It is tough business to launch a brand-new product. There are so many things that can go wrong, even if the product is perfect and there is an interested and willing market for the product. There are many different phases of a product launch, from the initial idea, through market research, production, packaging and through to the product being available to purchase on the consumer market. Even the biggest companies in the world fail with brand-new products. Let’s look at a few of the worst products that have come on the market over the years, the biggest product failures by the biggest companies.
Ford Edsel – 1957
The Edsel is one of the biggest flops in history and has become synonymous with marketing failure. Ford introduced the car in 1957 and had spent $400 million on it. The problem was that Americans just didn’t want a car of that size anymore, they wanted instead a smaller car, something more economic. The pricing and niche of the car was never really thought about clearly by the management at Ford, with the price point above the highest-end Ford. It only lasted until 1960 before it was taken off the market for good.
Sony Betamax – 1975
When it comes to connecting with clients, the design of a website is essential. Bespoke websites can be tailored directly to the wants and needs of your audience. However, if a potential client doesn’t It seems a long time ago now in our world of digital streaming for all movies and songs that we want, all at our fingertips. In the 1970s though there was a war in the new home video market. Betamax and VHS were direct competitors. Betamax was superior in its tech, but Sony kept the Betamax proprietary, whilst VHS machines were being sold on the market at a steady pace. What this meant was that VHS was soon everywhere and that is how it won out the race and saw the demise of Betamax before it had really started.
New Coke – 1985
Believe it or not, when the 1980s rolled around Coca-Cola was losing ground in the market to Pepsi, and instead of focusing on what was best about Coke, they looked to imitate Pepsi instead and create a new flavour that was more closely aligned to their rival’s taste. During the research phase where they conducted taste tests throughout the US, New Coke got good reviews, but within a few weeks of its launch it had been abandoned and the old formula was re-branded as Coca-Cola Classic.
Nintendo Virtual Boy – 1995
Virtual Reality still hasn’t really worked 25 years later, but back in the mid-90s Nintendo took a great leap into the new technology with its Virtual Boy. It promised users to plug in and become part of the game, but instead players were drawn into a low-resolution nightmare, with black and white lights and terrible gameplay. It sold under 1 million units and remains the biggest flop Nintendo has ever had.
Microsoft Zune – 2006
Apple was transformed by the iPod, and scared of being left behind, Microsoft countered with The Zune in 2006. Although the product itself wasn’t that bad, the fact that Microsoft was just following Apple’s lead, to not be left behind, meant that their own product was not different enough to warrant customers being amazed. They just didn’t sell enough.
RJ Reynolds smokeless cigarettes – 1989
The anti-smoking campaigns that slowed the industry down really started in earnest in the 1980s. It was at this time that the US tobacco company RJ Reynolds decided to get ahead of the curve and launched a new smokeless cigarette. It didn’t work at all, with sales extremely poor and within four months they had been taken off the shelves and consigned to the dustbin of history.
Tab Clear – 1992
Pepsi was just about to release its product Crystal Pepsi, and clear drinks were a big fad in the early 90s. Tab Clear was the Coca-Cola product that the company has since claimed they wanted to fail, as a sort of counter-marketing technique. In fact, it was intended to cause havoc for the Pepsi release of Crystal Pepsi. The Pepsi idea had been to offer the public the clear drink that everyone seemed to love at the time, in full-calorie and without the stigma of the diet tag. Tab Clear on the other hand was released as a diet drink, confusing customers choosing between the two.
Apple Newton – 1993
There was a time before the iPod and the glitz and glamour of the iPhone where Apple were not as savvy as they should have been. These days, you see the lines of customers queuing over night for the latest Apple product, but back in 1993, The Newton was released as a personal digital assistant, but it did not work out at all. The price was too high ($700), it was too small (8 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide) and the handwriting was poor to the point The Simpsons made fun of it.
HD-DVD – 2006
It was meant to be the successor to the DVD, launching in 2006 with standalone HD-DVD players on the market and the Microsoft Xbox 360 selling attachments too. Sponsored by Toshiba, the HD-DVD never managed to get a foothold in the market though, coming up against the Sony Blu-ray and losing out in much the same way Betamax did to VHS in the 1980s. The PlayStation 3 had Blu-ray playback functionality built-in, and Blu-ray continues to be the dominant force for high-definition movie format sales.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – 2016
An easy product failure to see from the off, the Galaxy Note 7 was a big problem that could not be averted. It was an absolute disaster because it was a fire hazard. The Note 7 was a big Samsung flagship, but it would occasionally catch fire and sometimes would explode. Apparently, there was a car that had caught fire and burned down and quite soon after launch the phones were banned from aircraft. Samsung had to recall the product entirely, but long-term it hasn’t caused an issue, as the Galaxy Note continues to be a big success with every release.
Perfect branding for your product launch
At Candy we have experience in working with clients on branding and rebranding for specific products and services, as well as full digital marketing packages that encompasses all advertising and marketing for a company. Your brand is so important, as it speaks to your ideals as a company, the customers you are aiming to sell to and brings everything together. With the right type of branding your new products will align perfectly with your website and other digital marketing tools.
We have the experience to help you put together the perfect brand and to implement your new products into a perfectly designed and functioning eCommerce website. If you would like to find out more about the entire process, and how Candy can help you get to where you want to be with the perfect preparation for new products, contact us today. You can reach us on 0161 826 0123 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.