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Thread: Is it really necessary for OEM's to keep changing the names of clubs?

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    Is it really necessary for OEM's to keep changing the names of clubs?

    Look, I get the idea of coming out with new tech in clubs, especially drivers. But is it really necessary to keep changing the name of the clubs which, to me, just adds confusion to the whole process.

    For example, Callaway is coming out with an Epic Flash. Why call it an Epic Flash? Why not just refer to it as the Epic 2019. Wouldn't it be much easier to understand that:

    The Epic 2019 is an update to the Epic line in the first place, and more current than the Epic 2017? And wouldn't it be easier for a consumer to reach a buying decision knowing that they are now two revisions behind the current model. For example, if they were playing the Epic 2014 and a new Epic 2019 is released, they might be more encouraged to buy the latest and greatest Epic knowing they are a couple releases behind (assuming a 2 year cycle)?

    When I heard that Titleist was changing the name of their driver from the 900 series to the TS2 and TS3, the first thing that came to mind is this really a new series of drivers for amateurs or is this an update to the 900 series. Confusion abounded.

    These name changes just make the whole process of reviewing clubs a nightmare... but perhaps that's their intent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjfcpa View Post
    Look, I get the idea of coming out with new tech in clubs, especially drivers. But is it really necessary to keep changing the name of the clubs which, to me, just adds confusion to the whole process.

    For example, Callaway is coming out with an Epic Flash. Why call it an Epic Flash? Why not just refer to it as the Epic 2019. Wouldn't it be much easier to understand that:

    The Epic 2019 is an update to the Epic line in the first place, and more current than the Epic 2017? And wouldn't it be easier for a consumer to reach a buying decision knowing that they are now two revisions behind the current model. For example, if they were playing the Epic 2014 and a new Epic 2019 is released, they might be more encouraged to buy the latest and greatest Epic knowing they are a couple releases behind (assuming a 2 year cycle)?

    When I heard that Titleist was changing the name of their driver from the 900 series to the TS2 and TS3, the first thing that came to mind is this really a new series of drivers for amateurs or is this an update to the 900 series. Confusion abounded.

    These name changes just make the whole process of reviewing clubs a nightmare... but perhaps that's their intent?
    For me personally when scouring ebay I hate when a club is named the same. For example, search on Taylormade M2 and you get both the 2016 and 2017 models. I would rather TM have just called the 2017 model M3/M4, 2018 model M5/M6 and 2019 model M7/M8. I think Ping learned this after going to the Ping G in 2016, back to the numbering convention with the G400.
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    I get the frustration, I really do. Callaway, as you mentioned specifically, has done the year naming convention in the 815-816 lines and still does it with their irons as they say CF16 or CF18 on them. There's a lot of marketing into it and as long as they don't keep them the same convention (2016-2017 M1/M2) that's fine with me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjfcpa View Post
    Look, I get the idea of coming out with new tech in clubs, especially drivers. But is it really necessary to keep changing the name of the clubs which, to me, just adds confusion to the whole process.

    For example, Callaway is coming out with an Epic Flash. Why call it an Epic Flash? Why not just refer to it as the Epic 2019. Wouldn't it be much easier to understand that:

    The Epic 2019 is an update to the Epic line in the first place, and more current than the Epic 2017? And wouldn't it be easier for a consumer to reach a buying decision knowing that they are now two revisions behind the current model. For example, if they were playing the Epic 2014 and a new Epic 2019 is released, they might be more encouraged to buy the latest and greatest Epic knowing they are a couple releases behind (assuming a 2 year cycle)?

    When I heard that Titleist was changing the name of their driver from the 900 series to the TS2 and TS3, the first thing that came to mind is this really a new series of drivers for amateurs or is this an update to the 900 series. Confusion abounded.

    These name changes just make the whole process of reviewing clubs a nightmare... but perhaps that's their intent?
    Titleist changed the name on their series of drivers because Tom Wishon has had a driver out for about 10 years that's called the 919THI. I guess they didn't want any confusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tpluff View Post
    I get the frustration, I really do. Callaway, as you mentioned specifically, has done the year naming convention in the 815-816 lines and still does it with their irons as they say CF16 or CF18 on them. There's a lot of marketing into it and as long as they don't keep them the same convention (2016-2017 M1/M2) that's fine with me.
    It'll be interesting down the road since I believe Callaway's Epic Flash will have 4 offerings. Epic Flash. V1, V2, & V3. lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Cobb III View Post
    Titleist changed the name on their series of drivers because Tom Wishon has had a driver out for about 10 years that's called the 919THI. I guess they didn't want any confusion.

    I shocked that Titleist is concerned about what Whishon does.
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    When I was a salesperson calling on running accounts people expected the shoe to be identical if you called it the same name each season. You try to improve but keep the atributes people like about the product to begin with. It does help to create repeat customers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by annsguy View Post
    I shocked that Titleist is concerned about what Whishon does.
    My guess is it might have been more related to the name already being trademarked.
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    Companies aren't all that concerned with any difficulty the comes with reviewing clubs, but they are hyper aware of how the club will be perceived in the market. If you have a club that did extremely well, then a derivative name will often be used by clubs that follow to keep that connection to the successful product (e.g., RBZ being used again in 2013, M1 and M2 being used again in 2017). If you have a club that failed to gain traction in the market, then you abandon that name because you don't want the market to associate the new product with the "failed" product. It might make it a little more confusing for consumers at times, but it's just smart marketing.

    Look at the golf ball market. Pro V1 has stuck around as a name because it became the defacto standard for the modern golf ball. Titleist would be stupid to change the name, and they know it. Now consider TaylorMade's attempts to gain a foothold in the market: Penta, TP Red/Black, Lethal, Tour Preferred, and now TP5/TP5x. Did these names mean the TM ball changed more than the Pro V1? Of course not. The Pro V1 changed just as much as any of the TaylorMade balls during this time, but the Titleist Pro V1 brand had real value in the market, while the TaylorMade models had some followers but overall they were failed attempts at making a meaningful mark in the market. If TM had named the TP5/TP5x by continuing with the Tour Preferred name of the prior two generations of balls, I don't think consumers would have been as willing to try them.

    Branding is important. It may not matter to our individual golf games, but it matters as a whole to companies and how their products are received by the irrational actions of consumers.
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    Is it really necessary for OEM's to keep changing the names of clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Cobb III View Post
    Titleist changed the name on their series of drivers because Tom Wishon has had a driver out for about 10 years that's called the 919THI. I guess they didn't want any confusion.
    I truly hope this was meant to be sarcastic. Cause until about 30sec ago noone else in the world knew there was an actual Tom Wishon driver out there.


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    Need to? No but I understand the rationale. As has been mentioned in here, M1/M2 16/17 was a confusing one to many. Shoes/cars etc they have the same model names but update years, in Drivers when a 2017 M1 is out an costs 400 but a 2016 M1 can be had for $250 new... well you can see how that could be a problem.

    Doing a different name gives at least a couple benefits: 1) differentiates from the previous model and also the next model. 2) lets you have a fresh/new market strategy.

    Lets not kid ourselves, these companies are for profit industries and are trying to sell product.
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