Failed Products: Clairol’s Touch of Yogurt Shampoo
In an effort to make shampoo for oily hair, Clairol decided that yogurt was the answer. Except, not even the oily-haired consumer really liked the idea of washing their hair with yogurt. Touch of Yogurt Shampoo came out in 1979. At the time, shampoos contained lemon, herbs, honey, and fruit. However, consumers couldn’t make the leap to yogurt. Sadly, a few poor souls who did buy the shampoo thought that it was edible and were sorely disappointed when they got sick.
This all could have been avoided, because Clairol actually introduced a very similar product three years previously called Look of Buttermilk Shampoo, which also went down in flames. While this set of consumers hadn’t attempted to eat the shampoo, they did wonder what the “look of buttermilk” was and why on earth they would possibly want it.
Interestingly, today, food-based and natural products are all the rage. When creating Touch of Yogurt, Clairol wasn’t listening to the market, but they were ahead of their time. For example, Organix Enriching Cucumber Yogurt Shampoo and Conditioner, complete with “ultra whipped yogurt proteins” and “organic avocado oils” is a very successful product. There are also countless homemade, yogurt-based shampoo recipes online for the chemical-conscious. Touch of Yogurt Shampoo probably would have been popular with the contemporary consumer.
It just goes to show how thoroughly the market is dependent on timing. A good idea is not enough to be successful. Products fail for countless reasons. One stroll through the long, cluttered aisles of the Museum of Failed Products will surely prove that.