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.
We’re doubtful the first thing readers of the Cosmopolitan magazine think of while consuming the new issue is, “I’d sure like some yogurt right now.” Regardless, in 1999, the good people at Cosmopolitan thought they’d release their own line of yogurts and even sell them at a higher price. The result was a total failure and the product was pulled from the shelves 18 months later.
When home video came to American neighborhoods all over the country, there were two recording formats: VHS and Betamax. In theory, Betamax was the superior format with better quality tapes and players. However, the company JVC behind VHS built strong relationships with rental stores who gave VHS higher priority. Betamax slowly got less shelf space until it was totally phased out.
When High Definition televisions came around in the last decade, a similar war to the Betamax and VHS battle was waged. HD-DVD versus Blu-ray with Toshiba on one side and Sony, again, on the other. Sony provided a better product with Blu-ray but Toshiba claimed HD-DVD could be easily manufactured at a cheaper cost. HD-DVD didn’t last too long with top corporations backing Sony. The final nail in the coffin was the PS3’s ability to play Blu-ray, helping lure more customers to their side. While Blu-ray may have been the victor, it also wasn’t exactly the cash-cow investors had expected.
Cheetos Lip Balm
Let’s face it, Cheetos are clearly delicious and addictive. But having Cheeto crusted fingers and bad Cheeto breath is the last thing anyone wants. Despite that, Frito-Lay released “Cheeto Lip Balm” for all those people who like the constant taste of Cheetos without actually eating any.
When Amazon and Apple released their Kindle and iPad, Barnes and Noble felt like they needed to defend their book selling kingdom and released The Nook, a tablet and e-reader. But it just couldn’t compete and Barnes and Noble’s misunderstanding of the product ultimately led to its demise.