Brand breakdown

How brand strategy impacts a start-ups ability to position themselves.

Brand strategy can launch your business to new heights.
In this article I breakdown the Robin Golf brand. You'll see how the decisions they made impacted the positioning of their company. It's a great story and even better example of the effects brand has on business.

Who is Robin Golf?

If the price alone doesn't scare you at nearly $3,000, the complexity and overwhelm of buying your first set of clubs will. The experience is intimidating and is enough to turn any beginner away—making golf an exclusive sport.

Robin Golf's founders experienced the difficulty of buying clubs firsthand. Andrew, a professional golfer, helped his beginner wife Ali, and brother Peter acquire their first sets.

Andrew knew to avoid the generic brand clubs found at department stores because they lack quality. So, the only two options were golf retailers, and the used market place.

The golf retailers were expensive, upwards of $3,000. The used marketplace was complicated. In order to find which clubs they needed, they'd already need to be knowledgable.

The founders quickly realized that there wasn't an easy option for beginners. That's why Robin Golf was born.

Robin Golf is branded as the simplest place for a beginner to buy their first set of clubs.

Let's take a deeper dive to see why Robin Golf's decisions were so impactful in positioning their business.

A brand's lifecycle

Brand is customer perception. The experiences you create for customers shapes how they think and feel about your business.

A brand is experienced throughout the customer's journey. A brands lifecycle consists of these stages:

  • Pre-purchase (first impression, consideration)
  • Purchase (product/service experience)
  • Post-purchase (continued support)

Pre-puchase
Brand identity

A brand identity's purpose is to be a memory tool for customers to be able to identify your business in the marketplace.

Because a brand's identity is often experienced before a purchase is made, it needs to communicate what value the customer will derive from your product/service:

  • Social status (Self image, vanity)
  • Alleviate an emotional pain (Scared to make the wrong decision)
  • A solution to a concrete problem (degrease, save time)

Robin Golf's brand identity

Knowing that golf is intimidating to beginners, it gives us an idea of what Robin Golf needs to communicate in their brand identity:

  • Approachable
  • Welcoming
  • Playful
  • Simple
Visuals play a critical part in forming a first impression. 55% of a first impression is formed by visual cues, 38% is the words used, and the last 7% is the tone in which we say those words.

In the event that a person disliked another based on first impression, their judgements would improve the more they saw that person. It means that customers who don't like your logo now, will begin to the more they see it.

Business name

The overall power of a name is the meaning it carries. With a mission focused on making golf a more accessible game, it's important to have a name that evokes the proper emotions. It simply welcomes those who are unfamiliar gain a quick understanding of what they can expect from Robin Golf.

Meaning is gained from existing uses throughout culture, media, and stories. Robin birds have been used to symbolize simplicity, clarity, joy, and new beginnings. The children story Robinhood, has main character named Robin who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.

The name Robin Golf sparks an emotional reaction because of existing cultural influences. It conveys meaning through familiarity.

Logo design

Robin Golf's logo and robin service mark.

What message does the logo need to convey? Robin Golf is focused on attracting the beginner, so the tonality needs to be casual and laid back.

You'll notice that the logo doesn't look exclusive, luxury, or overly complicated. It's casual, loose, simple, and fun. It's paired with a playful robin that furthers its approachable look and feel.

Website

Knowing that new golfers have a difficult time buying their clubs, Robin Golf's website keeps the process simple. It's easy to navigate and get the information you need in order to make an informed purchase.

Purchase
Product design

At this point in the journey the customer has already read, researched, seen, and experienced your company enough they've decided to purchase your product.

Product design is concerned with the customer's experience with the product. Does it help them achieve what they wanted? Does it provide beyond the customers expectations? Does the product match the look and feel of the brand identity?

Brand identity and the products design needs to match. If you look luxury but your products are flimsy and cheap, then rest assured customers will be unhappy.

The Purchase stage includes anything that's related to the act of buying and receiving the product or service:

  • Product design
  • Product packaging
  • Shipping
  • Checkout process
  • Product experience

Robin golfs customers are new and casual golfers. We know that beginners will:

  • make mistakes
  • be concerned about cost and quality
  • have difficulty learning golf

With these facts in mind, here's how Robin Golf approached their products design:

Product design

The increased sweet spot of Robin Golfs fairway club.

Beginners will make mistakes as they learn the game of golf. Robin Golf decided to increase the sweet spot on the club's head. The sweet spot is where the greatest transfer of energy is from the club to the ball. By increasing its size it gives beginners a more consistent swing.

Product packages

A set of Robin Golf clubs

New golfers don't want to spend $3,000 on a set of clubs. Robin Golfs knew that they wanted to reduce cost without compromising on quality. They sourced the same manufacturers as the famous golf club brands, and reduced their sets from 14 down to 9. Less metal, less cost, and quality in tact.

In addition, the sets are sold in three packages women's, men's, and junior's. Each set includes a bag, and head covers. Normally each being an additional charge at a golf retailer. Both the women's and junior's sets include all graphite shafts making the clubs lighter and easier to get a good swing.

Overall, the product design makes the game of golf a more enjoyable experience.

Post-purchase
Policies and warranties

You may not think of a return policy or warranty as a highly impactful business decision, but it can go along way when you're focused on your ideal customer.

Turning a customer into a person who frequents your business is sometimes an after-thought. The opportunity of post-purchase experiences is that you build long-lasting relationships by continuing to support their decision to buy from you.

The decisions you make that affect your customer-facing policies will affect how customers perceive you. Have you ever bought a product expecting it was going to be helpful, and turned out being undesirable? Now, imagine, the company you bought from makes it difficult for you to return it. What assumptions would you form about them as a company? What about buyers remorse, or anger?

The post-purchase stage can include anything that adds continued support for the customer and their purchase:

  • Return policy
  • Customer support
  • Warranty
  • Product longevity

90 day return policy

We know that new golfers are still new to the sport. Sometimes the idea they have of golf, and the reality of it, will not match. Allowing new golfers to test the clubs is critical (especially with an online purchase).

Robin Golf decided to implement a 90 day return policy. New customers are able to take the clubs out on the course, try them out, and for whatever reason—they can return them.

This is impactful because it:

  • removes friction in the buying cycle.
  • reduces the fear of making a mistake.
  • And—it adds forgiveness.

When the return experience is pleasant it retains the relationship with the customer and opens up opportunity for them to buy from you at a later date.

Lifetime warranty

When problems do arise, whether it's a defect out the box, or after normal wear and tear, Robin Golf will provide a free replacement or repair.

By implementing a lifetime warranty it:

  • communicates confidence in the quality of their products.
  • keeps players on the course.
  • reduces the cost to the customer.

Takeaways

The value of brand is that new golfers will begin to think of Robin Golf as the preferred choice.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Who is my ideal customer? What's their personality, values, beliefs?
  • What are the biggest barriers to entry for customers?
  • What are the concerns current customers face? How we can communicate our offerings more clearly?
  • Are there areas in our existing customer experiences that are falling behind?
  • Where is the world trending right now? Are there new ways in which we can conduct business?

Get your brand reviewed & gain actionable tips to improve it, now.

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