A Lesson from a Related Industry

I love golf.  That’s because I have an uncanny ability to only remember the good shots and to believe, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that there’s no reason I shouldn’t play well next time.  This, of course, is one popular definition of insanity- but perhaps I should move on.

I mention golf because a reader has sent me an excellent article called, “The Rise and Fall of Taylormade.”  It describes a brand that had a lot of success then got a little arrogant.  It proceeded to introduce to much undifferentiated product, allowed its distribution to get out of control, and was pressured, because its parent was a public company, to press for growth when protecting the brand positioning required the opposite.

Any of that sound familiar?

Regular readers know I’ve been arguing for years that we’re in an economic environment where the requirements of a public company (regular revenue growth) may not be consistent with brand building.  I’ve also been warning about too much undifferentiated product and suggested that brand building requires some thoughtful limits on distribution.

And even if you’re not a regular reader, you’ve seen way too much of this in our industry.  And yet, somehow, there’s always another company that makes the same mistake.  That, I suppose, takes us right back to the that popular definition of insanity.

Here’s the link to the article.