Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ping Golf Gets a Blinding Flash of the Obvious

From the Sunday Edition of the Augusta Chronicle
Karsten Manufacturing Corp. is formulating a plan that will show its support for active-duty military personnel who buy the company's Ping golf clubs...

Hmm, I wonder what could have prompted that?
...came under fire last week for cutting off the accounts of two Augusta-area golf shops that discounted Ping clubs. The discounts were limited to the military.

Came under fire. Touche' Nice choice of words. I like this writer.
(The Ping guy said) We're going to have something we're going to roll out to fully show our appreciation (for the military)," he said. "We look forward to the opportunity to work with military leaders for the best way to communicate this appreciation."

Yeah, we f..ked up, now we're gonna try to fix it. I think they're still missing the point though. Working with "military leaders" doesn't cut it for me, because this is not an issue affecting "the military." It's something much more personal. If they understood, they would have backed off from reaffirming that
...that it cannot make changes in its pricing policy for a particular group...Mr. Gates said the new plan will not be "an exception to the policy. Right now, we need to maintain the consistency of our policy. But there are other things we can do that ... will show our appreciation to the military."

Of course it can change the policy. It's their policy. There are plenty of other big businesses who give military discounts. United Airlines, Alamo car rental, Carnival Cruise lines, Disney (Shades of Green anyone?)

The reason companies give Military discounts are twofold.

(1) If helps to check their "good corporate citizen" block. It shows we support the troops, we " our appreciation to the military." Yay.

(2) It works. It brings customers in who might not otherwise buy the product. Now here's the point that Ping, a successful business, has forgotten. It's doesn't work simply because of the discount...that tangible ten percent that you keep in your pocket. It works because of the good feeling that your military customers get from it. The feeling that, "hey, these guys appreciate what I'm doing." What I'm doing. Not "the military." Me. It's a personal personal connection between the company and the customer. A connection that many companies would pay for. In fact many do. Usually around ten percent.

Cozy Corner
The Jump Blog
are following this too.

Full text of the Sunday article below.


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