You are on page 1of 49

Every now and then, a product comes along that makes you think Yes!!!

This
is the things that has been missing from my life up till this point! And it truly
does change your life (the internet and the George Foreman grill are the two
that spring to my mind). But more often than not, product launches are
mediocre and the new thing being launched is just a slightly different version
of something else.
Then, once every so often, a product comes along that is far from mediocre
its such an enormous, mind-blowing failure that everyone who sees it can
only gasp. And thats what were celebrating today- products so poorly-
conceived, so hopeful in their launch and so disastrous in their fall that they
qualify as one of our Top 10 Failed Products.

10. New Coke

One of the most famous examples was New Coke, a launch by Coca-Cola in
1985. Obviously oblivious to the phrase never mess with a winning formula,
they decided to change the recipe of Coke that had served them so well, and
relaunch it with a fanfare of trumpets. The Chief Executive at the time, Roberto
Goizueta, described the new taste as smoother, uh, uh, rounder yet, uh, yet
boldera more harmonious flavor and, initially, consumers agreed and kept
buying Coke as normal. Then there came the backlash mainly from loyalists
in the South, who saw it as some kind of continuation of the Civil War.
Eventually, the vocal minority won out and the old formula was restored,
although many said it was never quite the same again.

9. Bic Pantyhose

Id love to have been in the meeting where this product was first
discussedSo, what should we develop to go alongside our best-selling pens
and disposable razors? Errrunderwear? Yes! Unlikely as it seems, a
conversation along those lines must have happened, as Bic decided to launch
disposable pantyhose to go alongside its other disposable lines.
But production problems ensued apparently you cant make pantyhouse in
an injection mould like you can with cigarette lighters and the brand name
wasnt strong enough to convince people to buy. The disposable theme didnt
really carry through either, as its actually possible to get more than one wear
out of a garment like this, provided you avoid sharp nails. It requires a strong
suspension of disbelief to see pens and underwear in the same range, but
someone at Bic must have believed they could get away with it!

8. Jell-o for Salads

Some of these ideas sound basically good, but there are a few which just make
you feel faintly nauseous. Like the idea of savory Jell-o. In the first half of the
20th century, there was a trend for congealed salads vegetables encased in
gelatine products and cooks were having to use lime Jell-o, as the most
savory-friendly flavor. So, Jell-o responded by introducing a line of Jell-o for
salads in tomato, mixed vegetable and celery. Weirdly, it never caught on and
the line was discontinued. But good old lime flavor is still out there if you
fancy giving thecongealed salad recipe a go yourself.
Weirdly, Jell-o is also the official snack of Utah, as its popular with the
Mormon community. But even they would shy away from mixed vegetable
flavor, I suspect!

7. Multi-Colored Ketchup

Theres more food meddling in this next entry, as, in 2000, Heinz ignored the
lesson of Coke and messed with a winning formula, in this case tomato-
colored ketchup, which had been selling quietly and consistently for the
company for over 100 years.
Wanting to appeal to the kids, Heinz launched a new range of ketchups in
wacky colors, like electric blue, and funky purple. The whole thing was
slightly mystifying, given that any self-respecting 4-year-old slathers their
food in ketchup anyway, and it certainly didnt appeal to parents. Strangely
enough, parents prefer their childrens food to resemble the base ingredient,
where possible, rather than resembling something that fell out of an aliens
nose. Needless to say, it didnt last long.

6. Levis Type 1 Jeans

Now, theres no discernible reason why this particular product failed so badly
after all, Levis havent had many misfires in their blue-jean-producing
history. But thats often the way with products the greater the fanfare, the
more likely it is to disappoint. The Type 1 jeans had all the Levis hallmarks,
such as the red tab, oversized buttons and obvious stitching. But even an
expensive Superbowlcommercial didnt shift the jeans, partly because of the
crazy pricing strategy that saw some retailers selling them for $100, while
others priced them at $30. The air of general confusion added nothing to the
sale of the product and Levis discontinued the line, in order to focus on
known best sellers. It seems that consumers prefer their jeans to be
understated, both in terms of features and product launches
5. Crystal Pepsi

Its another soft drink disaster, but just to make things fair its a Pepsi fail this
time, rather than Coke. Trends in food and drink are always a bit inexplicable
(hence the congealed salad), and in the early 90s the trend was for clear colas.
Maybe it was inspired by the minimalism trends in homewares and fashion.
Maybe it was just a freak occurrence. But in 1992, soft drink executives were
rushing around trying to get their clear cola onto the market.
Coke had their own brand Tab Clear but it was Pepsi that launched first,
with Crystal Pepsi hitting the shelves in April 1992, months before Tab Clear.
A huge marketing campaign accompanied the launch, with music by Van
Halen and more Superbowl ads. But the drink never took off. Consumers seem
to get confused by products that look like one thing and taste like something
different (e.g. green ketchup) and the drink was pulled the following year.

4. Wow! Chips

And heres another trend that was hot in the 1990s Fat Free! None of the fat,
same great taste! Diet Everything! And just one of the products launched in
1998 was these Wow! Chips from Frito-Lay. In three different varieties, they
delivered what they promised very little fat but all the taste youd expect. But
they also delivered something else stomach cramping, loose stools and
other digestive complications. The ingredient responsible was Olestra, which
later led to a disclaimer on the packet about the abdominal complaints it may
cause, and the way it inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other
nutrients. So, it may well help you lose weight, but only by a combination of
stomach upsets and malnutrition. Strangely enough, sales declined after the
revelations and the chips were quietly withdrawn.

3. Colgate Kitchen Entrees

What sounds more appealing than a combination of toothpaste and ready
meals? Weve all had those moments when weve eaten lunch too soon after
cleaning our teeth and had an edge of mintiness still. Itsan acquired taste.
But the people at Colgate must have thought there was something in it, as they
launched their line of kitchen entrees in 1982. Weirdly, no-one else agreed
with them, and the idea of tucking into that exciting-looking dish of rice and
vegetables while thinking about toothpaste just seemed to repel buyers. The
products never made it beyond the American market and were discontinued.

2. Betamax

In the field of emerging technologies, there are always going to be winners and
losers just look at the way MySpace was knocked out by Facebook, and
MiniDisc players virtually obliterated with the advent of the iPod. And such
was the fate of the Betamax video recorder, whose 1-hour tapes just couldnt
compete with the 2 hours provided by rival system VHS. VHS was also
cheaper, which didnt help the Betamax sales at all.
When it launched in 1975, Betamax owned 100% of the market, but the VHS
effect reduced it to just 25% by 1981. Despite this, production limped on until
2002, with its prime market being Japan somewhat incongruous, given that
the Japanese are normally on the cutting edge of technology. There are still
Betamax players in existence, but there are a rarity and even a collectors item
in some circles.

1. Dasani

Sorry Coke, its your turn again and were in the UK for the disastrous launch
of new bottled water brand Dasani in 2004. Intended as a rival to Pepsis
Aquafina, it was a relative success in America but a complete disaster in
Britain on its launch in February 2004.
It started with the marketing slogans bottled spunk and cant live without
spunk. In this context, spunk was meant to imply spirit, energy, pizazz.but
unfortunately, its also a British slang word for semen, and the campaign
became a laughing stock. But worse was to come, as Dasanis pure water was
found to be no more than tap water, from Sidcup in Kent. It had been treated
and bottled but essentially was the same thing that came out of the tap. Coca-
Cola said that they had never made any claim as to Dasanis origins, but
Trading Standards hit back, with an investigation into whether Dasani was
any purer than tap water, or in fact different at all.
It certainly was different. In March 2004, bromate was discovered in the
water, which is a suspected carcinogenic. The water was withdrawn and, when
given an opportunity to relaunch it in 2012, Coca-Cola decided against it. A
spectacular failure of a product!





Products come and go all the time. But some new products fail for hilarious reasons. You may not be old
enough to remember the Ford Edsel, but youve probably heard about it. Does your child have a doll?
Odds are its not the Baby Wee-Wee. Listening to an MP3 player now? Is it a Zune? Probably not.
Over the years, these failures and the reasons for thems have become the stuff of myth. We take a look
at why these products flopped and try to separate fact from fiction.
Even the best salesperson in the world probably couldnt sell these
Baby Wee-Wee
Famosa
Tickle his belly, and this anatomically correct doll giggles, gets what looks like erection and pees in your
face.
Were not sure whats creepier Baby Wee Wee himself, or the commercial used to sell him.
Baby dolls that pee are nothing new. But baby dolls with a disproportionately large penis that moves
when you tickle them? A commercial in which a little girl sings his little willy moves? Whaaat?
This doll manufactured in Spain, but sold in the UK and Ireland may or may not still be on the market
(it appears to be unavailable on Amazon). How it got the green light in the first place is a mystery.

Zune
Microsoft
First released in November 2006, the Zune was Microsofts me too answer to the iPod. While it had
some nifty product features that the iPod lacked (like sharing music from player to player), the Zune,
despite an expensive marketing effort by Microsoft, never really caught on.
At its best, it was able to crack into low double-digit market share while the dominant iPod took around
65%. More ominously, in a filing with the SEC in January, Microsoft disclosed that it had seen Zune
revenues decline 54% in the preceding quarter. (At the same time, iPod revenues increased by 3%.) Of all
MP3 players listed on Amazon.com currently, the first Zune model comes in at 36 behind an army of
iPods and a few Sansoms.
Why did it fail? On a design level, the Zune lacked style and the simplicity of Apples interface. The Zune
seemed clunky in comparison. Perhaps more importantly, though, the Zune could not be used with
Apples iTunes program, an even more dominant product in its market than the iPod. By integrating the
music experience (from cradle to grave, so to speak), Apple created strong disincentives to any
competitor that just could not be overcome.

Betamax
Sony

Betamax was the first home video recording tape to hit the market in May 1975. Sony, however, was not
the only company that had been working on recording video data on magnetic tapes. In 1976, JVC rolled
out the VHS format and a format war began. As every American born before the DVD era knows,
Betamax lost. But why?
Several explanations have been advanced to explain Betamaxs market failure. Sony was slower to
license the technology to other manufacturers. VHS was, for a time, less expensive. Sony refused to let the
pornography industry use Betamax. The main problem, though, was time. When VHS was first introduced,
the tapes could hold two hours of video compared to Betamaxs one. By 1977,
when JVCpartnered RCA, VHS could hold four hours. As everyone knows, an hour does not a movie
make. As a result, forty production companies adopted VHS instead of Betamax.
In 1988, Sony conceded defeat and began producing its own VHS VCRs.

MD Player
Sony

Developed in the late 1980s following the launch of the first read/write CD, Sony envisioned the MiniDisc
(MD) as a replacement for cassette tapes. The company wanted to produce a device that combined the
portability of cassettes with the Magnetic-Optical technology being used in CDs.
MDs were introduced at a difficult market time and had to jockey for position with CDs, a battle which it
lost. Part of the reason was the standalone nature of the MD players. CD players were being incorporated
into boomboxes that also could play cassettes. CDs didnt force consumers to make a choice between
one medium or another. It allowed them to have both.
While Sony avoided the failure of Betamax by widely licensing MDs technology, record companies did
not make extensive pre-recorded music available for the device. Moreover, under pressure to ensure that
MDs would not be used to pirate music, Sony made MD-Audio discs incompatible with MD-Data discs,
making using the audio files on a computer impossible. Combined with the relatively high cost for the
player, most consumers said, Thanks, but no thanks.

Edsel
Ford

In 1957, Ford debuted the Edsel in what may have been the most elaborate product launch in history.
September 4 wasnt just any day: it was E Day, as the new brand was introduced to America. That was
followed by The Edsel Show on October 13 and an advertising campaign to sell the country on the charms
of car whose name evoked a weasel. Customers, however, werent buying it and Ford ended production
of the Edsel in 1960, having lost $350 million on the car.
In the pantheon of product failures, the Edsels is the first lemon: an unreliable clunker that was so bad no
one could sell it. But the truth is that the Edsel was no more or less reliable than any other car on the
market at the time.
Fords extensive marketing campaign not only didnt save the car, it may have been what killed the Edsel.
In the run up to its unveiling, Ford put out rumors that the Edsel would be a revolutionary car that would
change the automotive landscape. When the curtain was finally pulled back, though, people saw that it
was just another Ford with a different body. Some have speculated that even that body was a hindrance,
with the cars grill having a certain anatomical resonance.
Whats more, the cars market positioning was confusing and unclear. Though designed to be a midrange
car between the Ford and Mercury brands, the pricing didnt reflect that. Customers didnt know what to
make of it.
The Edsel also suffered from larger economic forces. Similar to today, a recession hit and customers
wanted smaller, less expensive and more efficient cars.

United States Football League
Donald Trump

Like so many of ventures involving Donald Trump, the United States Football League ended in failure.
Originally conceived by an antique dealer from New Orleans, David Dixon, the USFL began as a spring
and summer supplement to the NFLs fall season. After securing broadcasting deals with ABC Sports
and ESPN, the USFLwas launched in 1982 with teams in twelve cities.
From the outset, the league was plagued with problems. Many teams had trouble finding permanent
stadiums in which to play, others were relocated frequently, some merged with other teams or went
bankrupt. Despite these problems, the league survived and expanded following the first season in 1983,
adding six new teams.
A fateful decision in late 1984, though, sealed the leagues fate. At the urging of Trump, the owners
agreed to compete directly with the NFL and planned to begin playing games in the fall in 1986. Seven
teams folded because they did not want to or felt they could not compete with NFL teams in their cities.
Rather than competing with the NFL, the USFL committed sports suicide, never playing a game after the
1985 spring season.
Total loss: $163 million.

Windows Vista
Microsoft

My grandmother knew that Vista was doomed before Microsoft did.
Vista was released on January 30, 2007 after its predecessor Windows XP had been on the market for
five years. Though designed to fix many of the security flaws in prior Windows operating systems,
customers, and not just IT pros who often malign Microsoft products, gave it a resounding thumbs down.
After buying a new laptop early that year, my 70+ year old grandmother found Vista unusable and paid to
have it downgraded to Windows XP. A short time later, Microsoft essentially admitted failure and in April
2007 allowed Dell to start offering XP on new computers again. Microsoft also accelerated development
of its next OS, Windows 7.
Vista sucks the performance from a computer and can create a host of problems when using the internet.

Euro Disneyland
Disney

Perhaps this product failure isnt as horrific as some of the others on this list (the theme park that
originally beared this name is still in operation). But lets put it in context.
In 1992, as Euro Disneyland prepared to open, the media warned that there would be chaos on the roads
as 500,000 would try to make it to opening day. By midday, the parking lot was half full with attendance of
only 25,000. The following month, 3,000 employees walked out on their jobs. Though attendance in the
first year met Disneys target of 11 million, people were not spending and the resorts hotels were not full.
By September 1993, Euro Disney had lost almost a billion dollars.
Realizing that the name might be part of the problem, the park was rechristened Disneyland Paris in 1995
and began to turn around. Today, while it is the most visited tourist attraction in Europe, it has still racked
up debts of about $2 billion.

Arch Deluxe
McDonalds
When you think of McDonalds target demographic, Bobos and latte drinking liberals are not the first that
come to mind. Nevertheless, in 1996, McDonalds made a play for adults with a more refined palate and
spent $100 million in advertising to introduce the Arch Deluxe.
The only thing that really seemed to make the Arch Deluxe refined was an unnaturally round piece of
peppered bacon. McDonalds failed in thinking that it could expand to a demographic that was totally at
odds with the fast food chains brand identity. As they say, you can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig.

LaserDisc

Do you remember LaserDiscs, the gigantic DVDs of decades past? First introduced commercially in 1978,
two years after VHS, LaserDiscs offered significant benefits over. The image was much sharper, they
could carry both analog and digital audio, extras could be included, and they were organized by
chapters like DVDs.
LaserDiscs had several problems, though. Most importantly, they were expensivefar more expensive
than VCRs. Movie studios also did not produce as many films for LaserDisc as they did for VHS. The
discs were large, awkwardly shaped and they could not be used for recording. By 1998, they only existed
in 2% of U.S. households, before the DVD boom that made them as obsolete as the vinyl record (but
without the charm).

The Newton
Apple

In the age of iPods, iPhones and MacBook Pros, its hard to imagine a time before everything Apple
touched turned to gold. Oh but there was one. And it wasnt all that long ago.
Back in 1993, Apple released a handheld device they hoped would change personal computing. It was
officially called MessagePad, although it was popularly known as Newton (the more captivating name of
its operating system). It was overpriced ($700-1000) and clunky. Its handwriting recognition software
which had been touted by marketers as unprecedented was highly inaccurate.
It was discontinued in 1998, but the Newton was not a complete debacle. After all, the gadget did become
a template for the PDA craze followed.

Pippin
Apple/Bandai
The Pippin was Apples adventure into the game console marketor was it the stripped down computer
market? That confusion was why it failed. Launched in 1996, the Pippin sold for $599, far above the price
of game consoles like the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. But this was more than a game console! It was a
computer! But it didnt look like one and the only software available for it were a few programs produced
by Apples partner, Bandai.
Only selling 42,000 units, the Pippin was quickly discontinued.

Crystal Pepsi
Pepsi
It was the early nineties, and purity was all the rage. As health and wellness moved center stage, more
and more consumers were picking up Evian and Perrier instead of cola.
In an attempt to snag a piece of the purity pie, Pepsi launched Crystal. Its new cola was clear, caffeine-
free and a total failure.
It was hard for consumers to think of cola as a clear liquid. Which was not helped by the fact that Crystal
didnt taste like cola at all. In fact, no one really knew what it tasted like just that it was not good.
Two years later, the product was pulled from the shelves.
But Pepsi didnt give up completely on its quest for purity. Shortly after the clear cola fiasco, the company
decided to get in on another, more widely accepted clear liquid market: bottled water. That went much
better for them.

Cocaine
Redux Beverages

A few years back, a Las Vegas company launched an energy drink that would turn heads and stomachs.
It was called Cocaine. It contained three times as much caffeine as Red Bull and it made no apologies for
its shameless brand strategy. The font in its logo resembled a white powder. Its marketing language was
rife with drug references.
Not long after its launch, the FDA pulled the drink from store shelves. They said Redux was illegally
marketing its product as an alternative to street drugs, and that it had falsely claimed Cocaine could treat
disease and act as a dietary supplement.
But even without the FDAs interference, Reduxs gimmicky energy drink was unlikely to withstand the test
of time (and an increasingly skeptical consumer base). Sure, they could generate some buzz and make a
quick buck, but what chance would they have had at longevity when retailers like 7-11 refused to carry it?
The product briefly re-entered the market with the oh-so-catchy name Insert Name Here: But like its
predecessor, it too proved to be something to sniff at.

Kitchen Entrees
Colgate

Brand extensions can be highly successful. Think Apples iPhone or Iams pet insurance.
They can also fail miserably. Think Colgate Kitchen Entrees.
Never heard of it? Youre not the only one. Once upon a time, Colgate (yes, the toothpaste brand)
thought it wise to launch a line of frozen dinners. The logic behind the pairing? Consumers can eat a
Colgate meal, then brush their teeth with Colgate toothpaste.
Unfortunately for them, the thought of toothpaste failed to whet consumers appetite for a chicken stir-fry.
The product was a complete bust, and was pulled from the shelves shortly after.

Thirsty Dog!

Americans love to pamper their pets thats why there are doggy day spas, gourmet pet foods and
diamond-studded puppy collars.
So the idea of bottled water for dogs and cats isnt all that far-fetched. In theory, Thirsty Dog is kind of
brilliant.
Where did this company go wrong? Probably when they decided to infuse the water with flavors like
crispy beef (for dogs) and tangy fish (for cats). That was going too far, even for the creepiest of pet
owners.

Smokeless Cigarettes
RJ Reynolds
With concern over the dangers of smoking at fever pitch in the late 80s, tobacco giant RJ Reynolds set
out to create a cleaner alternative. $325 million later, smokeless cigarettes were born.
They were called Premier. But really, they were anything but.
The manufacturers own CEO complained they tasted like sh*t. They were practically impossible to light.
There was no guarantee that they were healthier than regular cigarettes. And to top it all off, they were
rumored to be an effective receptacle for smoking crack cocaine. Oops.
Smokers didnt enjoy them. Non-smokers had no interest in trying them. Four months later, they were
pulled from the market.

eVilla
Sony

Back in 2001, Sony released an internet appliance eVIlla. Unfortunately for the electronics giant, this was
around the same time that the market for such devices was fizzling out.

What were internet appliances? They were gadgets whose sole purpose was to provide access to the
internet. With one core functionality, they were meant to be cheaper and easier to use than a personal
computer. That didnt last.
As computers became cheaper to manufacture, and more user-friendly, the need for internet appliances
became totally obsolete. Why pay $499 for Sonys substandard eVilla, when you can get a fully-equipped
desktop computer for around the same price? Two months after its release, the product was pulled.
But youve got to hand it to Sony for appreciating the extent of its failure. The company offered customers
a full refund, including the $21.99 theyd been paying for monthly internet access.

iSmell
DigiScents

Nothing evokes nostalgia more than a familiar scent. But the iSmell is one product wed like to forget
altogether.
In 2001 DigiScents set out to create a computer-peripheral device designed to emit smells to go with sites
visited or emails opened. The idea behind it was that the all-important olfactory experience was missing
from internet use. A perfume manufacturer, for example, could embed a scent into a piece of advertising
or their website.
The device held a cartridge carrying 128 different primary odors, and theyd be emitted in various
combinations to create the appropriate scent.
The product never made it past the prototype stage, and in 2006, it was deemed one of the worlds 25
worst tech products by PC World Magazine.
At least it was appropriately named.

New Coke
Coca Cola
By the early 80s, Coca-Cola was losing ground to Pepsi-Cola. Americans seemed to prefer the sweeter
flavor of Pepsi. Coke decided it was time for a taste makeover.
In April 1985, New Coke hit the shelves. Its taste was said to be smoother, rounder yet bolder than the
original drink. And with the new release, the company halted production of its original formula. This was
the companys biggest mistake.
People were outraged they couldnt get their hands on original Coke, and started boycotting the new
product.
Coke had underestimated the power of its iconic brand, and Americas deep-rooted attachment to it.
Months later, they brought back the original formula. New Coke stayed on the shelves until the early 90s.
But its only success was in teaching Coca-Cola a valuable lesson in branding.

BONUS: The Santa Dreidel

Why did this product fail? Its a Santa Dreidel.



5 Products That Failed
And Why
Comment Now
Follow Comments

Image by Like_the_Grand_Canyon via Flickr
Big corporations launch countless new products every year.
Some recent high-profile successful launches include such
diverse products asApples iPad and Pretzel M&Ms.
But not every new strategy or product launch goes so well,
even those that have a big-name company behind it. Here are
some of the biggest flops and failures by huge companies. (For
related reading, also check out Notable Company Name
Changes).
IN PICTURES: Consumer Fads That Havent Faded
1. New Coke
Often cited as the ultimate example of one of the most
notorious product flops and brand missteps of all time,
New Coke was launched in the mid-1980s by Coca Cola in an
attempt to help the soda company stay ahead of competitors
during the so-called cola wars. Instead, it just annoyed
consumers.
The tacky way it was introduced made it seem as though the
regular Coke drinkers mattered little to the company and a
boycott was started, said Richard Laermer, CEO of RLM PR, a
public relations firm New York City, and author of 2011:
Trendspotting for the Next Decade.

New Coke was abandoned within a few weeks and the original
version was then resurrected as Classic Coke.
2. Crystal Pepsi
Pepsi introduced this clear cola in the early 1990s. Unlike
other clear carbonated drinks, this one didnt have a
lemon/lime flavor yet it didnt quite have a normal cola
flavor either. Despite a very expensive media blitz, this see-
through soda just didnt catch on.
Pepsi lost hundreds of millions guessing at straws, and they
have never recovered fully, said Laermer. This was an error
competitors still learn from: dont amend a color thats
acceptable!
3. Arch Deluxe
McDonalds launched this new burger at a estimated cost of
at least $150 million for the massive ad campaign in 1996,
spinning it as a more sophisticated option for consumers and
hoping to appeal to adults. Turns out, sophisticated adult fare
is not necessarily a surefire hit with the fast food crowd.
An AdAge story in 1998 announcing the impending demise of
the ill-fated Arch Deluxe seemed to imply the burger should
have been yanked from the menu much sooner. A New York
Times story in late 1997 cited the Arch Deluxe as a major
factor leading to McDonalds sluggish financial growth the
previous quarter. On the flip side, the companys McRib a
sandwich consisting of apork patty in barbecue sauce that was
recently reintroduced for a limited time has been a popular
item that has developed a loyal and vocal following.
IN PICTURES: Top 6 Mindless Money Wasters
4. Ben-Gay Aspirin
Having a big name behind a new product doesnt guarantee
success and sometimes it can even be a hindrance, if the
brand is too closely tied to a single product or image. Ben-Gay
is most known for its unique strong smell and this pain-
relieving balms warming/burning sensation upon contact
with skin. Not exactly a good fit for the Ben-Gay aspirin
product originally launched byPfizer years ago. As
an Entrepreneur article noted, while the products were
associated in that they were designed for pain relief, people
just couldnt get a taste for swallowing something made a
brand they associated with a burning sensation. Ben-Gay
made the fatal mistake of attaching a recognizable brand name
to something totally out of character. (For an interesting read,
see 5 Generic Products That Are Just As Good.)
5. The Zune
Microsoft first introduced this portable media player in 2006,
with several new generations of the device to follow. The Zune
faced several major challenges: namely, inevitable
comparisons to the iPod, which rules the portable media
marketplace, and the fact that its software is only available for
Windows (so far). In a financial report covering the fiscal
quarter ending in December 2008, Microsoft said Zune
revenues had decreased by 54%, or $100 million. Laermer
blames the bust on several factors, including software that was
constantly changing and iPods head start of several years in
the market
The Bottom Line
As the old saying goes, theres no such thing as a sure thing.
Not every concept even those that seem promising in the
development and research stages- can survive the
marketplace. Even major, successful companies drop the ball
once in a while. Luckily, most seem to bounce back from the
failure eventually. (For more articles on companies and their
products, see 5 Companies That Changed Their Core
Products.)

Tough deal for new products
http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/fmcg-companies-innovations-products/1/15744.html
Innovate or perish has become a rallying call among FMCG companies of late.
However, most innovations perish rapidly post launch. It seems a Sisyphean
task for organisations - launching innovations at great costs only to face
failure. Even when some innovations make no financial sense at launch, they
get characterised as 'strategic' by the senior management, only to be dragged
to an unnecessary painful death. In this litany of failures, emerge a very few
successes. They are spoken about in conferences and presentations as best
practices to be emulated. Others (especially consultants) give various
examples from Europe and the United States about 'how to innovate
successfully'. Everyone, it seems, is in search of the formula to innovate
successfully.
Shubhajit Sen
It is difficult to drive successful innovations in India
consistently. This is because of structural differences
in our operating environment. Despite significant
advances in research techniques, the industry's rate of
success has not improved - primarily owing to faulty,
nonrational decision making in organisations.

AC Nielsen data reveals how difficult it is to make
innovations succeed in India. In 16 FMCG categories,
new stock keeping units, or SKUs, launched in the
previous year contributed only 1.6 per cent market
share in Year 1, growing to 3.6 per cent in Year 2. This
share achievement was distributed across 100 plus
launches. On an average, each new launch managed a
turnover of Rs 4 crore in Year 1 rising to Rs 10 crore in
Year 2. Any practising marketer would know that the
marketing cost of a new launch far outweighs this
paltry return. This slow buildup of innovation sales is
also reflected in the time it takes an FMCG innovation
to touch the milestone turnover of Rs 100 crore - the
modal time is five years. In most FMCG categories, an
overwhelming market share - sometimes approaching
75 to 80 per cent - is cornered by brands and variants
that have been in market for over 15 years. This
contrasts with the West, where in many categories,
innovations control around 33 per cent market share.

The reason for this difference is the market structure -
the retail trade. Our trade is fragmented in nature. AC
Nielsen data indicates that innovations take a longer
time to achieve comparable levels of distribution
against launches in markets that are modern trade
driven. Also, peak distribution levels at the end of
Year 2 are lower. As is obvious, a lower distribution
linearly dampens trial rates for innovations from
reaching their true potential.

The second issue with a fragmented trade is that
traditional shoppers not only have to fit in a new
product buy within a pre-determined shopping trip
and an allocated budget but also need to remember
the new brand name to ask the retailer for it. This is a
very different scenario from a shopper in a modern
trade who has a higher shopping budget, may come
across a new product while walking past the shelves
and has a chance to reach out for it - all leading to a
higher probability of a trial.

Supporting this hypothesis is the market share data
across categories in India where new launches and
newer brands have a higher share in modern trade
than in traditional trade. The competitive structure
across most categories reveals very different market
shares in modern trade. Better pre-launch work
preparation can mitigate some of these issues, but
there are other challenges. Most organisations rely on
some pre-launch volumetric research to not only
inform their launch planning but also optimise the
launch package. However, post launch success rates
have not improved dramatically and it has become
popular to blame research agencies. Companies are
equally to blame for this.

Many marketers consider a project successful if the
derived volume meets initial targets and any one or
two of key underlying criteria (e.g. differentiation and
value, to name two) beat norms. However, they forget
that if all four of the criteria are not met, the
probability of in-market success falls below 50 per
cent. The issue is one of education; but the bigger
issue is by the time a milestone research is completed,
the project is infused with so much organisational
energy and emotion that there is a strong tendency to
clutch at any good news - even if rationally, you should
take a different decision.

Given the various issues - pre-launch and in-market -
outlined above, does it make sense to revert only to
traditional marketing and sales interventions to drive
top line sales? While in the short run, this gives better
financial returns, it prevents an organisation from
participating in new areas of growth, precludes the
possibility of new streams of future revenue, and
arguably prevents strong brands from being seen as
modern and contemporary - putting at risk the entire
brand franchise.

One strategy to balance this tension is by approaching
innovations with a portfolio mindset. Any risky
investment benefits from spreading the risks across a
portfolio of assets with differing risk-return profiles.
You could approach innovations by continuously
evaluating the value of your innovation portfolio - the
pipeline. Evaluate if the portfolio is balanced - in
terms of project size - balancing large, risky projects
with many small, less risky ones.

Spread the risk across different types of innovations,
where the project is driven by entering a new category
or creating a new one, or a balance of small,
incremental flavours or new pack launches. Balance
low-margin projects with high-margin projects.
Ensure there is a steady stream of projects spread
across time frames. By managing a portfolio of assets,
it becomes easier to kill dud projects before their
launch and also kill innovations that do not perform
in the market.

The blended metrics of the innovation portfolio can
achieve a better financial profile - balancing top line
growth with bottom line returns better than a singular
focus on individual innovations. This will require an
organisational restructuring - in terms of allocation of
resources as well as identifying of competency gaps
for the human resources department to focus on for
training and development. It could also lead to
organisational restructuring where dedicated teams
can focus on early stage ideation for long-term
innovations.

Following some of these principles has helped
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, or GSKCH, in
India. One key outcome has been a significant
diversification of our portfolio where the over 100-
year-old Horlicks, despite growing at its fastest rate
ever, contributes to only half of our business - down
from 67 per cent in 2002. And our innovations have
helped GSKCH become one of the faster growing
FMCG companies in the past two to three years.

In conclusion, innovations are a key driver of growth.
However, the track record of innovations is dismal.
While organisations can improve their odds with
better discipline pre-launch, the structure of our
market makes it difficult for most launches to
succeed. Organisations will benefit from working
within the 'law of averages' and construct a portfolio
of ideas that spreads the risk rather than get trapped
by the 'fewer, bigger, better' syndrome. And beware
any wise man who says that he has a formula for
delivering successful innovations consistently in
India.

The author is Executive Vice President, Marketing,
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare India


How To Survive A Failed
Product Plan -- And Come
Back Even Stronger

In a previous article, I argued that great startups solve large,
and even more importantly, immediate pain points for
customers by positioning products more like a pain killer and
less like a vitamin. This is the essence of product/market fit:
when your sales prospects have almost no choice but to buy
now because the pain they feel is immediate and unrelenting.
A great indicator to prove you have this nailed is when sales
cycles are shortening. Another is that youre making or beating
your operating plan.
Life is good when that happens, but almost every startup goes
through at least one moment where they dont have that.
Heres what to do to recover and the one mistake you must
avoid.
First of all, figure out how long your cash lasts you. This is the
maximum amount of time left you have to fix the problem.
Two, do everything you can to extend that period of time. The
obvious place to start is to reduce your cash burn. Look very
critically at every dollar youre spending and figure out ways to
stop or reduce it. The sooner you take action, the more you
extend your runway.
Those two steps are essential, but they dont solve the
mismatch problem. They just give you more time to solve it.
When you raised money, you told your investors a story about
a big market opportunity and how you could make them a lot
of money fixing it.
Yet, in this situation, something is still wrong. Sales are taking
longer to close, conversion rates are below plan, and finding
good leads is harder than expected. The next step is to figure
out what went wrong in your assumptions because taking the
right steps to fix the situation will depend on the cause of the
problem. Ive seen four causes of product market mismatch:
1. The product is not doing what you said it
would. Customer bug reports are far more numerous than
they should be, and conversions from trial are way below what
you anticipated when you built your bookings plan.
2. Your go-to-market plan is not working.Whatever
channel you took to get to your target market is not delivering
the goods. Like the first cause, trial conversions are not
leading to sales, but it isnt because the product is not working.
Its because your go-to-market approach is not conveying the
full benefits of the product to your prospects.
3. Your timing is off. You assumed that some predicate
condition would be in place well ahead of when it did happen
and your conversion rate is going to be well below plan until
that condition finally arrives. Your deal count will also likely
be below plan.
4. Your positioning is wrong. Youre attacking the wrong
problem, or worse, one which doesnt exist. A smaller than
expected amount of deals in your sales pipeline is a great
indicator of this. So is indifference to your elevator pitch from
prospects you thought would be ideal.
Just as each cause is different and has different tell-tale signs,
so does the solution to your problem. Lets take each one in
order.

Strong Revolutionary Lift (Photo credit: JD Hancock)
1. If your product does not work as planned, you have to
estimate quickly how long it will take to fix compared to the
amount of runway you have left. Often the reason the product
doesnt work is because of poor execution by your technical
leadership. Unfortunately, thats the same team you probably
need to ask for a reasoned estimate of how long the fix will
take. The biggest mistake a CEO can make here is to assume
that the person who executed poorly will not do it again. They
will. Find who is responsible and reassign or eject them as
quickly as possible. This will set the proper tone about
consequences of poor performance by management as well as
freeing up the slot for someone who can execute.
2. If your sales channel is not working, change it as fast as
possible. The vast majority of times Ive seen this happen it
occurred because someone tried to sell a complex or new
proposition through an indirect channel which has neither the
skill nor sense of urgency to close business fast enough to
make the sales plan. Fortunately, the time it takes to hire sales
people who work directly for you and live or die by your
success is, at best, a few months. Resist the temptation to hire
overlay sales people to help an underperforming go-to-market
channel. There may be a time down the road for that
approach, but in this instance you must change things quickly.
3. If your timing is off, you have to establish with confidence
how long it will take before your timing is correct. Look at this
question with a fresh set of eyes and assumptions from when
you first made that call. If the gap is as long as your runway,
or even longer, you need to determine if there is another
market which can support your operating plan. If not, you
need to have a very candid discussion with your investors.
4. The best problem to have is incorrect positioning because it
has the shortest time to fix. This problem can have two distinct
causes. The easiest problem to fix is that your messaging is
wrong, but the customer pain point is real and your product
does solve the customers pain point. The fix in this case is to
change your messaging to better fit the customer pain point.
Your happiest customers can be rich sources of material to
help you better align your claimed benefits with their pain
point. Much like the case of a product that doesnt work, you
probably have someone on your marketing team who executed
poorly. Reassign or let them go immediately. The other
problem you may have here is that you have a valuable
product or service but have attacked the wrong initial market.
If so, find that other market as fast as you can and attack it
with urgency. Even when you feel youre attacking the right
segment, you should be thinking about when to branch out to
another segment. Hopefully, youve already given the next
segment to attack some serious thought so youve got a head
start on your pivot to another segment.
Worth noting is that there is one critical mistake to avoid,
common to all four causes: Do not kid yourself about how
severe the situation is. You have no longer than your cash in
the bank to fix this problem. You should assume there will be
no more funding available to the company if you fail to fix the
problem and prove it wont happen again. This is why the first
step is to calculate the runway you have left and then to
estimate the time to fix. You must act now.

If you respond urgently to the right source of the problem with
the right fix, you have a fighting chance. If you dont, you have
none at all.
Four Success Strategies
From Failed
Business Models
Comment Now
Follow Comments
If those who do not know history are destined to repeat it, then
businesses who havent examined this decades failed business
models are preparing to follow their example. 3-D printing is
the next disruptive technology, and the coming tsunami will
wipe out just as many currently viable companies. What might
recently failed industry giants have to teach start-ups, small
businesses, and developing industries? These Companies Lost
the Last Revolution, Yours Can Win In the Next.
This week Ill end with a question, a call to action, for my
readers. Lets continue the conversation in the comments
below. Do you agree that competing with democratized
production will be next round of challenges facing producers
and products? Is your business facing this or a similar
challenge? What opportunities does this new view of business
present? Who will be the next revolutions victims and
champions?
Heres how to steer your business toward the winning models:
1. Anticipate Changing Expectations
Perhaps the tell-tale failure of our time is Blockbuster Video.
Between 2002 and 2010, when alternative methods of
delivering content to viewers began out-competing
Blockbusters pricey storefronts. Despite prime real estate
holdings (some 6,000 stores) and 87 million customers,
Blockbuster was unable to compete with mail-delivered
rentals, and briefly launched a competitor service to kiosk
vending rival Redbox. Illegal downloading and semi-legal
streaming sites were boosted by increases in bandwidth,
making high quality internet viewing possible and
revolutionizing the market yet again.
Now Netflix and YouTube together account for fully half of
North American internet traffic during peak hours.
An often-overlooked cause of Blockbusters fall:
recommendation engines built by Amazon, OnDemand, and
Netflix provided more enjoyable browsing and selection
experience than even Blockbusters glossy, well-lit New
Releases shelves. The word-of-mouth and selection processes
had moved to web spaces: it was foolish even to drive as far as
a kiosk when the selection was made online. Consumers
preferred to browse digitally and access content instantly.
This kind of misalignment between customer desires and the
value proposition or product offered by a company is a
common reason that even previously successful business
models fail. When Blockbusters business model couldnt
adapt to the changing expectations of customers, customers
found alternatives that met their needs better.
2. Embrace Dont Fight New Technologies
Illegal downloading is often blamed for the demise of the
traditional music industry, including huge record labels and
brick-and-mortar record stores. But Napster and Limewire
were symptoms, not causes, of the music industrys essential
problem: the intellectual property necessary to produce a
record couldnt be attached to a physical item that needed to
be purchased. When music came unmoored from physical
media, it became data: ultimately fluid, uncontrollable, and
nearly inevitably, eventually free.
Some in the industry have embraced the elimination of the
middle man by asking fans to directly support one or more
stages of development, production, distribution, and
marketing. Recording artist and visual media experimenter
Amanda Palmer launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012,
hoping to raise $100,000 (the Kickstarter maximum) to
promote and tour her new album. She received nearly 25,000
individual pledges, and raised a staggering $1.2 million. She
replaced the corporate label model of promotion with digital
tools, an innovative spirit, and the power of a community of
consumers who valued her contributions more than
supporting the medium that delivered it.
This occured in the same year in which record executives
begged Congress to limit Internet usage to prevent file sharing,
claiming that people were no longer willing to pay for music. It
may be increasingly true that music has become a service,
rather than a product. We may not be willing to pay to listen to
music, perhaps because free access is common and because
content devices are ubiquitous, always on and always on us.
But we are eager to sponsor its creation (KickStarter,
Indiegogo, twenty other fan-funding platforms), willing to pay
for excellent curation and superior access to music (Pandora
One, Spotify), and pay for special access and connection to
artists themselves (lives shows, rewards, VIP status, backstage
passes, newsletters, membership) all via digital tools. We will
subsidize the production of an incredible thing, even if once
made, we expect to own a copy of that thing for free.
3. Expand your View of Human Resources
Just as Amanda Palmer crowd sourced the funding of her
project, the improvement and expansion of a desirable,
accessible platform or product can be crowdsourced.
Blackberry and RIM have lost market share not because they
have failed to create a desirable physical product, but because
its rival Apple leveraged an incredible asset that Blackberry
ignored: a network of developers. Anyone could design and
upload an app, and Apple would run quality assurance, make
the app available, and handle payments. Opening up
application development outsourced innovation to more
developers than Apple could ever have afforded to employ, and
ensured a steady stream of desirable new content.
Transparent revenue-sharing and a few early app millionaires
recruited incredible talent at negligible expense. Blackberrys
restricted development community couldnt hope to innovate
fast enough to compete, and the iPhone entered a positive
feedback loop of accruing customers, innovators, content, and
profitable market share. Consumers became producers, with
Apple facilitating (and profiting from) the explosive growth.
4. Accept the Challenge
Its easy to reflect now on the fall of record companies,
Blackberry, and Blockbuster, and to think, They should have
seen that change coming. We can see easily how obtaining
music, books, movies, and television content became
disconnected from purchasing a physical object, and reason
that the long-standing business models would have to
completely change or die out.
But the reason revolutions overtake us is because we dont see
them coming.
Or can we? A new wave of business models collapses are just
ahead. Today, anyone with a simple, inexpensive device like a
laser scanner can capture the geometry of any object quite
quickly and accurately. Armed with those plans, a 3-D printer
can quickly replicate the original. The ripped CDs and
digitized books of the last decade have become ripped
products, as the means of reproduction of physical goods
becomes as widely distributed as the reproduction of
intellectual goods have become. We are poised on the edge of
the same positive feedback loop that launched the application
market: the more accessible it becomes, the more popular it
will become, and so on.

The 3-D home-printed ABS plastic letter writing is on the wall.
Manufacturers and retailers will be faced with a new
competitor in the next decade: their consumers. Makerbot, a
3-D printing company based in Brooklyn, has an enormous
database of digital product models for products consumers can
buy and print themselves. Such databases will grow
exponentially, as will the number of products available
through them, as the means of production is distributed. Open
source technologies are inevitable, and the next generation of
3-D printers could well be used to manufacture and assemble
the subsequent generation.
Dont panic. Learn from the models above, and not to see this
coming revolution as a threat to be legislated against, but
rather an exciting future to be involved and innovative in.
What are the implications for inventory management and
supply chain logistics? For prototyping and development
cycles? You, unlike Blackberry, Blockbuster, and the last round
of failed business models, can anticipate the disruption.
Position your company to not just weather, but harness the
power of that storm and become the
next Apple,Jawbone success or Tesla.
Mitch Free is a serial entrepreneur with global experience and
a direct digital manufacturing expert. His most recent venture
in CNC Machining and 3D printing is www.ZYCI.com

Biggest Failed Products of Major Brands
http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/06/biggest-failed-products-of-major-brands-2680974.html
What makes a product a hit or a miss? The unique nature of the concept perhaps, or that the
product is better than all of its competitors. Or maybe its an ingenious marketing campaign that
resonates with the general public, and most often the company behind it the will help to
predetermine the success of the product. However, in these cases, the grand success of the
parent companies wasnt enough to save the products. Even the biggest and brightest come up
short sometimes.

Kelloggs Breakfast Mates Kelloggs

Whats more appealing than adding warm, pre-packed milk to your breakfast cereal? Apparently
everything. In 1998, Kelloggs launched a new product that they believed would revolutionize the
breakfast on-the-go market: Breakfast Mates. Packaged right alongside the cereal, in a
convenient single-serve box, was a container of shelf-stable milk and a plastic spoon. When the
company realized that pouring a bowl of cereal with fresh milk was quick enough for most
consumers, they discontinued the product one year after its launch.
When McDonalds decided to design a burger that would appeal to a more sophisticated, adult
palate in the late 90s they came up with the Arch Deluxe. The concept is intriguing, but it was
clear to consumers from the get-go that the company was simply re branding their existing Big
Mac sandwich without increasing the quality by any significant margin.Kelloggs thought they were
revolutionizing the grab-and-go breakfast market when they unveiled their Breakfast Mates in
1998, but not so surprisingly, the general public was less than thrilled with the idea of pouring
pre-packaged, shelf-stable, room-temperature milk into their breakfast cereal. Flops happen,
even to time-tested brand-name food corporations.


Doritos 3D Frito-Lay

In the mid-2000s, Doritos took a break from manufacturing new flavors of their classic chips and
instead introduced a product that took the chips themselves in a new direction 3D Doritos. The
air-filled Doritos came in several flavors and was marketed using a sexy advertising campaign, but
ultimately, the brand pulled the chips off the shelves just a few years after their launch.

Hersheys Swoops HersheysWhen Hersheys began marketing Swoops in 2003 the product
seemed like a sure hit the slices of milk chocolate were shaped like Pringles and melted in your
mouth, and they even came in a variety of flavors from Almond Joy to Peppermint Pattie - but for
whatever reason the product never caught on. Some have suggested that consumers thought they
were chocolate-dipped chips and were turned off by that. Swoops became history in 2006.

Crystal Pepsi PepsiCoThe story goes that in the early 90s, when Ivory rebranded their classic
white bar soap and introduced the clear bottled version, PepsiCo was so inspired that they
decided to manufacture a clear, caffeine-free version of their iconic soft-drink. The company
released the product in select test markets in 1992 and received an overwhelmingly positive
response. However, when they released Crystal Pepsi nationwide, the response was surprisingly
dismal. They discontinued the product one year later.

Colgate - Colgate Kitchen EntreesFor reasons that have never been fully explained, Colgate, the
brand most famously known for its toothpaste, briefly launched a line of frozen dinners
called Colgate Kitchen Entrees. However, the general public could not get past the association of
the brand with Colgate toothpasteand the products were quickly pulled from production.

Taco Bell - Frito BurritoThis product seems like a good one in theory a chili and cheese burrito
stuffed with Frito chips for an added crunch. Perhaps Taco Bell was ahead of its time during the
era of the Frito Burrito, considering the success of their recently launched Doritos Locos Tacos.
Maybe theyll consider reintroducing the product, though, now that the general public is more
open to experiencing chips in their Taco Bell dishes.

McDonalds The Hula BurgerIn 1962, McDonalds founder Ray Kroc debuted a new meatless
sandwich that he hoped would appeal to the chains Lent-observing patrons. The resulting Hula
Burger replaced the classic McDonalds patty with a slice of grilled pineapple topped with melted
cheese not surprisingly, the general public did not approve of the fruity, cheesy combination and
McDonalds quickly discontinued the product.

Arch Deluxe McDonalds
In 1996 McDonalds decided to design a new menu item that would appeal to a more
sophisticated, adult demographic the result was theArch Deluxe burger. The advertising
campaign declared that the burger had a bun fresh from the bakery, 100 percent pure domestic
beef, extra-fancy ketchup, and a new secret sauce made with mayonnaise and mustards. Its
not surprising that the general public couldnt distinguish the new sandwich enough from the
classic Big Mac to make it a hit.

McDLT McDonalds
Also known as the McDonalds Lettuce and Tomato, this product was great in theory but flopped in
practice. Instead of serving the sandwich fully assembled, McDonalds served the McDLT in a two-
sided container the first side held the hot patty and bottom bun, and the second half held the
cold lettuce, tomato, American cheese, pickles, and special sauce; the diner was expected to
put the two halves together before digging in. Perhaps the only positive thing to come out of the
McDLT creation is that the company employed a pre-Seinfeld Jason Alexander to star in the
marketing campaign.

Life Savers Life Savers SodaThe popular hard candy company decided to create sodas based
on the five flavors of the candy. The response from the public was that the carbonated beverage
tasted like liquid candy, which was less than pleasant for most people.Jell-O For Salads Jell-O

In the 1960s, Jell-O was not only popular as a sweet dessert, but many home cooks were using it in
savory salads and molds as well. In response to the growing trend, Jell-O introduced a savory line
of gelatin available in celery, Italian seasoning, tomato, and mixed vegetable flavors.
Unfortunately, the novel product line was just a bit too out-there for the general publics palate
and Jell-O quickly discontinued it.

Heinz EZ Squirt Heinz
Considering the love affair most children have with ketchup, this product seemed like a slam
dunk. However, as most parents are the ones doing the buying at the grocery store, the idea of
serving neon green, purple, blue, or mystery colored ketchup to their kids seemed more bizarre
than genius. The product launched in 2000 and was discontinued in 2006 despite numerous
attempts at marketing strategies.

BK Baguette Sandwiches Burger King
In 2003, Burger King introduced a new line of chicken sandwiches aimed at appealing to a more
health-conscious demographic the BK Baguette Sandwiches. But the product never caught on in
the U.S. and was quickly replaced with the TenderGrill Sandwich.

Pizza Hut The Priazzo
In 1985, Pizza Hut introduced the Priazzo, their attempt at recreating the Chicago deep-dish
pizza. The pie included two crusts, stuffed with fillings and topped with tomato sauce and melted
cheese. The Priazzo was available in three varieties: Milano, Florentine, and Roma. Despite an
elaborate marketing campaign, the pizza lacked popularity, and the time that it took to prepare
each pie caused Pizza Hut to discontinue the Priazzo after just a few years.


FMCG brand failures in the past few years: What did not work and why?
The sheer size of the Indian market can be irresistible to FMCG firms- big/small and domestic/foreign. Consumers
behave differently in different regions, which demands due in-depth study before any product launch. Some FMCG
products have not succeeded or their success was way below the companys expectations for which there could be
hundreds of reasons. Ignoring socio-cultural factors can be one cause for products success or failure particularly for
foods. Indians eat breakfast which is usually freshly cooked dishes. The kitchen is a lively place every morning
hence cooking up a hot fresh meal is easy. Further domestic help is not prohibitively expensive so those with time
constraints too have some help. Kelloggs entered India with its international range of breakfast cereals, a concept to
which consumers had to be familiarised with. The cereal turned soggy when hot milk is added which people did not
like. It was costlier as well. Later, the company introduced the Mazza range with totally Indian flavours, which may
have better appealed to this market. Consumers did not like the taste of a noodle like snack called Annapurna 4
Oclock Tiffin by HUL. Vanilla Coke has been forgotten by most, even those who may have tasted it. Another reason
may be inappropriate brand extensions. Despite Chiks successful shampoo its Chik Kali mehendi or Chik toilet soap
were not as popular. Ponds toothpaste failed as consumers associated the brand with something that is applied on
the skin. Nirma soap and Nirma Blue did not succeed, as consumers could not clearly differentiate them from Nirmas
successful yellow detergent powder. Consumers did not take to Lux chocolate soap with an open heart! If a product
does not fall into a particular category then its performance may not match expectations. E.g. a chocolate spread
called Covo by Lipton. Lack of a well-developed segmented distribution strategy; insufficient retailer margins or the
new product cannibalising sales of another company product or the same in a different price/volume range are
potential weak areas. The 200ml Coke priced at Rs 5 did not succeed for partly these reasons. Success of a product
may also be subject to some technical problems with the product, prompt and aggressive reaction by competitors,
issues related to distribution. Moti soap is not available any more. Sunfill soft drink concentrate has been withdrawn.
There is no assured success formula and products may fail despite extensive homework for perceived needs/wants.

About the author: Archana Pande is a Contributing Editor for TradeBriefs.

India:
Product Fails 2012
While 2011 can be remembered as the year iPhone 4S,
which showcased its Speech Interpretation and
Recognition Interface aka SIRI, turned heads and a saw
a wide acceptance with smartphone users. It was also a
year BlackBerry brought its tablet to the market, called
the PlayBook a product that has been listed in many
flop lists across 2011.

The year 2012 did not fail to disappoint (when it comes to
failed products!). While the iPhone 5, the new iPad and
Samsung Galaxy S3 have had plenty of accolades in the
bag (with the iPhone 5 getting the TIME Magazines
gadget of the year award) there are those who must also
be remembered. Albeit for reasons their companies would
shy away from.

brief study on failed
products or branding
campaigns in marketing