If there is one thing that’s for certain, large companies are not immune from commercial failure as you’ll see with this list. Here are 10 of the largest product failures in history. Whether it be lousy design, overpricing, or just plain bad luck; there is no denying these products tanked.
The Edsel was billed to be the car of the future. Released in 1958, this car had state of the art features such as a rolling dome speedometer, warning lights for things such as low oil levels, and a push button Teletouch transmission system.
The only problem… the car was horrible. It was looked at as a commercial failure and remains a joke today. Perhaps the worst ever failures in the car business, the Edsel provides a valuable lesson on overhyping poor products.
9. WOW! Chips
WOW! Fat free potato chips would have been an amazing hit if it had not been for the fact that the chips were cooked in Olestra, an ingredient that would act as a laxative when consumed in large enough quantities. Although the chips were extremely popular in their first year, the fact that they caused “abdominal cramps and loose stools” really turned consumers off.
8. Microsoft Zune
Apple has been the go-to in portable music players for years with their iPod. Microsoft tried to use the Zune to capture some of the market. The problem with the Zune is that it wasn’t as cool as the iPod, that and it was extremely buggy. Microsoft tried pushing the product through 4 generations, but it failed to capture the market as they’d hoped it would. By 2011 Microsoft announced no new Zune hardware would be developed. The iPod remains king today.
The Arch Deluxe sandwich was considered one of the most expensive flops in the entire history of McDonalds. The sandwich featured a special mustard and mayonnaise sauce, peppered bacon, along with other ingredients. The sandwich featured a very expensive ad campaign targeting adults, but was met with criticism. Critics of the sandwich complained of its higher price tag, higher calorie counts, and poor ad campaign.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 7
When a product is known to randomly combust, it’s not bound to hang around long. This is exactly what happened when Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7. A design flaw led to short circuits with the battery, this would cause the battery to explode from overheating. After two recalls and repeated reports of explosions, the Note 7 was discontinued.
5. Orbitz Soda
When you release a drink that features little balls in it, it better be good. Despite the very cool look, Orbitz Soda was not good, many compared it to cough syrup. It lasted a very short period of time on shelves and unopened bottles have actually become somewhat of a collectors item.
4. Google Glass
Google is a technology giant. Despite this, the company can make mistakes too. Google Glass seemed as if it would be the future, glasses that feature applications sounds really cool. Although there are many great uses for the technology, the product had many safety and privacy concerns that caused it to perform poorly on the market.
3. Cosmopolotin Yogurt
When you think of the popular magazine Cosmopolitan, the last thing you’d think of is Yogurt. Despite this, the company decided to give the Yogurt market a try. A premium yogurt that couldn’t match up to the magazine, it never sold well because it was high priced and it just didn’t jive with the magazines readers. How this product was ever approved is beyond me.
2. Apple Newton
Apple released Newton as its product for the PDA market. Back in the 90s the Personal Digital Assistant was like a predecessor to the Smartphones of today. The Apple Newton is largely considered one of Apples biggest failures and the sales of the device evidenced this. The hardware has been made fun of in various shows, such as the Simpsons, and even Apple has distanced itself from this part of it’s history.
1. New Coke
What do you do when you have a winning product? Well if you follow Coca-Colas logic back in 1985, you completely change the formula. Most people now remember the ad campaign featuring Bill Cosby where Bill spoke of how much better this new Coke was compared to the old formula. However the public did not agree and shortly after its introduction the company reverted back to its old formula.