In every market there is a Ferrari and a Yugo, a Rolex and a Timex, a Ritz Carlton and a Motel 6, a Neaman Marcus and a WalMart. The closer you are to the top or the bottom of your market, the easier it is to meet expectations and to price your product or service correctly to maximize profits.
The problem is that most companies (and golf clubs) find themselves drawn to the middle of the market. This muddled area is where they are neither the best nor the worst, the most expensive or the cheapest, the newest or the oldest, the quickest or the slowest.
The middle of the market is by far the most difficult area to compete. You should first try to move towards one end or the other by either increasing your services and offerings to increase your price, or by decreasing service and offerings in an attempt to lower prices with the aim of increasing volume.
In my experience the later is actually the harder of the two to accomplish successfully. In contrast, it’s relatively easy to add something that differentiates you in the marketplace.
The hair salon that greets you with a glass of champagne while you wait. The Gym that has video games built into the rowing or cycling machines so you compete on screen in a simulated race against others. The bar with a plate full of trendy appetizers to offset the even trendier prices. By being the only parking lot in town that offers a free car wash, you create a new category – a category that you can lead.
Take yourself out of the muddle in the middle by doing something different that allows you to be a leader in your own category. The only business in your category that also offers X – where X is a strong enough factor to create a new or at least stronger position within your category.