How Yonex Could Have Been the World’s Leading Golf Brand!
What if I told you that Yonex Golf could have been one of the big three golf companies and in fact a world leader in at least one major category that speaks directly to 10% of the world market. Instead, their company even with Monty on staff is one that few golfers have even heard of like alone considered buying from but it wasn’t always the way.
Back in the early 80s they were real innovators and were the first company to develop the wide-bodied driver and the first company to develop a graphite headed club, which in 1989 was used to hit what was then the world’s longest drive of 412 yards in a PGA event. They also had something else going for them, very talented young man from California, who just happened to be left-handed. Unfortunately, their marketing department was not quite so innovative!
At the time I was trying to get their advertising account and had a few conversations with management about how I would go about helping them. Even back then, when they had a far bigger profile than they do today in the golf world they will still a very small player against giants like Wilson, Ping, McGregor and Taylor Made. My strategy was simple, instead of trying to compete with all the giants of the golf business with a full line of products focus instead on only your greatest strength. The world’s best left-handed player plays Yonex. Make Yonex the world’s preferred brand for left-handers and you’d be the only company in the world focusing on 10% of the golfing population and as much as 50% of the golfing population in countries like Canada. They should not even have made right handed clubs! It was a” Blue Ocean Strategy” before anybody knew what “Blue Ocean Strategy” was or at least long before the book was written.
They could even have gone out with the sub-brand like “Lefty” even today this could be an excellent strategy for Callaway to pursue. I can tell you for a fact, since one of my best friends is left-handed, and my wife is left-handed, that left-handed people, in general, feel shortchanged by the golf industry. A company that focused solely on their needs would instantly be number one in that market. Far better to be number one in 10% of the entire market that number 57 in a bigger market.
It all comes down to strategy and what market you can compete and win in is a big question you should answer! Most companies simply don’t have a strategy and so survive, barely, as also-rans.
Can you articulate your strategy in a single sentence?
If not, I can help, call me…. 352-266-2099