Unsought Products – Definition, Features, Types, Strategy, and Examples

What is an Unsought Product?

Unsought products are those that consumers typically don’t seek out or consider purchasing under normal circumstances. These products may lack immediate benefits or could be associated with unpleasant or unfamiliar situations.

Examples include life insurance, reference books, and home alarm systems. People often overlook these items due to a lack of desire or awareness. Unsought goods require aggressive marketing to educate consumers about their value and benefits.

Companies use strategies like advertising, personal selling, and product demonstrations to change consumer perceptions. Unsought products may be necessary for certain situations, but consumers don’t actively plan to buy them.

Overall, unsought products are distinct from items consumers regularly buy such as convenience and shopping products, and may require significant efforts to make them sought after.

Characteristics of Unsought Product

Unsought goods are a unique category of consumer goods that consumers typically do not actively seek or consider purchasing in their day-to-day lives. These products possess distinctive features that set them apart from items we regularly buy. Here are seven key characteristics that define unsought products:

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  • Unnecessary Until Necessary: Unsought products are like the emergency toolkit you rarely use until a crisis hits. Consumers don’t feel the need for these products until a specific, often unexpected, situation arises.
  • Unpleasant Realities: They are products that address uncomfortable or undesirable aspects of life, such as life insurance or funeral services. We may not want to think about them, but we recognize their importance.
  • Brand New or Unfamiliar: Unsought products can be innovations or entirely new concepts that consumers are unaware of. They lack the familiarity of everyday items, making consumers hesitant to buy them.
  • Low Desire, High Value: Consumers typically lack the desire to purchase unsought products because they may not see an immediate benefit. However, these products can hold significant long-term value.
  • Heavy Marketing Required: Due to the lack of consumer awareness and desire, unsought products demand extensive marketing efforts. This involves advertisements, personal selling, and product demonstrations to educate consumers about their significance.
  • Infrequent Purchases: Consumers don’t regularly buy unsought products. Purchases are often infrequent, occurring only when a need arises, like investing in life insurance after starting a family.
  • Conversion Potential: Unsought products can transition into sought-after items through effective marketing and education. Once consumers understand their value, these products become more appealing.

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Types of Unsought Products

Unsought products can also be categorized into two types – New Products and Known but not interesting to buy.

New or Unknown Product

This category of unsought products includes items that are entirely fresh to the market. Consumers have never encountered them before, leading to a lack of awareness and initial interest. These products often challenge traditional norms and introduce innovative solutions.

For instance, when touchscreen smartphones were first introduced, many people were unfamiliar with them and hesitant to adopt this new technology. Over time, as consumers became more aware of the benefits, these smartphones evolved from unsought to sought-after products.

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Known But No Interest To Buy

In this type of unsought product, consumers are aware of the product’s existence but have little tendency to purchase it. This lack of interest often arises from misconceptions or a failure to recognize the product’s long-term value.

For example, life insurance is well-known, yet some individuals may delay purchasing it due to a perceived lack of immediate benefit. Effective marketing and education are essential to overcome this disinterest and highlight the product’s significance over time.

Examples of Unsought Products

Let’s point out the 10 common examples of unsought goods.

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  • Life Insurance: Many people may not actively seek life insurance until they recognize the importance of financial protection for their loved ones.
  • Burial Services: Funeral arrangements and prepaid funeral services fall into this category, as they are typically not something people plan for until a need arises.
  • Smoke Detectors: People may not actively shop for smoke detectors until they are reminded of their importance in safeguarding their homes.
  • Emergency Medical Supplies: Items like defibrillators or advanced first-aid kits may not be sought after until individuals recognize the potential risks they face.
  • Fire Extinguishers: While necessary for safety, fire extinguishers often go unnoticed until a fire hazard becomes evident.
  • Reference Books: Reference materials, like encyclopedias or academic textbooks, are rarely purchased unless required for specific educational or professional needs.
  • Prepaid Funeral Services: Preparing for one’s own funeral is not a common practice, making prepaid funeral services an unsought product.
  • Insurance Policies: Various insurance types, such as accident insurance or pet insurance, may not be actively sought until individuals perceive potential risks.
  • Safety Equipment: Personal protective equipment (PPE) or safety gear may not be purchased until people recognize the need for protection in specific situations.
  • Survival Gear: Items like emergency food supplies or survival kits often remain unsought until individuals become concerned about natural disasters or other emergencies.

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Importance of Unsought Product

Unsought products, though not commonly sought by consumers, serve important purposes in our lives:

Security and Protection

Unsought products like life insurance, smoke detectors, and safety equipment provide a safety net. They offer protection and peace of mind, ensuring that individuals and their loved ones are financially secure and safe in unforeseen circumstances. Just as a seatbelt might go unused until an accident, these products are there when needed most, offering a sense of security.

Emergency Preparedness

Items such as fire extinguishers and survival gear are essential for emergency preparedness. They may not be daily necessities, but when disasters strike, having these products readily available can be the difference between safety and danger. Think of them as the emergency exits and lifeboats of our lives.

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Education and Knowledge

Reference books and encyclopedias, although not on our daily reading list, are valuable sources of knowledge. They support learning and research, helping us expand our horizons when we decide to delve into a new subject. Like hidden treasures, they wait for the right moment to impart their wisdom.

Planning and Peace of Mind

Unsought products related to end-of-life planning, such as prepaid funeral services and burial plots, enable individuals to plan for the future. While not a topic most want to dwell on, these products provide a sense of closure and relief, sparing loved ones from the burden of arrangements during a difficult time. They offer the comfort of knowing one’s wishes will be honored.

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Strategies For Marketing Unsought Products

Marketing unsought products requires creative and persuasive strategies due to their nature as products consumers may not actively seek. Here are five effective marketing strategies for promoting unsought goods:

Create Awareness Through Compelling Storytelling

Craft engaging narratives around your unsought product to capture consumers’ attention. Use relatable scenarios or real-life stories to illustrate how the product can solve a problem or enhance their lives. For example, a heartfelt commercial showing how a home security system protects a family from a break-in can evoke the need for such a product.

Demonstrate Value and Benefits

Highlight the tangible benefits and value your unsought product brings. Show potential customers how it can make their lives easier or protect them in unexpected situations. Utilize clear, straightforward language to explain why they should consider it. For instance, emphasize how a life insurance policy provides financial security for loved ones.

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Personalize the Sales Approach

Use personalized marketing techniques, such as targeted emails or tailored recommendations, to connect with potential customers. Address their specific needs and concerns. For instance, an email campaign could address the importance of health insurance for families, highlighting its role in covering medical expenses.

Leverage Social Proof

Share customer reviews, testimonials, or endorsements to build trust and credibility. When others share positive experiences, it reassures potential buyers. Encourage satisfied customers to share their stories or provide feedback on your product’s effectiveness.

Offer Limited-Time Incentives

Create a sense of urgency by offering time-limited promotions or discounts. People are more likely to act when they believe they’re getting a special deal. For instance, offer a “limited-time offer” on fire extinguishers, emphasizing the importance of immediate readiness for emergencies.

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Unsought Vs. Sought Products

Unsought Products are items consumers don’t actively seek. They may not even know about them or don’t want them unless facing certain situations. For example, life insurance or fire extinguishers.

Sought Products, in contrast, are things people actively look for and buy regularly, like groceries or clothing.

Similarities: Both aim to fulfill a need, but the timing and intention differ. Unsought products become sought when consumers realize their value.

Dissimilarities: Unsought products often need extensive marketing to create awareness. Sought products rely on regular demand. Sought products build brand loyalty, while unsought products require convincing consumers of their benefits.

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