I'm going to surmise the numbering scheme polaroid used was so obscure, most people didn't know what they sold.
I started photography in the 1980's and only messed a tiny bit with polaroid because a family member had one or two. I really like the pull-apart images, but preferred a camera "system" and wasn't into LF at the time. I likened their numbering to printer ink cartridges today. You go into a store and instead of looking for a "669" box, you get a "J201" box or something like that. I really don't shop for printer ink though.
It's not marketing. It's obfuscating the product. I'm sure there are many reasons for their failure, but I'm pretty certain this was at least a contributor.
I wish I'd know more about their offerings when it was available.