Those were the words of Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s senior director of product creation, as he spoke exclusively to bunkered.co.uk following some negative comments made about the brand after its M2 launch in January.
In recent times, TaylorMade has come in for a lot of criticism for the frequency with which it has launched new products. Last year, the then TaylorMade-adidas CEO Ben Sharpe announced that TaylorMade was changing how, and when, it released new products. He has since been replaced by David Abeles, but the move towards earning back the trust of loyal customers is still ongoing, according to Bazzel.
“There’s definitely damage,” he said. “People are hurt from a product they might have bought just before it has been replaced by a newer model. Suddenly, they’ve gone from having the latest and greatest product to having something a little bit older in a very short period of time. I totally understand that reaction. It’ll take time to build the trust back up but it’s what we’re trying to do.”
Bazzel explained that, up until around three years ago, TaylorMade was launching products quickly after finalising the new technology because they wanted to stay ahead of the curve. As an innovative company, they didn’t want to give their competitors the time to catch up.
That’s when the problems started. Inventory levels at retailers and green grass accounts were too high and there were a lot of discounted TaylorMade products available on shelves. Too many, according to Bazzel.
From there, the business was affected. Golfers no longer bought the new product as soon as it was released; they waited for it to be discounted. As a result, TaylorMade’s product planning has now changed.
“I think we want to have a minimum of a 12-month cycle,” continued Bazzel. “If we can push that longer then that’s fantastic. I think people can appreciate the one-year life cycle.
“I know some people still think of us as that same company from four or five years ago, and we are in some respects. We’re the same company and a different company at the same time.
“I’m not going to say we’ve got it nailed and we know exactly what to do. We have a good idea of what to do. It feels like we’re going in the right direction.”
What do you make of Brian Bazzel’s comments? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.
Originally published on bunkered on March 25, 2016.