Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time

Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time

by Matt Haig

Paperback(Second Edition)

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What do Coca-Cola, McDonald's, IBM, Microsoft, and Virgin have in common?  They are all global giants, but what they are less recognized for are the branded products they've launched that have bombed -- spectacularly and at great cost.

Brand Failures takes a look at how such disasters occur.  In this updated edition of Matt Haig's book, we're given the inside story of 100 major brand blunders.  Haig describes the brands that have launched with the help of multi-million dollar advertising campaigns only to sink without a trace.  From brand mistakes made by successful blue-chip companies to lesser-known but hilarious bomb-shells, he explains what went wrong in every case and provides a valuable checklist of lessons learned.  A tour of Matt Haig's hall of failure will alert readers to potential dangers and describe how to ensure a long, healthy life for a brand.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780749462994
Publisher: Kogan Page, Ltd.
Publication date: 06/28/2011
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,228,498
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Matt Haig is a writer and journalist.  He is the author of Brand Royalty and Mobile Marketing, both published by Kogan Page, as well as a novel, The Labrador Pact.

Table of Contents

Why brands fail4
Brand myths6
Why focus on failure?7
2.Classic failures9
1New Coke13
2The Ford Edsel19
3Sony Betamax26
4McDonald's Arch Deluxe30
3.Idea failures33
5Kellogg's Cereal Mates: warm milk, frosty reception37
6Sony's Godzilla: a monster flop40
7Persil Power: one stubborn stain on Unilever's reputation44
8Pepsi: in pursuit of purity47
9Earring Magic Ken: when Barbie's boyfriend came out of the closet50
10The Hot Wheels computer: stereotyping the market53
11Corfam: the leather substitute55
12RJ Reynolds' Smokeless Cigarettes: the ultimate bad idea57
13Oranjolt: the drink that lost its cool62
14La Femme: where are the pink ladies?64
15Radion: bright orange boxes aren't enough67
16Clairol's 'Touch of Yoghurt' shampoo68
17Pepsi AM69
18Maxwell House ready-to-drink coffee70
19Campbell's Souper Combo71
20Thirsty Cat! and Thirsty Dog!: bottled water for pets72
4.Extension failures73
21Harley Davidson perfume: the sweet smell of failure77
22Gerber Singles: when branding goes ga ga82
23Crest: stretching a brand to its limit83
24Heinz All Natural Cleaning Vinegar: confusing the customer87
25Miller: the ever-expanding brand90
26Virgin Cola: a brand too far94
27Bic underwear: strange but true96
28Xerox Data Systems: more than copiers?98
29Chiquita: is there life beyond bananas?103
30Country Time Cider106
31Ben-Gay Aspirin107
32Capital Radio restaurants108
33Smith and Wesson mountain bikes109
34Cosmopolitan yoghurt110
35Lynx barbershop111
36Colgate Kitchen Entrees112
37LifeSavers Soda113
38Pond's toothpaste114
39Frito-Lay Lemonade115
5.PR failures117
41McDonald's: the McLibel trial124
42Perrier's benzene contamination129
43Pan Am: ending in tragedy132
44Snow Brand milk products: poisoning a brand134
45Rely tampons: Procter & Gamble's toxic shock137
46Gerber's PR blunder140
47RJ Reynold's Joe Camel campaign142
48Firestone tyres144
49Farley's infant milk and the salmonella incident148
6.Culture failures151
50Kellogg's in India155
51Hallmark in France161
52Pepsi in Taiwan163
53Schweppes Tonic Water in Italy164
54Chevy Nova and others165
55Electrolux in the United States166
56Gerber in Africa167
57Coors in Spain168
58Frank Perdue's chicken in Spain169
59Clairol's Mist Stick in Germany170
60Parker Pens in Mexico171
61American Airlines in Mexico172
62Vicks in Germany173
63Kentucky Fried Chicken in Hong Kong174
64CBS Fender: a tale of two cultures175
65Quaker Oats' Snapple: failing to understand the essence of the brand178
7.People failures181
66Enron: failing the truth185
67Arthur Andersen: shredding a reputation187
68Ratner's: when honesty is not the best policy189
69Planet Hollywood: big egos, weak brand192
70Fashion Cafe: from catwalk to catfights194
71Hear'Say: from pop to flop196
72Guiltless Gourmet: helping the competition198
8.Rebranding failures201
73Consignia: a post office by any other name205
74Tommy Hilfiger: the power of the logo209
75BT Cellnet to O[subscript 2]: undoing the brand212
76ONdigital to ITV Digital: how the 'beautiful dream' went sour214
77Windscale to Sellafield: same identity, different name218
78Payless Drug Store to Rite Aid Corporation220
79British Airways221
9.Internet and new technology failures223
82VoicePod: failing to be heard234
83Excite@Home: bad branding@work236
84WAP: why another protocol?239
85Dell's Web PC: not quite a net gain242
86Intel's Pentium chip: problem? What problem?245
87IBM's Linux software and the graffiti guerrillas247 the party's over249
10.Tired brands257
89Oldsmobile: how the King of Chrome ended up on the scrap heap261
90Pear's soap: failing to hit the present taste265
91Ovaltine: when a brand falls asleep268
92Kodak: failing to stay ahead270
93Polaroid: live by the category, die by the category274
94Rover: a dog of brand280
95Moulinex: going up in smoke282
96Nova magazine: let sleeping brands lie284
97Levi's: below the comfort zone287
98Kmart: a brand on the brink291
99The Cream nightclub: last dance saloon?293
100Yardley cosmetics: from grannies to handcuffs298

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Haig, a marketing consultant, is one of a new breed of writers producing marketing primers for the hyphenated age of e-marketing. This type of work is characterized by breezily written snippets of success or failure as either encouragement or admonition for the practitioner or for a new category of reader: the business voyeur. Thus these works are written in a readable and appealing format, as e-business fables. Examining 'the 100 biggest branding mistakes of all time, ' Haig organizes these 100 "failures" into ten types, each with its own moral and admonition. These types include classic failures (e.g., New Coke), idea failures (e.g., R.J. Reynolds' smokeless cigarettes), extension failures (e.g., Harley Davidson perfume), culture failures (e.g., Kelloggs in India), and technology failures (e.g., The idea behind this work is that with knowledge these failures can be avoided, but this reviewer regards it as akin to Monday morning quarterbacking in its validity as an activity. None of this takes away the schadenfreude of this well-written, quick read. Useful more as a cultural artifact than classroom text, this book could serve as supplementary reading for advanced marketing courses and for business voyeurs who like a good read. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduate and graduate students; and practitioners." — S. A. Schulman, CUNY Kingsborough Community College

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Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is worth perusing, if only for the very large number of vivid examples of branding success and failure. Some of the underlying principles are open to critique, most notably the authors assertion that perception determines buyers decisions rather than product traits. Many would say that `perception' is, of course, determined to a large extent by the customer's relationship to the product's traits. However, Haig is on track in so many other areas, and the case examples are so valuable, that the book is worth a look anyhow. Branding can be such a confusing, abstracted issue, that the concrete examples here can provide a much needed reality-check.
phoenixcomet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I actually found Brand Failures to be more interesting than Brand Successes. Sometimes why things fail seems to make no sense whatsoever. Matt Haig does a good job of briefly discussing the reason why a particular brand, particularly an old and venerated brand may fail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago