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Training Design: Needs and Wants


The difference between needs and wants, it is said, are that a need is something which we cannot do without whereas a want is something we would like but don't necessarily need.

Water is a need whereas an iPad is a want. Needs and wants can change depending on their context, however. For instance, if you are a doctor working in a mobile hospital in rural India and rely on portable video access to other consultants you may argue that an iPad or other mobile device becomes a need.

And so we set the scene for my latest dilema in designing our latest one day marketing courses...

Take branding, for instance. My marketing experience tells me that the most important aspect of successful brands is is communicating the Why? That is, the emotional reason why consumers should connect with the brand. The greatest opportunity clients have to surpass their competitors is to craft the Why? and communicate is strongly. 99% of SME's do not do this. My training experience, however, tells me that most learners attending a branding course want to know how to design a logo or rebrand an existing product/service. This creates a conflict within me as to which content I share with my learners to give them the optimum training day.

Inevitably, my emotional want to be loyal to my learners creates a conflict with my commercial need to create a viable service.

Invariably, I find that a happy medium can be found by primarily focusing on the common ground, where needs and wants overlap. For one day courses this creates more than enough scope for an attractive and viable training day that meets the wants of the learners and my need to deliver long-term value to them and their organisation.

Carl Duncker is CEO of traininaday, a provider of one day courses in management, marketing and social media.

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