No one begins developing an idea for a product that they think will fail. Why would you? Unfortunately, no matter how great you believe your product idea is during the development and manufacturing phases, there’s always a chance that it won’t sell. There are plenty of ways you can prevent a flop, but first let’s take a look at a few of the biggest product failures in history. Maybe we can all learn something from their mistakes.
By now everyone knows the infamous story of New Coke, but do you remember Pepsi AM? Maybe not, because it didn’t last very long either. Pepsi assumed that because the soft drink had caffeine, they could make a variation that would become a substitute for coffee in the morning. We’re guessing almost everyone reading this just grimaced at the idea of Pepsi at breakfast, and that’s pretty much how America responded. It was not successful, and neither was their second attempt, Crystal Pepsi.
Clairol Touch of Yogurt Shampoo
You’re probably already confused by this name. Don’t worry, so was everyone else at the time. Touch of yogurt? Why would anyone put yogurt in their hair? What about yogurt appeals when you’re in the shower? These are just a couple basic questions that consumers had, and Clairol couldn’t answer. In their defense, the shampoo was supposed to be part of a “back to nature” movement going on at the time, but they just swung and missed. Badly.
Remember how lame and annoying your iPod was in the mid-2000s? No? Oh yeah, that’s right, iPods were about the hottest thing you could possibly have at that time. So it does kind of make sense that Microsoft would want to muscle in on the market with their own product. The problem was that the Zune didn’t really do anything better than the iPod, and it was never going to be as cool. Microsoft lost billions on the Zune, but you can still buy them on eBay!
The Arch Deluxe
In 1996, McDonald’s apparently felt like they needed to class up the joint. They debuted the Arch Deluxe as quarter-pound burger made specifically for adults. Much more sophisticated. The problem was that people don’t go to McDonald’s to feel sophisticated. It’s hard to feel better than someone when you’re ordering food at the same place that gives away toys with certain meals. Oh, and the Arch Deluxe cost about $.40 more than the Big Mac at the time. It was not a winner.
All of these companies were convinced that these ideas would take off, but they ended up flopping. Big companies may have millions to lose, but you probably don’t. So it might be a good idea to partner with some experts in product design, development, and manufacturing. At Pivot, our experienced team knows exactly what it takes to get your product from idea to reality—and make it a success. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you avoid a product flop.