A brand is Product

A brand is an intangible attributes of a product, arisen out of gut feeling and perception of the customers. With globalization brands have travelled across geographies and explored new markets building returns for it. Global products have sometimes tended to retain their characteristics in new market and country leading to failure of the brands. Standardized products in a new market have failed leading to re-think on the market entry strategy.

Although the advantages of standard products have been empathized in new market, the disadvantages of improper target market and no distinctive image of products to consumers have led to failure of global brands in new markets. Inability to localize and adapt the global product to local tastes and preferences has led to failure of many great brands. The aim of the paper is to analyze and understand failed marketing approaches to various brands with examples. The paper also discusses on the reasons for failed marketing approaches and explains examples to understand the marketing strategies adopted.

Reasons for failed marketing approaches Insufficient Market Research – This situation arises due to the complacent attitude of the companies entering into the new market. The improper estimation of demand and market dynamics and lack of coordination to launch the product leads to such situation. Pepsi AM was launched in the late 1980’s without significant market research and proper sampling. The demand for such product with twice caffeine and sugar content made the product an instant failure. Pre-assumed market size and product viability made the product out of place and it failed miserably.

Similar case was attributed to Clariol’s “Touch of Yogurt” shampoo was another failure which not only failed to understand the market but also led to complete failure of the product. Over standardization – Sometimes, companies overlook local preferences of the products and launch. The product is introduced into the market in a standard manner and preferences. Product positioning and market-segmentation are major challenges in case of over-standardization. Euro-Disney, launched by Disneyland is considered failure due to inability of the product to add value to the customers.

Consistency in the brand environment and brand policies of the company led to the failure of the brand in a new market. Narrow vision- The companies tend to adopt myopic sight of the market and hence loose customers to a failed product. No proper channelization of information between the subsidiaries and communication gap created results in loss of business. “Thirsty Cats and Thirsty Dogs” was launched a product to quench the thirst of pets. Although the product was launched in different flavors, improper communication strategy in between the channel and the company led to the failure of the product.

Ponds with me-too strategy entered the market with toothpaste which was a Colgate look alike. This further marred the market for company and led to product failure as channels and subsidiaries were not in a position to place the product in the minds of the consumers. Rigid implementation- Companies sometimes allow standard marketing programs for all the market which further reduce the chance of product success. Local preferences are not evaluated by the companies which lead to the failure of the brand.

Unilever’s product Radion was launched in the market with unclear perception in the minds of the consumers. The soap acted as a complement of Pears in vibrant colors but lack of local preferences led to the failure of the product in the UK market. Poor Follow up- Products have failed in the recent past due to improper follow up for the products after launch and companies not being able to sell the product. General foods launched Maxwell House ready to drink coffee which failed due to the poor follow up in between the channel and the company.

The companies positioning of the product did not match with the channel’s communication to the consumers and the product failed due to lack of coordination. Conclusions The transition of a product to brand status is a journey which takes time to materialize. The same is being questioned off and on when global companies fail to understand the local preferences. Complacency is one of the factors which affect the market and big brands fail in regional markets. Local competition provides a serious threat to the brands and this leads to failure of the brands.

Standard products suffer in new markets due to lack of proper coordination between channels and consumers. Companies fail to understand consumer’s preferences and eventually products die in the market.


  1. VanAuken, Brad and Daye, Derrick. The Impact of Culture on Branding: Brand Aid, American Management Association, 2003
  2. Kotler Philip and Keller Kevin, “Principles of Marketing” 12th Ed. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2005
  3. Gelder, Sicco. “Global Brand Strategy” Unlocking brand potential across, countries, culture, market Kogan Page, London, 2003

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