Another anti-capitalist whinge just because I feel like it. It always makes me feel so satisfied to see a corporation fail after it has artificially manufactured consumer desire for a product, only for consumers to reject it and the company to collapse. There have been several notable recent examples and, most amusingly, most of them are bogan products.
First, Starbucks. It opened on Lygon St, Carlton and other places in Melbourne in 2001 and after years of consumer indifference closed in 2008. Smug corporate types thought we were so stupid that we would passively accept their crap American coffee. How embarrassment.
Second, Krispy Creme donuts. Before the chain arrived in Australia they were a fictional product like Duff beer, and desire for the product was stimulated by audiences watching endless reruns of The Simpsons. After satisfying our immediate curiosity we quickly lost interest. They were rubbish. Once again the suits discovered that Australian consumers are not all passive sheep ready to be herded towards an easy profit.
Next, Ed Hardy clothing. The clothing of choice for thugs, drug dealers and thousands of banal suburban bogans who aspired to be thugs and dealers, collapsed once every potential customer had filled their wardrobes. Good riddance.
Finally, and I’m making a bigger leap here, is Vegemite. Sales have apparently declined, and this has been attributed to the changing tastes of an increasingly sophisticated and cosmopolitan palate and an increase in non-Anglo immigrants, who don’t like it.
Their first attempt to make a product no one wants was iSnack 2.0 / Cheesybite. I have not been able to find much of substance about its popularity, but I predict it will fail within 5 years. Now they’ve tried again with My First Vegemite, a lite (sic) version designed to appeal to different palates (and marketed as being designed for young children).
Bogans like franchises and don’t like thinking for themselves, so you’d think these products would almost always succeed. So when bogan franchises fail you know the corporations responsible have been very stupid indeed. Tastes change, and consumers move on. Whenever businesses fail to understand and accept this, they amuse me.