Launching a product can be a difficult thing to do. A mere 3 percent of new consumer packaged goods manage to surpass first-year sales of $50 million — the number widely considered to be the benchmark of a highly successful launch. This means that out of every 100 products launched, 97 won’t make it into the highly successful category.
Failed Product Examples
Given those odds, it’s natural that some product launches turn out to be total flops. Most major companies have experienced face-palm level flops at some point in their histories, from McDonald’s to Netflix. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest product flops the world has ever seen.
Barnes and Nobles is known as a bookseller, so things didn’t go too well when the company decided to take the plunge into the world of ereader tablets. In a world of ever-changing technology and hyper-technological advancement, consumers just couldn’t seem to associate “technology” with a company so well known for print books. Amazon ended up taking the lion’s share of the ereader market, and the Nook became history.
Most of us prefer to start the day and get our caffeine fix with a morning cup of coffee. Of course, there’s always an oddball who rejects a fresh, steaming cup of coffee in favor of an ice-cold Pepsi. Back in 1989, Pepsi thought these oddballs were actually a lucrative, untapped market segment, except they thought wrong. When Pepsi released “Pepsi AM” in order to target morning Pepsi drinkers, things didn’t exactly go as planned. But in spite of the fact the product lasted on the market for a year, Pepsi decided to give things another go three years later in 1992. The result? Another flop. That old “if at first you don’t succeed try again” adage clearly wasn’t in the company’s best interest this time around, and evidently, Pepsi in the morning just wasn’t meant to be.
McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
Back in 1996, McDonald’s made an attempt to appeal to “urban sophisticates” with the Arch Deluxe, which featured a secret mustard-mayonnaise sauce. Unfortunately, however, the brand synonymous with fast, low-priced food did not have much success attracting a more sophisticated, urban crowd. It might be more accurate to say that the brand didn’t have any success. McDonald’s pumped a staggering $100 million into the product before it went under, making it one of the biggest products fails in history.
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