Audience behaviour is driven by many things, but 3 core needs can be key in understanding it: self-care, social connection, identity.


Human behaviour is a nut that marketers have been trying to crack for decades.


What drives a person to act this way, or that way?


In our content field, the question often asked is “what makes people read, watch, listen to our content?”


What can content producers integrate into their concepts, scripts and projects that will create a strong connection with their audiences?


Susan Kresnicka is a U.S.-based cultural anthropologist who studies the relationship between fundamental human needs and consumer behaviour. She and her team developed a framework that helps better understand how consumers behave, putting these behaviours in relation to three core needs:

  • Self-care: covers the whole range of needs associated with sustaining and nurturing the individual, embodied self;
  • Social connection: is based on the fact that our survival rests on our ability to maintain social connection through close, interpersonal relationships, and a broader sense of belonging in society;
  • Identity: encompasses the whole experience and understanding of the self, in all its complexity and capacity for change.

In a Think with Google article, this framework is put to the test against the way people consumed video on YouTube during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.


I found this framework to be fascinating as it is simple to use and also an extremely strong tool to use when creating content, helping content creators see how each of these core needs are considered in the content produced.


I strongly suggest you read the Think with Google article, but also take the time to download Kresnicka’s white paper on her framework (there is a link in the article).


You will see how the pandemic has really affected the need people have for the three core needs.


And if you have the time, also ask yourself: how does your brand cater to these needs? How does your brand touch people on the self-care, social connection

and identity fronts?