Before rolling out a new product, companies spend time and money, sometimes millions of dollars, on research, development, and advertising with the expectation that the product will ultimately be profitable. Yet this is not always the case.
A product can fail for many different reasons. Companies can fail to accurately predict what consumers’ tastes will be, or fail to accurately predict demand for the product category. Sometimes, products will fail because of bad reviews, or due to competition with a product that is superior, or at least perceived to be superior.
When they occur, products that flop tend to be luxury items or experiences. People will always need food, clothes, and medical care, so these types of items — in their more basic forms — rarely flop in the way that movies, cars, or tech products can.
American consumers have a wide range of choices. Nearly every U.S. adult has a cell phone, so there are a large number of tech companies vying for their piece of the cell phone market. If one of those companies produces a shoddy or clunky product, consumers have plenty of other options to choose from.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed reports of business failures in 2018 to determine the biggest product flops of the year. The list includes several cell phones, high-end sneakers, a car, motion pictures, and more.
To determine the biggest product flops of the year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed media reports and company publications about consumer products that underperformed relative to their manufacturers’ expectations.