Some products sell well when first introduced. Many more fail miserably. Very few of them sell so well that they fundamentally impact American culture. This is 24/7 Wall St.’s list of 10 products that did just that.
Besides selling in droves, many of the products on this list changed American culture. While each product is in a different industry — from smartphones, to video game consoles and music albums — there are clear similarities among the leaders. All the products that made the list were innovative in their respective categories when released. Before Star Wars, people never camped out in front of the theater to see the midnight debut. Harry Potter was the first major fantasy book series particularly geared toward tween readers.
Many of the best-selling products were successful because they were a franchise. Though both were instantaneous successes, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) continues to release new versions of the iPad and iPhone. The 11th generation of the Toyota (NYSE: TM) Corolla, another best-selling product, hit the markets just this May. The Mario franchise has turned into 31 titles.
Most of the products on our list — although not all — have reached a wide demographic. The Rubik’s Cube could be purchased and played by anyone. Harry Potter, while initially geared toward a tween audience, was eventually enjoyed by people of all ages. Even the iPad, while generally considered a luxury item, has multiple features and price points.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed product categories that generate attention from many groups and command significant and frequently long-lasting loyalty. We then identified individual products that had the highest sales in their category. Toys, consumer electronics, books and movies can be passing interests. However, the most successful of these are the best-selling products of all time.
These are the best-selling products of all time.