I had an interesting meeting with TaylorMade
for a story I’m working on. We discussed the continued interest in the R7 (TaylorMade has a 30% share of the market in the woods category) as well as the new Black Max ball (Maxfli is a Taylor brand). The new balls look to compete with the ProV1, but at a price point that is slightly lower. However, that’s not how Taylor is pitching them. Instead, the company is pushing the balls as having the same performance, with a feel that is better than Titleist or Callaway.
The best bit of the marketing campaign involves getting a sleeve of two Black Max balls with every box purchased. If you play the two balls and don’t like them, you can return the box for a refund.
In my mind, this is kind of like Hyudai. For years people thought their cars were inferior. Even after they improved dramatically, they were still saddled with the same reputation. In order to change that, the Korean carmaker offered a lengthier warranty than the competition.
TaylorMade is doing a similar kind of thing — offering people a chance to use their new balls for free to prove they rival the competition. It is a smart concept — now let’s see if they get the message through to the consumer.