4 Memorable Product Gimmicks of 2011
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- When you're in a competitive market, you have two options to stand apart from the competition: You can make a superior product, or you can come up with a gimmick. And while many companies move their industries forward by striving to achieve the former, many inevitably succumb to the temptation to do the latter. In the past few years we've seen film studios race to churn out 3-D movies, fast food companies introduce goofy, high-calorie menu items and beer companies find new ways to modify their cans and bottles.
Of course, pinning down what does or doesn't constitute a gimmick is tough.
"It depends on who you ask -- one person may call something a gimmick that's deconstructive and degrading, but if you ask the creator, they'll call it an innovation or a feature," says Sasha Strauss, a branding expert and managing director of brand consulting firm Innovation Protocol. But he adds that whatever you call it, a product gimmick is only a bad thing if it detracts from the main event and hurts the brand. "When companies add on unnecessary supplements that distract us, it degrades our connection to the brand to begin with," he explains. "When they say, 'Check out A, now check out A-plus-1,' what they've done is distracted the audience from importance of A and put the attention on the plus-1." There are good gimmicks and bad gimmicks, in other words. Here are four gimmick products from 2011, some of which flopped and some of which accomplished exactly what the company set out to achieve.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV