Launching a new product is not always easy, even for a well-known brand. Occasionally consumers are not ready for the product, and other times they do not find any value in it. And when that happens, even a huge marketing budget can not get people to buy the failed product.
From the rebranding and product extension failures, we have compiled a few failed products notorious for being so unsuccessful that they could even bankrupt a company.
Some of these ideas may even make you wonder, “Why did companies make these products in the first place?”
1. Kitchen Entrees, Colgate, 1982
In 1982, Colgate had the strangest idea for a brand extension. The company decided to sell frozen dinners, but that plan backfired because consumers could not help but think that toothpaste stunk and tasted like their dinner. No company launches a product that it believes will cut into sales of its other products, but it should have known what would happen because toothpaste sales plummeted after the frozen meals line was introduced and was a failed product.
2. Office Assistant Clippy, Microsoft, 1990s
Clippy is considered one of the worst user interfaces developed and a failed product from Microsoft. Clippy was supposed to pop up whenever the software felt a user needed help, and managed to piss off some people. After Microsoft realized the unpopularity of Clippy, they decided to remove it altogether.
3. Ez Squirt Ketchup, Heinz, 2006
In 2000, Heinz came up with the idea of drawing children’s attention to different colored ketchup: Ez Squirt. This colorful condiment came in turquoise, green and purple. After six years on the market, it was discontinued.
4. Bic For Her, 2012
Device manufacturer Bic launched a product for women called “Lady Pens” in 2012. These pointless gender-specific pens were ridiculed and found no takers; no wonder it was a failed product.
5. Frito-Lay Wow! Chips, 1998
The idea of fat-free chips was a brilliant marketing ploy by Frito-Lay in 1998. People were excited at the thought that this “miracle food” would solve their weight problems, and it was not long before sales reached $400 million. But soon people began complaining of abdominal cramps, loose stools, and other side effects of this new fat substitute called Olestra- and when these complaints became too loud to ignore, Frito Lay had no choice but to stop production for good.
6. Google +, 2011
Google launched its new social network, Google+, in 2011. It never came close to the success of Facebook, leading many people to believe it was a failed product and a major disappointment.
7. Trump Steaks, Donald Trump, 2007
In 2007, Donald Trump launched his “world’s best” line of premium steaks. Consumers disagreed with the description and sales of this product were quickly discontinued.
8. Jimmy Dean chocolate chip sausage in a pancake coating, 2006
In 2016, Jimmy Dean introduced an odd combination to its line: Chunks of sausage wrapped in chocolate pancakes on a stick. When they said “it might be crazy enough to work,” they did not mean this product.
9. Crystal Pepsi, 1992
Pepsi launched a new product named “Crystal Pepsi” in 1992; however, it was phased out a year later. David C. Novak, the man who is credited with inventing Crystal Pepsi, said that he should have made sure “the product tasted good.”
10. Cheetos Lip Balm, Cheetos, 2005
Someone at Frito-Lay decided that launching a Cheetos-flavored lip balm would be a fantastic idea in 2005. We understand why this idea is on the list of failed product, even though we have never done anything like it before.
11. Twitter Peek, 2009
TwitterPeek was the first and last Twitter-only mobile device dedicated exclusively to Twitter. The product failed because of its 20-character preview of what it does: send and receive tweets. It was no surprise that consumers declined to purchase this device after seeing how limited it was in its use.
12. Thirsty Cat! And Thirsty Dog!, 1994
Bottled water for cats and dogs was launched in 1994. It contained carbon dioxide, vitamins, and flavorings. Consumers did not well receive the product, who noted that it was completely unnecessary to give their pets what amounted to a cola-flavored soda.
13. Samsung Galaxy Note 7, 2016
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was a phone that became popular in 2017 for all the wrong reasons. The devices were recalled before they were even released due to complaints of overheating and exploding batteries.
14. Pepsi Blue, 2002
Pepsi Blue was Pepsi’s unsuccessful attempt to compete with Vanilla Coke. Although heavily promoted, the drink flopped due to its berry-like flavor, which consumers found too sweet and more reminiscent of cotton candy than berries.
15. Juicero, 2017
In 2013, Juicero introduced a juicer called Juicero Press. This device was sold with packages of pre-juiced fruits and vegetables sourced exclusively from the company. Consumers quickly discovered that these packets could be pressed just as efficiently by hand as with the $400 machine. Eventually, they had to stop selling the product and buy it back from customers who had already purchased it.
16. Google Glass, 2013-2014
Google Glass, launched in 2013, was a very failed product in the concept of smart glasses. The device cost $1,500 at its release and did not perform any of its intended functions well. These high-tech glasses also reportedly raised serious security and privacy concerns.
17. New Coke, Coca-Cola Co, 1985
The Coca-Cola Co. decided to reformulate Coke in 1985 and invested $4 million in a nationwide taste test. Although New Coke did well in the taste tests, people’s reactions after its release were extremely negative and it had to be renamed Coca-Cola Classic within three months of its release.
18. Cocaine, Redux Beverages 2007
This energy drink was pulled from shelves in the U.S. because of its suggestive name. The FDA disagreed with Cocaine’s marketing, which touted the drink as an alternative to street drugs and as a dietary supplement. In Europe, the drink continues to be sold under its original name.
19. Cosmopolitan Yogurt, 1999
The Cosmopolitan magazine had a brief experience in food. They had an idea for Cosmopolitan yogurt, but it did not appeal to their target audience. After only 18 months of production, they stopped production and moved on.
20. Amazon’s Fire Phone, 2014
Amazon entered the smartphone market in 2014 with the Fire Phone. It was discontinued after one year because the marketing strategies were not successful enough.
21. Nokia N-Gage, Nokia, 2003
In 2003, when smartphones did not exist and games were only played on cell phones (Nokia), the company attempted to combine the two. Unfortunately, it was a total failure, as they combined too many things into one device. The Nokia N-gage was not a success, only 1/3 of the 6 million devices sold.
The above-failed product proves that the quality of the product makes it successful. However, it does not guarantee that it will be successful as it helps in the first round of sales or attracts customers. A product undergoes numerous changes before its debut, and in the case of large corporations, marketing is also carried out on a large scale.
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