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Giving new meaning to 'Failing forward'

While no company is perfect, some have made missteps that hindsight makes harder to fathom: Mind-boggling products dreamed up by the brightest market research gurus—before becoming epic flops. CEOs who have the uncanny ability to say the wrong thing—when everyone is listening. Insensitivity to social norms and customs.

Some fail as a result. Some recover. And some are still struggling, years down the road. While the blunders run the gamut from catastrophic to PR gaffes that are really footnotes in a larger corporate history, they're all invaluable teaching tools. You could say the blunders give new meaning to the management mantra, "Fail forward."

Here are 12 classic corporate blunders, from the most recent to the timeless, and the lessons learned (hopefully) as a result of them.

—By Chris Morris, special to CNBC.com
Posted 03 April 2015

Dann Tardif | LWA | Fuse | Getty Images