I just couldn’t get 100% comfortable with the gunshot-type-sound every time my partner hit the ball during a round of golf this summer.
If you’ve played golf or listened closely on TV, you understand the thwack of the driver or the whoosh of a good iron hit. And, if you’ve been to a gun range, you know the sound of a firearm. But you wouldn’t expect a gun sound on a golf course.
That’s what you get with the EZeeGolf Power Driver, which automatically drives a ball down the fairway.
There’s also a worthy strategic marketing discussion to be had.
Self-Propelled Golf Club
As background, this summer I played a round of golf with a nice gentleman who cannot swing a golf club due to severe arthritis.
He’s just back into the game after a 10-year hiatus because he researched golf clubs for the disabled and learned about the EZeeGolf Power Driver. It’s a wonderful story for him – and others I would imagine.
Basically, the golf club is a self-propelled driver that’s powered by a powder cartridge.
It’s not as easy as you might think. Even though the club “shoots” the ball automatically, proper player and club alignment is critical – just like for regular golfers. There’s an adjustment mechanism on the club to set the range, so the key mental part of golf about figuring distance still applies.
The EZeeGolf Power Driver is a solution for the physically challenged golfer who wants to stay on the course or get back in the game. (FYI, I don’t have any relationship with the company.) Keep in mind that “purists” and super serious golfers may object to an EZeeGolfer in their foursome.
When I researched the company and studied the website and social media platforms, I became concerned. There’s a lot to digest and figure out.
To begin, is EZeeGolf a product, an outdoor experience, or both? In an Internet podcast interview, company President Steve Fluke talks about creating a new sport. That’s ambitious.
According to the company’s Facebook page: “EZeeGolf was created to enable everyone to enjoy the golfing experience and begin to play in just a few minutes using the self-propelled EZeeGolf club.”
Okay, perhaps another effort to broaden the golf experience, however defined (e.g., 15-inch cups); and re-purpose golf course utilization (e.g., disc golf, FootGolf). That would be one strategic approach.
However, the website has a page titled “Who Plays EZeeGolf.” See if you can figure out what’s problematic with the answers:
- The EZeeGolf Power Driver as an introduction to the golfing experience.
- The left behind spouse of an avid golfer.
- EZeeGolf supports everyone who wishes to enjoy the golfing experience, especially the physically limited.
Wow. Three different customer targets. Three completely different positioning approaches. Three different brand stories.
I know why Mr. Fluke did this. He wanted to appeal to the widest possible audience to establish commercial viability for the product. It’s tough to blame him for that goal.
But each approach requires totally different marketing.
> The company might target young children if the goal is an introduction to golf – if they could get past the product safety hurdle. Or, perhaps target young professionals desiring to learn the game for social and/or business reasons. However, the notion of EZeeGolf serving as some type of transition into regular golf is difficult because there’s no swinging. In reality, it’s a different activity.
> Regarding the spouse who doesn’t play golf, well, let’s just say that’s a super long-drive of a marketing challenge better left for a completely different blog post!
> After spending a day on the course observing this golf club in action, targeting the physically limited seems ideal. Sure, it’s much narrower, but it fits better.
And there are related opportunities. For instance, my golfing partner wished he could find and get connected with other EZeeGolfers so he could have a foursome of similar players. That sounds like an opportunity for golf course operators to add rounds played.
You can find marketing that speaks to each of the three customer targets across the company’s content assets.
Hole-In-One. For physically challenged golfers who still want to enjoy the golf course and the outdoors, EZeeGolf is a solution.
Double Bogey. You may disagree about the merits of the three positioning strategies. But EZeeGolf needs to pick one. What is the brand concept and who is it for? Then market the heck out of it.
Harvey Chimoff is a versatile marketing and business team leader who believes good marketing sells. Contact him at harveychimoff dot com.