Although one might think that buying Coca Cola is related to the lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy, it generally is not. At the lowest level of the hierarchy, people are pursuing their physiological needs like the need to eat and drink. However, Coke is not mainly a way of satisfying these basic-level needs. There are many other ways to quench thirst. Therefore, the decision to buy Coke comes out of other levels of the hierarchy.
Specifically, the decision to buy Coke comes largely from people’s esteem needs. This is the second-highest level of the hierarchy. At this level, people want to feel like they are worthwhile and like people respect them. They want others to think that they are “cool.” This is where the decision to buy Coke comes in. Coke tries to market itself in a way that makes it seem like a product that cool people would buy. People then buy Coke largely because they like the image that it projects. They want to associate themselves with Coke because they feel that it will make them seem cooler and more important to other people.
Thus, while some may buy Coke to satisfy physiological needs, much of the reason why people buy Coke is based on the desire to fulfill esteem needs.