Areas of Expertise, Golf Industry, Stories

Reinvent your company, add a Lifshitz

The golf industry is filled with manufacturers that struggle to stand out in the market and with their customers. SELL, SELL, SELL they yell. Like FORE on a golf course, it is a signal that someone could get hit… usually the marketing director and the ad agency.

I remember reading an interview many years ago where the reporter asked clothing brand founder Ralph Lauren (born Ralph Lifshitz) how he designs clothes that consumers want to buy. His response has stuck with me throughout my career. He said, “I don’t design clothes for them, I design for me. Consumers happen to enjoy my style.” He went on to say that this is the only way he can be true to himself and be authentic to the brand he created.

Of course, Lauren was smart enough to know Lifshitz is a hard name to fall in love with in the fashion world. By changing his name, he set out to blend his personality and style into an aspirational lifestyle that he could represent and today, still remains the enigma that is the perfect brand, product, and company. As of the writing of this blog, he is still the Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer. As of 2018, Forbes estimates his wealth at $7.2 billion, which makes Ralph Lauren the 91st richest person in America. Way to go Ralphie!!

Because we work very closely with our clients, we see this daily mission to achieve what the Lifshitzs of the world have accomplished. I have observed brilliant leaders, leaders that you will swear really can bend metal with their minds. They are a force of nature. They have to be. An organization large enough to employ an agency has the financial fortitude to hire teams of people to help their growing businesses. Those minions follow a powerful leader. Most of the companies we work with are at least a generation removed from the maniacal leader that built the company. (I use maniacal in a very loving and admiring way). They usually hire caffeine injected, bending-metal-with-their-minds sales executives as their presidents and company leaders. In my experience, they aren’t the ones that move the brand needle. Feel free to challenge me on this statement.

The smart ones we work with know their strengths and weaknesses. They know how to wine and dine Bob in Seattle and what Sam’s favorite lunch spot is in Orlando. They live to close the big deal. The companies and company leaders that do the best job build teams around them that can be their Lifshitz. We love to work with these companies –the love for their product is contagious.

Recently, I bumped into a few companies that do a fabulous job with their brand. From the name, image, and product, they go to market brilliantly. I am not familiar with their level of sales or profit, but I guarantee if you added a firebreathing sales president to their ranks he could sell Bob in Seattle and Sam in Orlando their products. These companies blended fashion and high-level imagery and creative naming and marketing to carve their niche.

Shout out to Seamus Golf! Your marketing is so cool you forced me to buy items I don’t use.

Shout out to Scotch and Soda! Our creative director has a crush on your brand, she can’t wait for your email to hit her inbox.

These two brands have the signs they have a Lifshitz in their mist…

Photo Credit: ©2018 Crobar | Creative Leverage • Location: Dataw Island, South Carolina • Purpose: Resort Photography

Todd Kinley

J. Todd Kinley

Founder | Executive Creative Director: Crobar Creative Leverage. Husband, Father, and Moose owner. Lover of art, photography, golf, and strategy. Follow me: