Consumers often experience what’s called the want-got gap, which describes the discrepancy between their actual situation and their desired situation. Consumers often do not recognize this as a problem that they must attend to.

Please illustrate the want-got gap by identifing products that you are hoping to buy in the next one month to two years. Identify products that vary from small to major purchases and from minor interests to real needs. For each product, specify the following:

    • The type and brand of product you are considering.
    • The purpose of the product.
    • The time you are willing to invest in researching or searching for the item.
    • Whether you consider the item a want, need, or opportunity (Figure 9.7 on page 190 of Consumer Behavior)

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To illustrate the consumer want-got gap, I'll select a toaster oven (opportunity), a new set of bath towels (need), and a new sofa (want).

Type and Brand of Product:

Toaster oven: All stainless steel construction to eliminate toxic chemical exposure; Oster 6-Slice Toaster Oven, Stainless-Steel.

Set of bath towels: GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard Certified) organic cotton bath towel set; Coyuchi Mediterranean Turkish weave.

New sofa: Chemical-free hand-made sofa using Eco materials; Stem Jeeni Sofa.

Purpose of Product: Toaster oven, for small, low-energy baking and broiling needs; bath towels, for daily washing and bathing needs (and a extra set for guests); new sofa, for family living needs in a safe, non-toxic home environment free of off-gasing toxic chemicals.

Time given to research: Toaster oven, 20 minutes; bath towels, several months; new sofa, several years (the market had to catch up with the wanted product). 

Want, Need, Opportunity:

Toaster oven: This is an opportunity. My need arose because my actual and desired states changed simultaneously: My old toaster oven gave out, and I found a price-friendly all-stainless steel one at Best Buy at about the same time. Other options were unacceptable because of the toxic materials incorporated in the design, such as in plastic exteriors and non-stick interiors.

Bath towels: This is a need. My actual state changed so that my current towels are no longer adequate, and towels are necessary. The product type and brand meet my requirements for a non-toxic, chemical-free indoor environment.

New sofa: This is a want. My desired state changed because of the newly evolving chemical-free industries providing non-toxic, chemical-free, safe goods. What I have is adequate and non-toxic but not the most comfortable or attractive. Finding a company that shares my concern for a safe living environment created a want to plan for.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial