Ford introduced the new Ford Edsel automobile in 1958 and it encountered numerous challenges from the outset. Despite investing considerable time and money in consumer research, the company failed to heed the feedback from their customers and decided to proceed with creating an expensive, fuel-inefficient car.
Additionally, the stock market experienced a significant decline just before the Edsel’s launch. This meant that the middle-class families Ford was targeting to purchase these cars could not afford them as their investments were rapidly losing value. The Edsel fiasco led to Ford losing $350 million on a car that it had already spent $250 million to build. The cars ceased sales in 1960. If that wasn’t bad enough, the next product on our list is a prime example of failure.
Going to the movies is an immersive experience, you sit in the dark, watch things on a big screen with sophisticated audio and are often surprised when the movie ends and you return to the real world. But some people thought that involving only the eyes and ears in the experience was not enough, and what was really missing is the sense of smell. We’re not sure we agree, but two companies, in 1959 and 1960, truly believed that this was the future of cinema and they were willing to put their money where their nose is. That was the start of the battle of domination over the smelly side of the movies.
Two companies, named AromaRama and Smell-O-Vision, began adding scents to the movies which changed according to the scene being played. Unfortunately, since the smells were distributed via the air conditioning vents, they were not distributed equally, and viewers did not share the same experience. Also, what these companies didn’t seem to take into account was that some scenes are better off unscented. As you already know, the idea didn’t catch on and soon movie theaters once again smelled only of popcorn. Some things were a flop in the movie theater, while others tried to take them home theater by storm but failed to make an impact.
The Sony Betamax
Although it never caught on, the Sony Betamax is looked back on fondly by technology enthusiasts. The home video format was released in 1975, as direct competition to the VHS format developed by JVC. Sony’s goal was to conquer the home viewing market, but we all know who came out on top. The VHS was the clear winner, although the Betamax had the superior viewing quality.
The issue was that the Betamax tapes were larger, making them and their players more costly to produce. VHS tapes could hold more video, two hours versus Betamax’s one. The final blow to Betamax was that Sony insisted on making the format proprietary, allowing only them to produce the recording devices, causing VHS to grow at a much faster rate. Sony sustained the loss and began developing their next home viewing concept, the LaserDisc. Another product that failed to launch in the 70’s seems to have simply not had the touch.
Touch of Yogurt Shampoo by Clairol
In the 1970s, the natural beauty products trend was becoming increasingly popular. Ingredients such as fruit, honey, and surprisingly even beer, were being used in various shampoos. At the same time, yogurt was gaining a reputation as being really good for you. Shampoo company Clairol decided to monopolize on both trends and came out with Clairol’s Touch of Yogurt Shampoo. Unfortunately, while both trends were popular, that did not mean that people wanted them both together, especially when that meant putting an aged diary product on their heads.
This wasn’t Clairol’s only dairy-based disaster. They also launched the Touch of Buttermilk Shampoo during the 1970s. The company and its competitors have since decided that milk has no place outside the diary aisle. If putting yogurt in shampoo seems strange to you, wait until you see what Coke did to their soda.
In the 1980s, everyone had an opinion on which was better, Coke or Pepsi. After completing rigorous taste tastes, Pepsi went public with results that proved that Americans preferred Pepsi’s sweeter soda recipe. Coke decided to respond, aggressively. In 1985, they released New Coke, the soda which
The New Coke was supposed to replace the old Coca-Cola recipe but failed to impress the loyal fans. Within three months, the company went back to the original recipe, now known as Coca-Cola Classic, which is still cherished by many today. Other soda companies also made poor choices in the 1980s.
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