Worst Marketing Mistakes Made in History

Marketing is as important as the business itself. Without marketing, a business will never make a dime. Some marketing strategy works, while some fail for different reasons. In this post, we will see some of the worst marketing mistakes made in history and also draw some lessons from them.

1. Hoover: Promotion That Ends In $83 Million Loss

2 Free Flights to America When Spend 100 on any hoover product

At the end of 1992, Hoover had a lot of washing machines and vacuum cleaners laying around.  They didn’t know what to do with them. So they were trying to come up with a plan to sell them. 

They ran a campaign that gave away two round-trip plane tickets to the U.S. or Europe with every vacuum purchased. Although the company hoped that customers would be more inclined to purchase expensive models, it set its minimum purchase to receive that ticket at £100, or roughly $166 today.

This resulted in people buying cheap vacuum models to get airline tickets. Some even bought more than one vacuum, but many of these people never received the tickets that were promised. Unsatisfied by their failure to keep to their promises, people started taking Hoover to court

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Harry Cichy was one such dissatisfied customer. He formed the Hoover Holiday Pressure Group. More than 4,000 unhappy Hoover customers filled its ranks, demanding that the company make good on its promises. “We don’t want blood,” Cichy said in a statement at the time. “We want tickets.”

The impending legal battles for Hoover did not end for another six years. In the end, Hoover lost approximately £50 million, or roughly $83 million today. The British royal family even withdrew the company’s Royal Warrant — a high mark of endorsement, indicating that a company cant be trusted. Ultimately, Hoover lost the company in 1995 by selling it off to an Italian competitor CANDY.

Lessons from Hoovers Mistake.

 Giveaways are effective promotional strategies, but sometimes companies offer more than they can handle.

They overestimate or underestimate their audience’s interest, make unrealistic offers, or fall victim to bad timing.

In any case, companies should learn that when it comes to marketing, it’s possible to be too generous in their greedy rampage to attract customers. And this ill bent generosity can cause you the mistake. 

2 Gap: Logo Redesign Gone Wrong

In 2010, clothing giants Gap decided, for no real reason, to change their noble and established logo to something that looked like a WordArt default.

Presumably, the company would have spent thousands on marketing meetings deciding on a logo change, to select a style that would best suit the way in which the company was looking to progress, and then on a design team to come up with the logo itself.

Whatever was spent on its production,  When GAP had changed its logo without considering its customer opinion, its sales immediately dropped by 2%. Gap backtracked almost immediately, pulled their new logo within a week of its release and reverted to the traditional white-on-blue motif, which was introduced 20 years ago.

Lessons from GAPS mistakes

Once a brand (say logo, or colour) has gained public recognition, It no longer belongs solely to the brand. The public is automatically shareholders in the brand. Hence, any intended change should be communicated to the public shareholders beforehand, before being effected. The would save the company some losses and the public’s rejection.

Now you have seen some of the worst marketing mistakes made in history. You can enrol on our marketing class, where you can learn more about the marketing strategy that works and the ones more likely to fail

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