10 Top Products failed all the time
10 Bottled Water for Pets
People tend to pamper their pets, so it’s not far-fetched to believe consumers might serve bottled water to their cats and dogs. At least that’s what the makers of Thirsty Cat! and Thirsty Dog! must have believed. But despite the fact that the water came in such delicious flavors as Crispy Beef and Tangy Fish, it never seemed to catch on. Go figure.
In the 1960s, DuPont began to promote Corfam, a synthetic leather substitute. The company decided Corfam was best-suited to being used in women’s shoes, but they forgot to take one thing into account — comfort. Unfortunately, Corfam did not have the flexibility of leather, and while it may have been a cheaper alternative, it was certainly not a more comfortable alternative. In addition, as a response to Corfam, leather manufacturers began to lower prices and increase quality. Thus, Corfam lost its appeal.
8 Harley Davidson Perfume
Harley-Davidson fans are known as very loyal customers. However, even the beloved motorcycle brand can go too far. T-shirts and cigarette lighters were one thing, but when the company started to make aftershave and perfume, fans were not impressed. As the saying goes, less is more, and Harley-Davidson had spread itself too thin. Or maybe people just weren’t too keen on the idea of smelling like a motorcycle.
Ben-Gay cream is great for topically relieving aches and pains. But the idea of swallowing Ben-Gay? Not so appealing. That was the problem the company faced when they tried to launch an aspirin. Their first brand extension, Ultra-Strength Ben-Gay, was essentially the same product as the original and was very successful. The aspirin? Not so much.
The way Maxwell House described its ready-to-drink coffee sounded appealing enough — it was “a convenient new way to enjoy the rich taste of Maxwell House Coffee.” Just one problem — the coffee could not be microwaved in its original container, virtually canceling out any “convenience” it may have offered. If you can pour the “ready-to-drink” coffee into a mug and microwave it, you can certainly pour yourself a mug of coffee from a coffeemaker. And that’s just what consumers continued to do.
In 1988, when even second-hand smoke was deemed a serious health risk, the company behind brands like Camel decided to launch Premier, a line of smokeless cigarettes. Reporter Magazine said that smoking the Premier “produced a smell and a flavor that left users retching.” The taste, combined with the rumor that the cigarette could be used as a delivery device for crack cocaine, pretty much guaranteed the product’s failure.
In an effort to class up the McDonald’s brand, the company created the Arch Deluxe, a product marketed towards adults with more sophisticated palates. Just one problem — people don’t go to McDonald’s for sophistication. McDonald’s customers know what they want, and what they want is a classic and convenient burger. Needless to say, when the Arch Deluxe debuted in 1996, consumers weren’t lovin’ it.
The Betamax video recorder hit stores in 1975. A year later, Sony’s rival released another video recorder — the VHS. By early 1977, four other companies were selling VHS machines. Meanwhile, Sony chose not to license Betamax technology. Because the two formats were incompatible, consumers had to choose between the two. As Sony was the lone Betamax producer, you can guess which system they chose.
The fact that the Edsel is known as ‘The Titanic of Automobiles’ speaks volumes about the car’s performance. It was launched with much hype in 1957, and showrooms were packed with curious consumers — at first. Unfortunately the car did not live up to the high expectations, and only 64,000 were sold in the first year. Perhaps it was the fact that the design of the front grill was compared to ‘an oldsmobile sucking a lemon,’ and ‘a toilet seat’ that turned off consumers.
In the 1970s and early 80s, Coke began to face stiff competition from other soft drink producers. To remain in the number one spot, Coke executives decided to cease production on the classic cola in favor of New Coke. The public was outraged, and Coca-Cola was forced to re-launch its original formula almost immediately. Lesson learned — don’t mess with success.