Author: Izabela Kowalska
Table of Contents
Mineral water: Bonaqua vs. Kropla Beskidu2
Jams in tubes4
McDonald’s failed products6
McPizza and McSpaghetti6
Arch Deluxe and McLobster7
Dog in the Fog8
In this paper I am going to present a few examples of product failures that happened because of flaws in the strategy, neglecting to research local consumers’ preferences or simply an ill-conceived idea. I am going to prove that innovations are not always good ‘by default’ unless they are carefully thought over.
Mineral water: Bonaqua vs. Kropla Beskidu
Bonaqua is a global brand of American company Coca-Cola and its image is designed to be the same in every country. However, the taste and mineral content of water differs depending on the spring it is acquired from. To prevent a situation of using the water from the American spring and then exporting it worldwide (to keep the taste uniform across the world), the company applied a production technology tailored to the local conditions. It contained in a few steps: first the local water is filtrated thanks to osmosis and hence a clear distilled water is obtained, then it is enriched with a ready concentrate of minerals. Bonaqua mineral water was introduced to the Polish market in 1994. With the use of good and proven marketing techniques, despite its relatively high price, it quickly became a leading product among other brands of mineral water. Then in 1997 it only ranked as the 3rd and in 1999 – as the 5th. This gradual fall of Bonaqua brand was accompanied by some unfortunate gossips and events. First of all, it was rumoured that some research in America proved that the water in some of Bonaqua bottles is just plain tap water. Even though the said research was performed in America, the customers in Poland seemed to believe in it and started to distrust the brand. Secondly, in one of the Polish Bonaqua factories (in Środa Śląska) it was rumbled that glass bottles contained traces of mould. Thirdly, one of the people from Radio Maryja claimed that the logo of Bonaqua (sun), along with logo of Polsat and the Free Masonery, are satan’s signs. These elements, however, appeared to be just minor scares on the image of Bonaqua brand. The main threat were the competitors, spring mineral waters like Nałęczowianka, Muszynianka or Krynica Zdrój. These companies did not have to filtrate their water (less money spent), so they could afford to set competitive, lower prices, and even thought their marketing was not as immense as Bonaqua’s, they appeared to be more successful. What was the key? It turned out that Polish consumer prefers to drink Polish water, from the crystal clear highland springs. They do not want to pay more for some artificially mineralized, foreign-sounding and globally sold water. Furthermore, the idea of filtrating the water and then adding minerals to it was not particularly well-seen in Poland. Especially that, according to Polish legal regulations, mineral water has to be acquired from a deep spring well, so that it is of good quality. Why filtrate such water? This step was not adding much value to the product, but it was definitely absorbing lots of money. Also, Polish customers did not want to drink water deprived of their natural mineral elements. An extensive marketing campaign involving a Polish singer (Anna Maria Jopek) starring in commercials did not help to fix the situation and in 2006 the brand Bonaqua disappeared from the Polish market. However, the Coca-Cola company did not want to lose their share in the Polish market of mineral waters. In 2003 they decided to follow the trend for popularity of ‘Polish’ waters in Poland and bought a mineral water factory in Tylicz (Beskid Mountains), where they started to produce another...