Market Analysis Summary
Our target market end-user wants to have a very fine putter, with the latest in technology, combined with the ability to be fully customized. This person can be at any skill level, from the beginner to the touring professional. The primary target segment at first will be the female golfer, who likes the featherweight touch, different colors, and the personal touch that we can provide.
With millions of golfers and our new technology, we have an opportunity to reach a market of approximately 26 million recreational and professional golfers.
The golfing consumer is currently exploring the benefits of items made with new technology. This increased interest in special materials and designs goes hand in hand with a desire for “personalized” sporting equipment. Golf is a prestige sport; golfing consumers demand personal attention, high-end products, and a prestige value in their purchasing choices. RA Concepts’ high-tech, customized putters will fill these market needs, and consumers will “pull” our product through distribution channels by demanding access to our high-quality putters.
From the distribution side, our target market is high-end retail golf shops catering to these targeted end-users. They want high-profit margin goods that will draw customers into the store, and practically sell themselves. They also want the kind of quality product that allows the retailer to demonstrate his superior knowledge of the sport; this encourages consumer trust in that retailer, and assures repeat business for accessories and other golfing purchases.
4.1 Market Segmentation
With a steadily growing world golfer market of more than 26 million (according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association), our niche has been created. Our aim is to expand this market by promoting new technology.
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association survey indicates that golf now has more participation than football, softball, skiing, and snow boarding combined. The breakdown of participation in golf is as follows: 1% Professional, 63% men, 32% women , 4% youth, with 81% recreational golfers. Our products are targeting the lady golfer/recreational group, because they are the fastest growing segment in the golfing industry. Since our primary target segment is female golfers, we are going with the more conservative estimate from the National Golf Foundation, 22% of American adult golfers, not 32%.
The following table outlines our potential market segments over the next five years. This is a very conservative estimate – we are looking to gain 2% of the American female golfing market, 1% of the male golfing market, and .5% of the juniors golfing market. The National Golf Foundation broke down total American Golfers as follows:
- Female golfers: 5.76 million
- Male golfers: 20.44 million
- Junior golfers (5-17 years old): 6.1 million
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4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
Our segment definition is of itself strategic. We are not intending to satisfy all golfers, but only those who are most demanding. We are definitely out to address the needs of the high-end buyer who is willing to pay more for quality. In our particular market, we also seek the buyer who appreciates two attributes: the quality of club workmanship and the excellence of design, with an understanding of new technology.
According to the National Golf Foundation, “Avid golfers (25+ rounds annually) make up the smallest player segment (23 percent), but accounted for 63 percent of all golf-related spending in 2002.” Our clubs are an investment; they repay the consumer with high-quality performance, prestige value, and greater enjoyment of their game. For the avid golfer, our products are part of their normal disposable income decisions. Our challenge is not to get them into the golfing supply shops, but to get them to choose our products over another manufacturer’s.
Our marketing will appeal to their good taste, committment to the sport, and vanity, advertising our clubs with same sort of flair used to sell custom-tailored clothing and custom-designed houses. We will target retail shops with demographics matching our targeted end-users. Their existing knowledge of their client base will make our advantages clear.
4.3 Industry Analysis
The industry is dominated by a few very large companies, such as Callaway, Ping, Taylormade, and Titleist. Each of these giants has large or multi-segment marketing strategies that provide general equipment for large blocks of customers.
Customers who purchase golf equipment require reliability and are influenced by reputation and cost, since golf equipment purchases can range from less than twenty, to thousands of dollars.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
There is no direct competition to RA Concepts: no similar golf clubs exist today. The inventor, Randy Comstock, has the sole rights of utilizing the patent (pending) worldwide. This patent (pending) gives very wide protection to the revolutionary invention of special materials and to the process of making golf clubs. The “competition” comes from golf clubs made of other materials, like steel and other metal alloys.
To our target market, there is no choice between price and performance; performance is always the goal. However, what kind of performance they need depends on their skill level and individual quirks.
Consumers in our target market are avid golfers. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and seek out products that will improve their particular game (game improvement clubs). While a large sweet-spot is always desirable, designing for the largest sweet spot can leave less room to correct other common swing errors. Our competitors’ clubs usually offer a choice between a big sweet spot and perimeter weighting that is shifted to cure toe-miss-hits and to help get the ball up in the air. Most of our new designs allow for both.
The professional or truly accomplished golfer is seeking a club that will not over-correct his or her shots. They are seeking exactly the opposite of the game improvement club – they want a club that accurately transmits the slightest nuances of their hit directly to the ball. The Scorpion is targeted at these consumers.
The one big division in our target market is gender-based. Female golfers are usually looking for less weight and different shaft stiffness than their male counterparts. Our products are lightweight, and can work with a variety of custom shafts to fit the whole club to the individual golfer.