Taylormade golf is the number one brand when it comes to golf drivers and accessories today.A subsidiary of global sports wear giant Adidas, they are the largest golf equipment and clothing firm in the world and is consistently earning more than 1 billion dollars per year since 2006. Their products are also endorsed by leading professional golfers like Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman.The company also attracts a lot of retail investors, both online and offline, which further boost its prominence and sales.
Their closest competitor, Callaway golf, sells slightly less than a billion dollars annually, while the rest like Ping, Cleveland, Titleist, Mizuno, Cobra, and Nike are way behind. In 2013, Golf Datatech, golf’s top market-research group, has confirmed that Taylormade golf took 47% of market shares for golf club drivers only. That number is utterly staggering because the 2.6 billion dollar golf equipment industry actually has decreased by 300 million dollars from 2007.
Taylormade’s consistent rise can be attributed to a lot of factors, like the economy, management techniques, coincidence and luck, but one quality stands out as the reason: Innovation.
Innovation has been the company’s trademark since it was founded. In 1979, the company is literally established by a single innovative product: the metal wood driver. When Gary Adams, then an up and coming golf salesman, invented the metal wood and incorporated Taylormade, he knew he was up to something big.
The metal wood driver was the first of its kind in the market then and nobody else has thought of it before. Of course, with a new material used for the driver, the flight, accuracy, trajectory, and range of golf swings have also improved. It was sensational. Adams was named National Golf Association’s Man of the Year in 1984 and was given the PGA Ernie Sabayrac award in 1995 for his outstanding contributions to the game of golf.
With Adams as the inspiration, Taylormade golf continued to embody their innovative trademark even when the company was acquired by the Salomon Group and eventually by Adidas.
They made more innovations throughout the years such as Bubble Burner woods and irons set in 1995, 300 Series metal woods in 2000, Movable Weight Technology in 2004, and Flight Control Technology in 2009. All of these are pioneering products that other companies have soon followed.
Taylormade’s consistent delivery of its promise of introducing new and better products has kept them on top of the golf equipment and apparel market. Their focus on research and development, which has a reportedly 30 million dollar annual budget, makes it possible for Taylormade golf to launch an exciting original product every 6 months or so.
This continuous release of new and innovative products has made Taylormade the best golf equipment company in the world. It remained sensitive to market changes and demands and has responded well by offering consumers new and unique creations.
During the economic recession of 2008, all the other golf companies performed a lot of cost-cutting schemes just to stay afloat. Taylormade welcomed the opportunity and did the exact opposite. With the support of its mother company, Adidas, they spent more on research and released more unique products that resulted in even higher sales. How amazing is that!
This is how important innovation is to a company. It encourages employee creativity, emphasizes constant progress, promotes the company’s brand, and draws the curiosity of the buying public.
Innovation can really improve a company’s reputation and profits. If you are the first one to do what you do all others appear to be mere copycats. Innovation is the main differentiator between industry leaders and their outmatched competitors. There’s no going around that fact.