Starting to Grow, How Rushing to Market Turned Crystal Pepsi Into One of the Worst Product Fails of All Time, Even After Half a Billion of Sales in Its First Year
Find Angel Funding & Venture Capital for Business Startups, Entrepreneurs, & First Time Founders – Episode 9
As your business starts to grow, what do you see? Is everything running smoothly? Or are there hiccups in your business operations? When everything seems okay, you grow confident and start to take on more and more customers.
With more customers come more operational challenges. Challenges such as customer service, human resources, delegating roles, etc. It is also important for entrepreneurs to anticipate future challenges and their respective solutions. It is also important to ask yourself if you still like your business. You have options.
-Evaluate your business model and make some changes
-Focus on taking your business to the next level
You also need to watch profitability and cash flow. Initially, you do not need to be overly concerned about money because there are many ways to monetize a good business. But as your business grows and takes on more customers, it becomes imperative that your business makes money for it to stand on its own. Most of us do not have enough wealth in our bank accounts to lose money forever.
If there is a market for your business idea you will make money, you will probably move on to the next step. If not, you should probably go back to the drawing board. If it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense.
You also need to make sure you have your product or service ready for mass scaling before you grow too much.
Crystal Pepsi was poised to become a billion-dollar idea. Instead, it was a colossal flop. Less than a year after the commercial hit the airwaves, the soda was yanked from the shelves. It became a cultural laughingstock.
How did Crystal Pepsi go from pop culture darling to the beverage world’s biggest fail?
-A rush to launch before the recipe tasted right.
-Spoilage from using clear bottles with a clear liquid, apparently colas are brown for a reason
In April 1992, the drink launched in Boulder, Colorado, and was soon flying off the shelves. But the clock was ticking. They wanted the soft drink to launch nationally in time for the Super Bowl on Jan. 31, 1993, as part of a $40 million ad campaign.
All told, Crystal Pepsi was rolled out across America at breakneck speed -- just nine months after initially pitched. By contrast, It took three years to launch Slice. It wasn’t enough time to accurately test Crystal Pepsi’s shelf life.
After the Super Bowl commercial, sales of $1.50 six-packs soared. The company sold $474 million of Crystal Pepsi by March 1993, according to The New York Times.
Unfortunately, Cases of Crystal Pepsi were being displayed sitting out in the direct sunlight. As predicted, ultraviolet rays caused the soda to spoil. Reports began pouring into Pepsi headquarters from customers saying that Crystal Pepsi tasted strange.
By 1994, less than a year after Crystal Pepsi’s big launch, it was discontinued. Two decades later, in 2014, the soda was named one of the “10 Worst Product Fails of All Time” by TIME Magazine.
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