It seems to me that the golf apparel industry players slowly, but adapting the new digital trends, namely mobile marketing and mobile application development for product and brand communication. Last month I wrote about TaylorMade's new R1 tuning application. I am happy that Puma Golf is also moving forward. Puma Golf has just launched Stylecaddie, a mobile application (here you can download the to your mobile: iPhone, Android). This is a nice retail focused initiative, but misses some opportunities. I will tell why in the end of this post.
Puma Golf's Stylecaddie mobile application allows us to dress up a virtual figure/silhouette with their apparels (e.g. shirts, bottoms, shoes and accessories). The silhouette can be rotated so the outfit is viewable at almost any angle. We can also start by using the 'Lookbook' tab in the upper right hand corner. This gives us pre-built looks of Rickie Fowler (for instance), but you can select other brand ambassadors of Puma Golf like Jonas Blixt, Lexi Thompson, Blair O'Neal (and some others as well). I am happy to see that we can personlize and share what we selected from Puma Golf apparels by using the 'Photo Op' function to layer their outfit over a photo they have taken of themselves.
Here is the 2nd and 3rd step in Stylecaddie:
Here is the last 2 steps:
What is missing? What are the potential development options for Stylecaddie?
It is not clear whether Puma Golf will update its collection frequently or not. If not, then the life span of Stylecaddie mobile application will be limited and Puma Golf will not be able to maximize their mobile application. If the application will not get frequent updates it is questionable why should we download it at all. I don't know how will Puma Golf promote this application, but QR code usage can be helpful in proshops as a POS solution.
To motivate people to go to the the nearest proshop, augmented reality (AR) can be effective. To see a silhouette in 3D, it helps potential customers in their purchasing decision. The people whom Puma Golf is targeting are quite familar with QR code and AR usage.
TaylorMade used similar technique to promote their R1 driver (Just a side note, last Friday I tested TaylorMade R1 driver and it was amazing and great surprise.). It is also a great example from the golf industry how can offline and online communication complement each other.
There is a misconception about mobile applications that we assume users will return to our application "just because". In most cases the biggest challenge for a marketer is retention. In other words, why should people use more frequently our mobile application. Puma Golf will also have to ask himself this hard question.
What we can do?
To create an engagement mechanism for our app to re-connect people with it and remind them about the presence of the application on their device. We can also give reasons (to those who had already downloaded the app) why to return (e.g. discounts, rewards, coupons etc. available only through the application) and provide them exclusive content and benefits. Last you can send frequent updates to remind customers about the application.