A failed Cosmopolitan product

Cosmopolitan is not a failed product, this magazine is recognized internationally for providing great sex tips, what not to wear suggestions, and celebrity appearances talking about well mostly themselves. But in 1999 they branched out into something unexpected, dairy… specifically Yogurt. Can you believe that? I would had never found it relevant for a company of its caliber to sell their brand essence through a edible product.

So what does ink on paper have to do with dairy products? Well a survey conducted at the time provided data that 65% of Britons used food during love making. Surely, it was enough for this big magazine company to take a leap into making this idea into an actual product. Sad but true, their yogurt only lasted 18 months in the market before it was taken down from the shelves. But why?

Competitor companies were never taken into account making this yogurt overpriced, costing $1.17 per unit. Their target audience was inclined towards women who read their magazine, not extending their horizon to a much broader audience… everyone else! Also there was no marketing, no advertising and promotion towards this product.

This company was piggyback riding on their current success instead of investigating an assumption of, “People love our magazine, they will also love our new yogurt.” Was this company completely sure about that assumption? Did they question whether this was a high or low risk factor?How could this all have been avoided? Good old fashion investigation and research. If this company would had collected more data, conducting surveys not just through their readers but also through the public that would had been a first step to see a clear red flag. Creating a solution assumption would had also benefited, creating the product and having people test it out.

Looking for risk factors that could potentially avoid a catastrophe, is well worth investigating instead of going through a product embarrassment. Instead of relying on that one survey document that ignites a hype for a project, conduct more surveys instead until it is clear whether there is a market for the product. Everything and anything is worth the time investigating even if you think you know the problem first hand.