Unsought Products: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:02 Definition and Examples
  • 0:55 Converting Unsought Products
  • 2:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
If you have ever wondered why life insurance salespeople earn high commissions, it's because they sell unsought products. In this lesson, you'll learn about unsought products and be provided some examples. You'll also have a chance to take a short quiz.

Definition and Examples

An unsought product is a product of which consumers are unaware or are not that interested in actively pursuing for purchase. A high degree of marketing, including heavy advertising and aggressive sales techniques, is often necessary due to consumer unawareness of the product or no real desire to purchase it. Another serious hurdle with an unsought product is that there is often no immediate tangible benefit obtained at purchase, and so, no incentive to make the purchase.

Let's look at some examples of unsought goods.

  • Life insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Prepaid funeral plans
  • Long-term or short-term disability insurance
  • Nursing home insurance
  • Completely new and innovative products, such as touch screen smartphones when they first came out

Converting Unsought Products

Selling unsought goods is probably the hardest marketing task for a company. It usually requires an extensive marketing campaign, including a high volume of advertising and highly trained and aggressive sales professionals. You can basically break unsought products into two categories: products that are unknown to consumers and products consumers don't see a need for or have a desire to purchase. Let's take a look at each.

Marketing unknown products is probably the easier task. A good marketing campaign can convert an unsought product into a sought product if it's relatively easy to persuade consumers that the product has utility. Once upon a time, microwave ovens were a new innovation and nobody sought to purchase them. However, microwave ovens eventually became a sought product and are now a kitchen staple.

On the other hand, it's much more difficult to convert an unsought product to a sought product if consumers don't see an immediate need for it. The classic example is life insurance. Who wants to think about their eventual demise? While death is certainly inevitable, an untimely death is statistically unlikely. Thus, many people don't perceive sufficient value in making a purchase of life insurance.

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