The Fine Line Between Success and Failure
The practice of product management may have its roots in Neil McElroy and bath soap at P&G, but that hasn’t prevented some of the highest-profile companies from creating doomed consumer products.
You may remember some of these classic failures:
- New Coke was designed to compete with the sweeter-tasting Pepsi, but sparked such an outcry from loyal customers that it was promptly withdrawn and replaced by the original recipe.
- The Sony Betamax lost the feature war to VHS because it couldn’t fit a movie on a single tape.
- The Ford Edsel couldn’t live up to Ford’s sustained prelaunch hype, had a name that sounded like “pretzel,” and looked just plain weird.1
- “Weird” is an understatement. Some customers thought the front grille looked like a “vagina with teeth,” according to Matt Haig’s book Brand Failures: The Truth About the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time, p. 21. See the Further Reading section.
You’re reading an extract from
The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management
by Jock Busuttil