Know Your Niche and Do It Right
I just read an article the other day about a huge golf apparel/equipment company that was wrestling with how to downsize because of their weak sales. Is that a bad sign for golf? I don’t think so.
It seems to me that niche markets are growing. Look at craft beers. Our golf shop is doing really well with smaller, unique clothing lines.
Remember when television had 3 networks – ABC, CBS, and NBC? That was it. And everybody bought a Ford or a Chevy. The power in the marketplace was to find the middle-ground – what appealed to the masses. Do you remember that saying “Sell to the Classes and live with the Masses … sell to the Masses and live with the Classes.”
Well, I think the internet changed a lot of that – and so did cable tv. People got used to options and now want options in everything! The middle-ground has become boring – not cool.
I think that golf has a lot of niches and the secret to success is know your niche. The model of trying to be everything to everyone is suicide.
Does that mean being different just to be different? Not at all – it means knowing who you are. Remember when Coca-Cola abandoned Classic Coke? They almost folded. There will always be a market for classic things – especially if what made them classic is continued. Too often, over the years, what made a product classic was cheapened because the company thought that the name and reputation was enough to fool the public.
I’m all for options. But, I’m also for integrity and quality. And I think most people do too. They may not want the same things … but they don’t want junk.
One of those golf companies just kept coming out with a new driver every 6 months – not that it was an improvement … they just wanted to load up the stores and golfers with new, unneeded drivers. That’s not a brilliant business model. So is their decline in business a bad sign for golf? Hardly. It’s a sign that they should start doing things right.
GM and Head Golf Professional