There are a staggering number of product failures out there; but what are the worst products that the big companies wish had never happened?
Who wants to smell like a ballpoint pens? For some reason Bic thought people would!
The throwaway merchants at Bic thought; I know we’ve been very successfully making disposable pens, lighters and razors, why not make disposable underwear and tights (or Pantyhose) for women? Needless to say it was not a success and the idea met an early, and not much-mourned death.
Colgate Kitchen Entrées
In one of the most bizarre examples of brand extension, Colgate decided to put their name to a range of food products called Colgate Kitchen Entrées. Even later moving into a range of bath soaps, the obvious problem being that people don’t associate the name of Colgate with something tasty. The project was soon canned having never made it off US soil.
Heinz EZ Squirt Purple Ketchup
In 2000 the Heinz EZ Squirt was released, with artificially coloured ketchup in either purple, green or mystery variations. Initially it sold well, but soon enough even kids realised they didn’t like purple goo all over their fries.
Coca-Cola was finding its sales slipping due to the success of Pepsi and so in April 1985 released New Coke with an all new recipe. The problem is they stopped selling classic coke and nobody liked the new version. People began to boycott the drink and even when classic coke was reintroduced sales did not immediately recover.
I am too young to know much about this, except that it was the first of many of the Sony cock ups. Having just Google’d it, I can tell you that Betamax was the competitor to JVC’s VHS, but it couldn’t hold enough recording, Sony didn’t sort out licensing fast enough and refused to let the porn industry use it. Hence its swift demise into the product failures record books.
HD DVD was one of the two formats competing for the high definition storage crown (much like VHS and Betamax). Needless to say Sony’s Blu ray won this time around. This was in a big part due to the Playstation 3 adopting its format and the heavily subsidised player defined the format of the future. Also it didn’t help that the HD DVD, while cheaper really never had enough storage space to store a long HD movie or game.
A recent product failure that would have Steve Jobs rolling in his grave; Apple maps arrived on the new iPhone 5 riddled with errors. This problem compounded by Apple’s refusal to let people use Google maps or any other competitor.
Apple Pippin (Games Console)
Apple are certainly no stranger to product failures, they are just better at covering them up. The Pippin was Apple’s only attempt at a games console. Released in 1995 at a cost of $600, it could not compete with the N64, Playstation or Sega Saturn. After two years of poor sales it was discontinued.
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft‘s should never have been released operating system. It was a power hungry, error filled sack of filth that I personally was stupid enough to purchase. Thank goodness the wait for Windows 7 wasn’t as long as the wait from XP to Vista.
This one hurts me to say, because I think the Zune is an awesome piece of kit; but this is one of the software giants Microsoft’s other big blunder. Released too late to compete with the iPod’s dominance and poorly promoted, the Zune never stood a fighting chance.
Cocaine Energy Drink
A Las Vegas company launched an energy drink called Cocaine that contained three times the caffine as Red Bull. Not long after the launch the FDA pulled the drink, funnily enough not because it promoted drugs but because it was promoted as an alternative. Also it claimed to treat disease and act as a dietary supplement.