There are thousands of brands and companies, both big and small, around the world. While many continue to produce the existing products to meet the requirements of the consumers, big brands constantly keep inventing new products taking into consideration the needs of the people. But do you think every product that has been created or invented succeed? Not really, isn’t it? Yes, many failed to make the mark or hit the market. Well, in this post, we bring you a list of some of the biggest product failures in history.
From technology to food items and drinks, take a look at some of the biggest product failures of all time.
Google Glass was once dubbed Time Magazine’s Best Invention of the Year, but it didn’t make it to mass popularity. Its hefty price tag of $1,433 made it largely unaffordable, and many people complained about privacy issues as they could be filmed without knowing. Google decided it was better to look at other wearable technology.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
After reports of the devices spontaneously combusting, the tech giant was forced to recall the Galaxy Note 7 model on safety grounds and issue a public apology. It was a big blow to the company.
HTC First ‘Facebook Phone’
HTC’s Android mobile phone was expensive and too geared toward posting on Facebook. Reduced to just 99 cents in the U.S., the phone didn’t exactly rake in the profits.
Netflix launched Qwikster, a DVD delivery service which charged a separate subscription fee, in 2011. Originally, Netflix had offered DVD delivery as part of its main service, but by splitting the two services, Qwikster soon flopped.
Oakley Thump MP3 Sunglasses
When Oakley launched its “Thump” sunglasses in 2004, customers met with a bulky design and hefty price tag. Now, when you search for “Thump” on its website, it comes up with “no matches found.”
Amazon Fire Phone
Released in 2014, the phone was Amazon’s first venture into the smartphone market. The app store was too small so loyal iPhone and Samsung users couldn’t be prised away from their devices. Unfortunately for Amazon, the Fire Phone was a classic “too little, too late” move into this industry.
Kraft’s Maxwell House Brewed Coffee
Kraft’s Maxwell House brand of coffee was introduced as a “ready to drink” beverage to help people get their caffeine fix in a hurry. However, it wasn’t ready to drink at all. The coffee came cold in a carton and needed heating in the microwave before drinking. Not just that, the packaging wasn’t even microwave-friendly.
R.J. Reynolds’ Smokeless Cigarettes
When it was finally revealed that smoking was dangerous and that even second-hand smoke could be damaging in the late ’80s, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company decided to spend $325 million on creating a smokeless cigarette. The smokeless cigarettes – called Premier – were designed to cling on to some of the brand’s spooked customers, but the cigarettes tasted and smelled so awful that they made people retch.
Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water
The Coors branding on the water bottles confused shoppers, who associated the company too heavily with beer.
Burger King Satisfries
The reduced fat, sodium, and calories didn’t convince customers – not to mention the slightly higher price at $1.89 for a small portion versus $1.59 for the full-fat equivalents. They were phased out after not making enough sales.
Coca-Cola fans were disappointed in 1984 when classic Coke was replaced by Coke II, or New Coke, in an attempt to make a clear distinction between its soda and rival Pepsi. But within months, customers demanded the original drink back.
In the 1990s, soft drink giant Pepsi released a brand new version of its classic cola. Its latest innovation was caffeine-free, but the biggest difference was that the drink was completely clear. Crystal Pepsi was billed as a healthy alternative, but the colourless drink was too dissimilar from the product that people already knew and loved, and production was halted.
Apple’s Newton MessagePad
In 1993, the big boys at Apple released their first experiment in tablet computing. The MessagePad could take notes and faxes, which was ground-breaking at the time, but Apple soon struggled against rival Palm Pilot. Unfortunately, handwriting capabilities were poor, and with a base price of $715 – $1,139 today when adjusted for inflation – the MessagePad was pricey and ineffective.
Back in 2003, a handheld gaming system-cum-smartphone sounded groundbreaking. But with a niche market to break into, few games available and a flaw in the design of the phone, which had to be totally dismantled to change games, there wasn’t much hope. And when you compare the N-Gage’s $306 price tag against the GameBoy Advance’s $104, it’s a huge jump too. Thankfully phones have modernized since.
Sony’s Betamax Player
Sony was a winner in the 1970s with its Betamax Player. It was better for speed and quality than rival VCR players available and was the first commercially successful device to tape TV shows for viewers. The issue? Japanese rival JVC released its model, which could record for 60 minutes longer and was far cheaper, which meant it won the video war.
BIC’s ‘for Her’ pens
Apparently for women to be able to write well, they need their own pens. Well, according to BIC anyway. For National Women’s Day in 2015, BIC South Africa launched supposedly female-friendly purple and pink pens with the mantra: “Look like a girl. Act like a lady. Think like a man. Work like a boss.” It empowered no one and offended everyone.
Colgate Beef Lasagna
Toothpaste and food both go into your mouth, and this connection seems to have been enough for Colgate to take a stab at the culinary industry. The company released a range of prepared frozen meals in the 1980s. But Colgate was too associated with minty oral hygiene to make its branded beef lasagna look in any way appetizing.
This electronic Twitter pal was released in 2009 purely for tweeting. Unfortunately, there was one major flaw – it was incapable of fitting the maximum 140 characters on the screen. What’s more, the device cost a minimum of $104 with an additional $7.80 monthly charge to receive tweets. That combined with the fact that smartphone popularity was soaring at the time meant that Twitter Peek never really took off.
Cuecat Barcode Scanner
The early noughties were filled with useless technology, and the Cuecat Barcode Scanner was no exception to the rule. Even the cat-shaped scanner didn’t add anything to the product. The device allowed users to scan magazine barcodes, rather than typing in its URL, fixing a problem that never existed. This flop lost investors $189 million.
Soup and a sandwich may sound like a match made in heaven, but Campbell’s took convenience a step too far. The food brand sold the pair as a frozen prepared package which could be microwaved all at once at lunchtime. The time-saving element didn’t make up for what was ultimately a pretty depressing meal.
Clairol Touch of Yoghurt Shampoo
There seem to have been two reasons behind this product’s failure. First of all, the benefits of putting dairy products in your hair weren’t explained too well. Secondly, some people tried to eat the yoghurt-coloured, yoghurt-textured, yoghurt-named shampoo believing it was, well, edible yoghurt. It wasn’t, and offering the shampoo alongside yoghurt cookery books probably didn’t help much either.
Well, these products are not the only ones that could not be successful, there are many more as well.