We recently came across a great viral Twitter thread by Warren Craddock, a former software engineer at Google, that described a number of failures at Google.
I've worked on a number of high-profile failures:
– Lytro lightfield cameras
– Google Glass head-mounted computer
– Google Clips automatic photographer
They all had a fatal flaw. Everyone saw the flaw. But the culture that arose in these teams purposefully ignored the flaw. 1/n
— Warren Craddock (@warren_craddock) October 10, 2022
Warren’s thesis? Google’s product teams ignored the glaring flaws in their projects.
As a result, they wasted money on products doomed to fail.
It’s wild stuff. And it’s just as easy for marketers to overlook fatal flaws in their marketing, too.
Here are a few flaws we’ve come across while analyzing otherwise-successful brands:
LadyBoss: Our report on Ladyboss explains how their homepage breaks almost every design and copywriting rule in the book—and probably not for the better.
Our theory is Ladyboss’ personal branding and emotional selling points work so well, it’s easy to get away with subpar design and copy.
But if they recognized that blind spot? We think they’d make even more dough.
Pete & Pedro: The men’s grooming brand succeeds in so many ways, but in our report, we discovered that they’d fallen behind on email marketing best practices.
At the time, they weren’t sending from their own domain and hadn’t set up any form of authentication… a major blind spot for an otherwise efficient brand.
Snow: During the checkout process for Snow, a teeth whitening brand, we were hit with six separate one-time offers.
Each of them had a fake “timer” to create urgency. In our view, this is a blind spot that is possibly costing them money. Too much friction and clearly fake scarcity tends to discourage customers.
Insight: What are your blind spots? Take a look at each piece of marketing and ask yourself, “why are we doing this?”
You may find that you’re doing something because you feel like you should be—and not because it’s actually working.