking for your peace building brand to fulfill an immediate need.
  • Habit is the ways in which clients return—and refer—your brand promise, over and over again. 
  • Reason can be both rational and irrational, and can appeal to the fulfilling of compulsory needs (at the bottom of the pyramid) or the fulfilling of higher needs (at the top of the pyramid).
  • Passion is all about emotion. Does your brand promise line up with the emotions of your clients, or does it leaves them cold?
  • Desire is understanding the client’s needs and wants and developing your brand to meet those needs and wants, whether through your website, your blogging, or even your podcast.

Knowing the links between Maslow and Aristotle is critical to understanding how your brand works in the psychological space of your client. This understanding allows peacebuilders to ask better questions of how their marketing and branding efforts are resonating (or not) with clients. 

Questions or feedback about this?  Write to me at jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com or connect with me via Twitter @Sorrells79 or check out my Facebook Business page and leave a comment there, or message me on LinkedIn.

By Jesan Sorrell

Jesan Sorrells is the founder, owner and principal conflict engagement consultant at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT), a boutique, private, conflict communication and corporate training consultancy, based out of Endicott, NY. HSCT focuses on delivering Christian based, alternative dispute resolution solutions in the areas of conflict communication, conflict skills development and conflict consulting for a variety of clients, including corporations, higher education organizations and nonprofits. HSCT accomplishes this by leveraging cutting edge, pioneering and entrepreneurial resolutions to conflict, communications, social media, and organizational development for its clients through trainings, seminars, workshops and 1-on-1 consulting. http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com