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Failed Product Essay

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Updated: Dec 6th, 2019


Analysis of the history of corporations highlights the presence of products introduced in the market, which are discredited by the clientele. This makes it fundamental to phase out the product from the corporation’s product line. The following piece identifies a failed product, describes its tendencies and deduces the reasons for failure. Finally, it presents recommendations that the company ought to embrace through implementing diverse change initiatives.

Identification and description of failed product

A case of a failed product incorporates McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, which was launched in 1996. It is a sophisticated burger, which seeks to cater for an adult audience with its different ingredients (Kincheloe, 2002). The Arch Deluxe has a soft buttery bun on top, which is above the mustard.

It equally encompasses the mayonnaise sauce followed by two “fresh lettuce leaves and slivered Spanish onions” (Kincheloe, 2002). After that, there is smocked bacon above the ripe tomato slice and a slice of American cheese. The sandwiching process encompasses the above constituents, cooked beef and fancy tomato ketchup.

Why company and product failed

According to Rogers (1995), the five stages critical in a product’s development incorporate, “knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation”. He argues that the tipping point originates from diffusion theory, which is a set of generalizations that aid the spread of innovations within a social change process. Further, there are suggestions that the masses often oppose change meaning that companies should prepare for resistance and the means of addressing them upon the introduction of a new product.

In the knowledge stage, individuals learned about the new idea. There was a need to embrace longer life expectancies and cater for an old market. The feeling that the company’s focus was on children alone, made a significant contribution to the creation of the idea. The presence of the adult market encouraged McDonald’s company to introduce a new range of burgers; thus, initiating the identification process.

There was the creation of a new line of sandwiches instead of changing the menu. The creation entailed extra funds to make the idea a success. Before introducing the sandwiches, the adult market was not consulted to determine the reception of the arc deluxe burger (Kincheloe, 2002). Finally, the burger recorded some of the poorest sales in history, attributable to the mentioned reasons.

The persuasion stage involves forming opinions and attitudes about new ideas developed in the first stage. The company engaged its staff to envision the formed idea. As such, McDonald formed a favorable attitude and tasked its executive top chef Andrew Selvaggo to create the designed burger. The created burger was so big that it stood out. However, it failed since people noticed that it had many calories, which could be harmful to their health.

Individuals engage in activities that suggest their adoption of the idea under the decision stage. The company’s management made a choice to address an adult oriented market. The launch of the deluxe arch burger saw the company spend $100 million on the advert that Fallon McElligolt, a Minneapolis advertising agent initiated. This adoption of the burger idea is among the most expensive campaigns in history.

However, the expensive advert turned off customers who termed it unconventional. Instead of concentrating on food quality in the advert, it featured young children complaining about the burger. The children discouraged sales of the burger because people are not used to such adverts. They refer to it as a rebel advert, which introduces negativity of the company’s products.

The implementation stage involves individuals putting new ideas to use. Lastly, there is gathering of positive feedback about ideas and reversing previous decisions based on negative feedback. After the negative feedback from the adult market, the burger was gradually eliminated from the American market. High prices and caloric contents of the burger contributed to the flop of the product because most people care about their health.


In order to make positive change, the company ought to have enhanced the following ideologies. It should have tasked a professional team to research on market aspects to curb possible flopping of the product. As such, McDonald’s should have engaged in an extensive market investigation. This would enable the company determine if the adult marketplace would embrace the Arch Deluxe Burger idea. In the research, the discovery that adults considered the burger unhealthy would have been evident.

A different low calorie burger that could draw little resistant ought to have been created. In addition, the commercials should have avoided using children because the target group was adults. Rogers’s theory argues that an innovation ought to be introduced to individuals who easily use an invention to offer positive reactions. Adults enjoying the deluxe burger would be an appropriate model for the advert. This would ensure positive reaction to early adopters of the new burger.

According to Haig (2011), management in companies should be aware that people do not always embrace change. Additionally, there must be appropriate channels to introduce change in organizations. It is difficult for people to accept innovations, so McDonald needed to learn how to introduce the new burgers in the market. People should have been prepared early for the launch of the burger. As such, they would not complain so much on the changes made on the burger.

Prices of commodities must always be fair if they are to register sales in any market because people will always resist high prices. McDonald’s company ought to set a convenient price for the burger for it to sell. A lower introductory price would sell the “Arch Deluxe Burger” because people would be enthusiastic to try something new at an affordable price. Indeed, no one would complain of high prices.

When founding and implementing new ideas like the “Arch Deluxe Burger”, consultation with individuals who command the food industry must exist. An individual whose opinion on food is highly regarded is more appropriate in the burger advertisement instead of complaining children. Furthermore, hiring nutritionists to give facts on healthy eating thus propose the burger to adults who wanted to eat healthy leads to high sales. McDonald’s would register more sales because people would be convinced that the burger was healthy.


According to Wallach (1995), managers must never think for their clients or forcefully impose changes. Instead, customers should establish their preference through selected media. Improper decisions and lack of proper research have facilitated the failure of products that were highly anticipated. McDonalds made this mistake with their highly publicized “Arch Deluxe burger” that became a major flop. There was an assumption by MacDonald’s management that grown people would embrace the adult burger.

This incensed the public making them reject their productions thus causing embarrassment. Companies should properly evaluate a product or innovation before releasing it for purchase. Poorly researched products can have negative repercussions on the clientele and encourage lawsuits that may be expensive. Therefore, it is prudent for corporations to introduce quality products to their customers.


Haig, M. (2011).Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time. London, LDN: Kogan Page Publishers

Kincheloe, L. (2002). The sign of the burger: McDonald’s and the culture of power. Pennsylvania, PA: Temple University Press

Rogers, M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations, New York, NY: The Free Press.

Wallach, B. (2005). Understanding the cultural landscape. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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IvyPanda. "Failed Product." December 6, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/failed-product/.


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