Why are people driven by particular needs atparticular times? One popular theory is Maslow’s hier-archy of needs, shown in Exhibit 5.5,which arranges needs in ascendingorder of importance: physiological,safety,social,esteem,and self-actualization. As a person fulfills oneneed, a higher level need becomesmore important.The most basic human needs arephysiological—that is the needs for food,water,and shelter.Because they are essential to survival,these needs must be satisfied first.Safety needsincludesecurity and freedom from pain and discomfort.Marketers sometimes appeal to consumers’ fears andanxieties about safety to sell their products. After physi-ological and safety needs have been fulfilled,socialneeds—especially love and a sense of belonging—become the focus. Love includes acceptance by one’speers, as well as sex and romantic love. Marketing man-agers probably appeal more to this need than to anyother.The need to belong is also a favorite of marketers,especially those marketing products to teens. Shoes andclothing brands such as Nike, adidas, Tommy Hilfiger,commercial may have differentinterpretations of the advertis-ing message. One person maybe thoroughly engrossed by themessage and become highlymotivated to buy the product.Thirty seconds after the adends, the second person maynot be able to recall the contentof the message or even theproduct advertised.Marketing Implicationsof PerceptionMarketers must recognize the importance of cues, orsignals,in consumers’ perception of products.Marketing managers first identify the important attri-butes, such as price or quality, that the targeted con-sumers want in a product and thendesign signals—like price—to com-municate these attributes. GibsonGuitar Corporation briefly cut priceson many of its guitars to competewith Japanese rivals Yamaha andIbanez but found instead that it soldmore guitars when it charged more forthem. Consumers perceived that the higher price indi-cated a better quality instrument.19Marketing managers are also interested in thethreshold level of perception:the minimum difference ina stimulus that the consumer will notice.This conceptis sometimes referred to as the “just-noticeable differ-ence.” For example, how much would Apple have todrop the price of its iPod Shuffle before consumersrecognized it as a bargain—$25? $50? or more? Onestudy found that the just-noticeable difference in astimulus is about a 20 percent change. That is, con-sumers will likely notice a 20 percent price decreasemore quickly than a 15 percent decrease.This market-ing principle can be applied to other marketing vari-ables as well, such as package size or loudness of abroadcast advertisement.