The Museum of Failed Products: Where Consumerism Goes to Die



FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) advertising usually shows people who are so excited to buy new product X that they practically experience orgasms. However, reality paints a much harsher picture. The failure rate of new products created by established companies is 65 percent, while more than 90 percent of startup products end up being wares almost nobody wants to buy. Needless to say, bad market validation costs a lot of money - some estimates put annual losses at $260 billion in the United States alone.


So, how do product manufacturers figure out where their product designs went all wrong?


GfK Custom Research North America operates a facility nicknamed the Museum of Failed Products in Ann Arbor, MI. Started by a marketer in the 1960’s as his personal “reference library” of consumer products, this collection today offers FMCG product developers and market researchers a wealth of data about failed products in the forms of thousands of discontinued food and household items.