Unsought good

From CEOpedia | Management online

An unsought good is a new product that the purchaser is not yet aware of or he is aware of the product but does not want it at the moment or does not normally think about buying it. An example of unsought goods can be a new product that is being launched in the market which does not have a ready demand. Sales personnel have a very important role to play in case of unsought goods. An aggressive sales policy has to be implied. There may be several rejections, and hence the motivation level of the sales force should be of the highest importance to sales management. Many companies offering unsought goods, as in case of personal selling, appoint independent agents to take care of sales. The role of sales managers, in this case, is to train the sales agents, to supervise their work and to motivate them to achieve the sale targets[1]. However, relatively few goods fall into this category. Most consumers have a good understanding of their own needs when consumer purchases are considered and often seek them. Customer buying behaviour variations are key distinguishing the category of the good[2]. Classic examples of unsought goods are home security systems, pre-planned funeral services and blood donations[3].

Converting unsought goods into sought goods

Customers are highly unlikely to think about buying life insurance unless prompted to do so by marketers or recommended by other people. It is highly important in such case to have strong marketing of the unsought product that your company might be selling. It usually takes an aggressive marketing campaign and a lot of effort from the marketing team with the task of personal selling and sales promotions. The mission for marketers is to transform customers perceptions of unsought goods into sought which is usually rather difficult. This can also be done by educating customers of the importance of the good or bundling the product with other complementary services, such as travel or health insurance to sell the good[4].

The selling concept

Many companies make use of the selling concept, which holds that consumers will not buy enough of the company's products unless it undertakes a large-scale selling and promotion effort. The selling concept is typically practised with unsought goods - those that buyers do not normally think of purchasing, such as insurance or blood donations. These industries must track down prospects and sell them on product benefits. This type of aggressive selling, however, carries high risks. It focuses on creating one-off sales transactions rather than building long-term, profitable customer relationships. The aim often is to sell what the company makes, rather than making what the market wants. It assumes that customers who are buying the product will like it. Or, if they do not like it, they will possibly forget their disappointment and buy it again later. These are usually bad assumptions[5].

Examples of Unsought good

  • Automobile insurance: Automobile insurance is a type of unsought good. It is something that many customers are not actively looking for or thinking about, but it is a necessity for all vehicle owners. Insurance companies often have to use aggressive marketing tactics to promote their products and services, as customers may not be aware of the importance of the coverage.
  • Home security systems: Home security systems are a type of unsought good. Many homeowners are not aware of the importance of having a security system in their home or may not be actively looking for one. Security companies have to use aggressive marketing tactics, such as door-to-door sales, to promote their products and services.
  • Vacuum cleaners: Vacuum cleaners are another example of an unsought good. Many people are not aware of the importance of vacuuming their home regularly and may not be actively looking for a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaner companies have to use aggressive marketing tactics, such as television and radio ads, to promote their products.
  • Life insurance: Life insurance is another example of an unsought good. Many people are not aware of the importance of having life insurance and may not be actively looking for it. Insurance companies have to use aggressive marketing tactics, such as direct mail and email campaigns, to promote their products and services.

Advantages of Unsought good

  • Unsought goods offer an opportunity to create a new, untapped market. Companies can create a need for an unsought good, by launching an effective marketing campaign with an eye-catching and creative advertisement.
  • Unsought goods are generally more profitable than sought goods, as there is less competition in the market. Companies can price their products more competitively, and thereby increase their profit margins.
  • Unsought goods are low-risk investments. Since customers are not aware of the product, they may not compare prices and may be willing to pay the price quoted by the seller.
  • Selling unsought goods also helps in creating brand loyalty. As customers are not aware of the product, they are likely to stay loyal to the brand they purchase. This helps companies to build a loyal customer base.
  • Selling unsought goods also helps companies to explore new markets and develop new strategies for selling their products. Companies can also use this opportunity to experiment with different sales techniques and strategies.

Limitations of Unsought good

  • Unsought goods have the potential of reducing sales, as customers are not aware of the product or have not thought about buying it. This can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction among potential buyers.
  • The sales personnel are usually met with rejections which can lead to lower motivation and performance of the sales team.
  • The sales of unsought goods require more effort and resources for marketing and promotion, as customers need to be made aware of the product and its features.
  • Unsought goods may require more time to penetrate the market, as customers may take longer to make an informed decision.
  • Unsought goods may have higher chances of failure, as customers may not find them attractive or useful.

Other approaches related to Unsought good

  • Developing an effective promotional campaign: Companies offering unsought goods must create an effective promotional campaign to increase the awareness of the product or service. The campaign should include strategies such as advertising, public relations, direct marketing, and other forms of promotion.
  • Creating a customer base: Companies should focus on creating a customer base by targeting specific customer segments. This enables them to create a loyal customer base and build relationships with them.
  • Offering incentives and discounts: Companies should offer incentives and discounts to attract potential customers. This could include discounts on purchases, free shipping or other offers that may attract customers.
  • Establishing relationships with influencers: Establishing relationships with influencers such as celebrities, bloggers, and other people who have a large social media following can help companies reach more potential customers.
  • Utilizing social media platforms: Utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be very effective in reaching potential customers and building brand awareness.

In conclusion, companies offering unsought goods must develop an effective promotional campaign, create a customer base, offer incentives and discounts, establish relationships with influencers, and utilize social media platforms in order to reach potential customers and increase sales.


  1. Vashisht K. (2006) p.86
  2. Kurtz D., Mackenzie H. (2009) p.328
  3. Strydom J. (2005) p.108
  4. Pride W., Ferrell O., (2017) p.337
  5. Armstrong G., Adam S. (2014) p.11

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Author: Jakub Irauth