Callaway Golf Company

Essay by junkshieldUniversity, Master's November 2006

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Nature of Situation

Callaway Golf is a leading designer, developer, manufacturer, and marketer of high quality, premium-priced, innovative golf clubs. Reasons for their success during the 1988-97 period include:

- Innovation and technology for superior golf equipment, e.g. the revolutionary Big Bertha which made golfing easier and more enjoyable for layman

- Successful marketing target on "average golfer" who perceives CGC as performance enhancing product. This market segment is willing to spend as well.

- Strong word of mouth for the brand

- Increasing public interest in golfing

However, after a decade of stunning success with the marketing concept, Callaway suffered a significant first loss of $27 million and witnessed a steep decline in sales in 1998 due to the following reasons:

- Decline in premium golf equipment as market was saturated

- Lack of innovations for CGC to sustain its growth

- Diminishing competitive advantages in innovation due to regulatory pressure and conformity in protocol set by USGA

- Increasing competition from other manufacturers that were catching up CGC's innovation, e.g.

Taylor Made, Ping, Titleist & Cobra

- Too many innovative clubs introduced that golfers were unable to justify for new purchase

- Flood of off-course shops which resulted in there being too many sharing customers in the golf business which wasn't large

Decisions, Solutions and recommendations

The decisions for Callaway to be made include: new product development, pricing, retail channels relationships & marketing strategies. Callaway should have considered the following strategies in sustaining the company's success as the product evolves over its maturing life cycle.

Research & Development: (1) Innovation has always been the key success for CGC brand. CGC should increase the percentage of money allocated to R&D it should give greater than 5%. However, this move may increase the cost burden and diminish the profit margin...