The game is to speak the first word that comes to your mind when you hear these: Harley-Davidson, Kellogg’s, and Coca-Cola. You probably thought about that macho bike which makes you swoon, that lovely quick breakfast and lastly the black fizzy drink which you always promise to quit. So what makes the whole world think about the same thing when we see/hear those words? The answer is the brands! They are the Big Baddies of the world where everything they touch turns to gold, where nothing can ever go wrong, Right? Wrong actually. These Grown-ups have made epic blunders and you would be surprised to hear the disaster stories. Some may even enjoy a chuckle or two to see the seasoned players miss the target big time. So let’s start the tour of epic failures.
10. Cosmopolitan yogurt
Launched in 1999 and discontinued in well, 18 months! This was an attempt made by the cosmopolitan magazine to get in contact with the chief buyer of their product, The Ladies. For the novices, Cosmopolitan is a magazine and its A-Z is all based and related to Sex. So this brand assumed that their loyal consumers will switch to their product when they see it on the dairy aisle. The disregarded the fact that yogurt and sexy doesn’t mix most of the time, it is not a desired quality in yogurt and people don’t want to pay more for the same product. So the famed player failed to score and withdrew back into own game where it still rules, no doubt in that.
9. Earring Magic Ken
In the world of Barbie, life is simple and the kids love them. The parents love the versions of Barbie and Ken as the couple on a picnic, cycling and at a diner. The elegance of the couple was loved. When Mattel decided to take it one step further and introduced Earring Barbie. Kids were asked if they want Ken, Kids said we want Cooler-Ken. Result was a brown hair blond highlight Ken, with purple shirt, lavender vest and a hoop necklace and the famous earrings. This step proved to be one too far for the version looked like a stereotype gay man and parents started the product bashing, newspapers took a few shots and finally the line was discontinued. Poor Earring Barbie, sorry for the loss.
8.Colgate kitchen entrees
The above picture makes you wonder if it is a part of a game to spot the mistakes. Well, if it was it would have saved Colgate few big bucks. We do not want to eat the toothpaste. the product should have stuck to cleaning the teeth and not help in the utilization of teeth. If only the giants knew this, they would have stayed put in the bath-room and never entered the kitchen.
When a product has style, class and money no one expects it to fail and when the money is from Microsoft, the occurrence of disaster reduces. But when Zune music player was launched it flopped. Set to be an I-pod competitor it earned $85 Million when Apple earned $185 Million in same slot. So we know that failure is not just lack of good idea, lack of money or lack of marketing. The hidden reason of failure is when the product fails to click. This spiral journey can’t be controlled, even by giants like Microsoft.
6. Kellogg Breakfast Mates
When we think Kellogg we think breakfast. The cereal is coupled with cold milk and this got the thinking wheels of Kellogg turning. in 1998 they started a new line of breakfast product with a plastic bowl, spoon, cereal and milk. It had all the ingredients but it failed big time. The reasons were as follows, if the milk was warm it got sour. It was the cold milk shifted it the dairy aisle and breakfast in dairy aisle was not adaptable, the price was high and the advertisement was misleading for the package was not child-friendly as portrayed. The breakfast mate was tanked
5. R.J Reynolds smokeless cigarettes
One way to quit smoking is to get the cigarettes without the harmful stuff, without the smoke. The market was opened for people try to quit and was largely untapped. R J Reynolds waded into this water. But the product failed and the smokers gave the following reasons, it felt like burning plastic, it was tasteless, it felt different than tobacco and the last and epic reason; it gets too hot to hold! One can’t wish to save this product for it spells disaster.
Pepsi became a victim of the fad ‘clarity is purity’. Sold for one year 1992-1993 in Canada and USA, it was sold in Europe for longer time. This was marketed as the caffeine free version and was dubbed as healthy replacement for cola. The taste was different and was disliked, the look was unaccepted and disliked and the feel was just wrong. Similar to purple ketchup, this just felt wrong.
3.Cocaine Energy Drinks
Highly caffeinated drink marketed by Redux, it had highest level of cocaine content in the world. It had more cocaine content than Red-bull and Rock-star. It was liked by many but it was pulled down by the USA FDA for it was said to be a substitute for street drug and an illegal diet supplementary. Sometimes good ideas are just not legal, right?
2.Bottled Water For pets
So we need water to live, so do pets. We like bottled water over the tapped water, so do pets have similar preferences? Apparently yes. This was an idea proposed when Dog Jason refused to drink from tap. It’s not just for Dogs; it’s for cats, birds and rodents as well. People are known to pamper their pets and the idea of bottled water may appeal to few. But when you add flavors to the water like Crispy Beef and Tangy Fish it crosses over the line of crazy. 2$ for a bottle of water for pets! It is barking mad.
1. Coke New
When the giants and monopoly holders make an epic mistake, the world watches and remembers. The disaster struck in 1985, 99 years after successful classic taste. The company replaced the classic coke with a sweeter version called coke new. This ‘replacement’ was the mistake for the public was not ready to say goodbye to their beloved cola and in 79 days flat, the new was discontinued and classic returned. So one reason for the failure is when public refuses to accept the change at any and every cost.
Sometimes the popular and mighty ones get sucker punched. From the list we see that the ideas may fail or the market may reject it. Learn from them if you plan to start something new for the punch may prove too costly.