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| Education and Financial

02/04/15

Marketing blunders: Why not every great idea pans out into success

The one element of marketing that is a hit or miss proposition isn't anything that happens in meetings or within the confines of a conference room.
Marketing isn't always spot on once an idea and concept gets the final roll out, when the commercials, online advertising blitz or social media contingent arrives on the scene, and consumers ultimately are left to determine if the product being reviewed receives a pass or fail in their eyes.
That grade is determined on one element: sales revenue.
And before you begin to assume that most marketing blunders come from small businesses or companies that don't matter, think again. Some of the most epic bombs in the form of products and subsequent advertising are courtesy of the heavy hitters within the retail world.
Remember when Coke thought they should label their famed drink as "New Coke?" How about McDonald's with its "McLean" burger? Didn't go over so well in either instance, did it? Sales for both products did poorly, and the response from the consumers was even worse, mostly because in the case of Coke and McDonald's, they tried to fix something at the time that wasn't broke.

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On that same level of thinking, someone needs to talk to the good people at Heinz, creators of the iconic ketchup. Association of ketchup and tomatoes is a given, and so is the color of the ketchup itself: red. Who determined at Heinz that ketchup should be different colors than red? Heinz delivered ketchup in a variety of other colors, none of which really took off (nor would you expect it to) or changed the landscape of the condiment industry in a good way.
In some instances, companies that know next to nothing about a new product they're trying to sell still attempts to toss their marketing hat in the ring despite that shortcoming. Most people probably don't remember (or choose to forget) that Colgate, the toothpaste company that should have stuck to gums, paste and brushes for your teeth, decided to get into the frozen dinner business, and no one to this day still understands why.
You can argue that the "nothing ventured, nothing gained" mantra plays into the logic as to why million and billion dollar companies take what they assume at the time are calculated risks that blow up in their proverbial faces. Then again, there are just some ideas and products that are just plain bad, the kind of thinking that you openly wonder how such legitimate and credible companies can assume these are good ideas.

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