Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Top 6 Biggest Branding Mistakes and Failures: The Products Whose (Marketing) Fails to Impress

There are probably plenty of worse jobs that companies have done but this is what I've come up with. This list only includes products that are still in existence and those that launched in recent history. That means New Coke and the McPizza don't count although they definitely would make the all-time list.

6. Mitsubishi Elevators

Trailing Otis, Kone and several other companies in the elevator industry, Mitsubishi itself has been a massive failure. Its televisions have almost no market share while barely anyone knows about a random food and textiles division. Simply put, Mitsubishi does not stand out with any distinctive color like Ferrari, sound like the Ford Taurus or smell like Mercedes. And that's just its cars. But has anyone ever seen and recognized and applauded a Mitsubishi Elevator? The entire corporation has simply developed a reputation of substandard quality and no uniqueness or innovation, led by a badly trailing automobile division.

5. Microsoft Zune

I have complimented this device on its quality and I still think that it's a good device but from the start, it was destined for failure. After a hyped launch, the "iPod-killer" sputtered throughout its duration on the market at prices nearly the same as the iPod. A confusing interface, lack of unique features and little online capability, the Zune just doesn't have the charm that iPods do. The Zune doesn't even have a variation of the cover flow or genius playlist generator while online features are incredibly poor. Basically, Microsoft, renowned for its no-nonsense Windows operating system, has no right to market share in the MP3 player market, which demands innovation.

4. Samsung Instinct

Don't mess with Apple. The Samsung Instinct never even had the hype that the Zune had and was and still is regarded as an iPhone spinoff. I've never personally tried this device but can tell that its appeal is not anything compared the notorious Apple iPhone. Samsung just came too late in the touch screen world and is facing not-so-great sales as a consequence.

3. Dunlop Sport

Although a good tire manufacturer, Dunlop Sport is a mistake. Athletes are considerably picky about their brands and I know I wouldn't buy tennis balls or golf drivers made by a tire company. Dunlop has never been a leading innovator in any of its sports departments, trailing Wilson and Head in tennis, is a leader in the relatively small squash market, is not even considered as a player in the badminton market, which is the same with golf.

2. Reebok Reebok

In an athletic wear market dominated by Nike and Adidas, Reebok comes in at a lowly third. In the shadow of these two foes, Reebok has a good hockey division and has an adequate share in fan merchandise in the NFL but every other sport puts this brand out of the equation. Little to no media marketing, massively overpriced items, lower quality and simply the shadow of the two giants has not helped the company.

1. GM Pontiac

Have you ever heard of CalorieLab.com? If you've been reading my blog, you have but if you haven't then you probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Well, you've probably heard of Pontiac. So why has CalorieLab overtaken Pontiac in daily web reach (website visitors), according to web research company Alexa? Because nobody cares about the sinking division of a sinking GM anymore. GM doesn't even care about Pontiac, which is not included in its four-division focus. This is because what does Pontiac have that's unique? Nothing. It was lauded as the new car company like Saturn. It isn't true American like Chevrolet. It isn't luxury like Cadillac. And it isn't fuel efficient like Toyota.

Do you see the similarities of all these? They all don't have any unique features and they all live in the shadows of a big-name, big-brand player in their market. This is exactly what you shouldn't do. Just some advice.

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