I'd like to find a very simple, preferably one word (or few words) expression for products that you don't know you need until you see them. Examples are:

  • electronic face cleanser
  • sleep enhancing app
  • the iPhone
  • Nike+ sensor
  • a Louis Vuitton handbag
  • an open heart tourbillon watch

These products are great, but before you knew they existed you didn't think you needed them. Now that you are aware of them you need them.

I'm thinking awareness-dependent or marketing-driven, but these are not cutting it. Luxury doesn't necessarily apply either. Diamonds are a luxury but they don't need marketing, you know they exist and they are much like commodities.

What I'm looking for is something that describes that a product price has a big marketing content, but not in a negative way (i.e. not "crap you don't need").

  • Superfluous comes to mind, but that doesn't quite describe a need.
    – TK-421
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:05
  • Yeah, it indeed has to do with your discretionary income, but superfluous is not necessarily a good word to describe this. I'm also looking for something positive.
    – gphilip
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:07
  • 1
    How-did-I-ever-manage-withoutables. I'm suggesting a non-word because if you've managed without them till now, they're almost certainly not a need, especially if hard selling is involved. Dec 15, 2014 at 17:10
  • 1
    junk-I-really-can-do-without. Edit: oh, I just re-read your last sentence. How about frivolities?
    – pazzo
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:23
  • 1
    I think this is part of a marketing strategy. You make them need a product! "When people don't know they need something, you don't need increased brand awareness... you need increased need/want awareness, followed by solution/product awareness, and only then should you be looking to raise brand awareness." moz.com
    – ermanen
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


frippery noun showy or unnecessary ornament in architecture, dress, or language.



While it's not quite the same thing, consider fad

An intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze Oxford Dictionaries Online

Fads gain their cachet from the enthusiasm of others and tend to fade rather soon. Your concept has at least the potential of independent benefit and possible staying power.

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