Global Brand Campaign Improves Market-Leading Position
It means something when the president of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) praises your marketing campaign. This is exactly what happened when Club Car, a division of Ingersoll-Rand, launched a new brand campaign to retain its position as the global leader in golf cars. Tapping into golfers’ emotional connections to the game, the campaign illustrated the personality and culture of Club Car and its passion for golf. The work succeeded in lifting market share to record levels and earned acclaim from the PGA president as a “leading example of how the industry can overcome challenging market conditions.”
Market intelligence indicated two “me too” golf car product introductions by Yamaha and E-Z-GO in response to Club Car’s launch of a totally re-engineered line. Additionally, the golf industry is challenged, with fewer rounds being played and more golf courses closing than opening. As a result, golf cars were becoming commoditized due to price-selling versus relationship- and value-selling. Club Car, to maintain their leadership status and continue to grow share, needed to find a way to stand above the “just another golf car company” stigma.
We developed a brand campaign platform that exemplified the personality and culture of Club Car as an organization supporting the industry as opposed to simply manufacturing golf cars. This platform demonstrates Club Car’s core values of passion, commitment and excellence. By elevating Club Car above just products, the brand was able to speak to the end user about their devotion to the game and how it drives everything they do. This platform reduced competitors’ abilities to use product parity and price as their key selling strategies.
Club Car’s global “Honor the Game” campaign was launched with print ads in all major trade publications worldwide, tradeshow booth graphics, language-specific product brochures as well as outbound video emails with a personalized message from Club Car’s CEO to more than 28,000 current and prospective customers, inviting visits to the company’s website.
The year the campaign launched, Club Car increased their market share leadership by 2% to a record 47%. In a leading indicator of purchase intent, Club Car’s inclusion in the consideration set rose to an all-time high of 59%, compared to the next closest competitor at 44%. The campaign has received numerous creative awards and was even cited by the president of the PGA of America in his keynote address as a “leading example of how the industry can overcome the challenging market conditions that exist in the U.S. golf market by promoting and growing the game.”