Brands That Burned Their Customers

The following brands all have one thing in common, they did something that someone in the company thought was a good idea to increase revenue, instead they alienated their user base and paid the price. The lesson is know your customer before making decisions or you may not have one to serve.

  •, the old, Disney bought it and forgot what they bought. Changing the look and functionality of the site so drastically that a 100M purchase burned into a pile of nothing.
  • Digg: A website that lost its user base to Reddit after a major site refresh that ignored user feedback and reduced site revenue.
  • Applebee’s: A restaurant chain that tried to become a club at night to attract younger customers, but ended up alienating both old and new customers who did not want to hang out at Applebee’s.
  • JCPenney: A department store that changed its stores to go after a cooler audience, but failed to appeal to either the cool kids or the loyal JCP shoppers who did not like the new style.
  • Onlyfans: A platform that briefly banned sexually explicit material, which was its entire business model and the main reason why users and creators used it.
  • MTV: A music channel that ditched its music videos and became a reality show nightmare, losing its original appeal and identity.
  • Sci-Fi Channel: A channel that had no sci-fi on it, despite its name and genre.
  • Discovery, History TV18 and National Geographic: Channels that used to show informative and educational content, but switched to low-quality and repetitive shows like Man vs Wild and its clones, losing the interest of the geeks and science lovers.
  • Photobucket: An image hosting service that used to host images for free, but then decided to charge everyone monthly, without any free tier, causing users to abandon it and ruining many online forums and threads that relied on it.
  • Quora: A website that used to have intelligent discussions and groups, but became monetized and flooded with low-quality and irrelevant questions, losing its credibility and quality.
  • McDonalds: A fast food chain that used to have a cheap and popular dollar menu, but raised its prices and lost its appeal to the budget-conscious customers.
  • Olive Garden: A restaurant chain that used to have a simple and solid menu, but tried to get faux fancy and changed its dishes, losing its loyal customers who liked the old menu.
  • A website that used to have some of the smartest and funniest stuff on the internet, but switched to listicles and photoshop contests, losing its writing staff and originality.