The last thing any company wants is one of their precious products to fall like a brick from a skyscraper. Profit is the name of the game. So, investing millions into something only to see it fail is a bitter pill to swallow. Sometimes there’s just no way to know if a product will sink or swim. Even after years of testing and design, a product can backfire. Companies, however, can also be tone deaf to what the public really wants. Curious to see some of the biggest business blunders in history? Here are 25 worst product flops you might remember.
When Orbitz Soda came on the scene in 1997, the marketers hoped customers would buy it purely by its appearance alone. It was new. It was fresh. It had…balls. That’s right, the clear bottle had dozens of tiny, colorful, and gelatinous balls floating inside. Unfortunately for the marketing team, everything about this product scared away customers. From the floating balls to the unforgivable flavors like Pineapple Banana Cherry Coconut, people literally weren’t buying this product and it was discontinued after only a year.
In 1989, the Pepsi Corporation threw non-coffee drinkers a bone with a new product called “Pepsi A.M” in an attempt to lure people into a refreshing morning soda with 28 percent more caffeine. Turns out, no one really wants to drink a fizzy beverage at breakfast and Pepsi A.M. went back to sleep.
Introduced in 1988 by RJ Reynolds, the smokeless cigarette was supposed to be the next big thing and RJ Reynolds put $325 million into the product. Unfortunately for them, it flopped hard due to the “special instructions” to light it and the charcoal taste it left in customers mouths.
McDonald's Arch Deluxe
Targeted primarily at adults, the Arch Deluxe was McDonald’s signature hamburger in 1996. They had hoped it would become the next big thing but it didn’t take off and is considered one of their more embarrassing failures.
In 1957, Ford had a vision to release a new car for middle-class Americans. They believed so strongly in the Ford Edsel, they pumped $250 million into it. However, when it hit the lots, it barely sold at all and was panned as an unattractive gas guzzler with trunks that wouldn’t open, sticking hoods, and oil leaks. Instead of giving up, however, Ford kept trying to sell the doomed vehicle but eventually pulled the plug in 1960. It’s now considered a classic case in how not to market and release a product.
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