Marketing of Innova discs

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Marketing of Innova discs

Postby KRooster » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:04 pm

Is it just me, or does Innova do an INCREDIBLY poor job of marketing their discs from the perspective of getting more people interested in the sport? It's probably fair to say that the vast majority of people who go into a store to buy a disc are not throwing 350' or farther. Yet based on the disc selection I see when I go into stores, it's like they're expecting huge arms to be going there to buy discs, or they are intentionally trying to sell discs to beginners who will suffer immensely from trying to throw them (and probably just get frustrated with the sport).

Case in point, a friend told me he went disc golfing for the first time recently and that he bought a couple discs. I asked him what he bought, he said a Boss because it was the fastest one there. I was like, I throw 320-340' and I would never even consider trying a Boss... that would be insane.

These displays in stores are usually biased towards discs in the 170+ gram weight range, and I'd say 30-50% of the disc models are some of the fastest drivers on the market. Many in max weight and champion plastic. I mean, come on, what percentage of people that walk into their local sporting goods store looking for a disc would benefit in any way from purchasing a max weight champion destroyer? I've seen people throwing, for example, ultra-high-speed drivers on 230' holes frequently, how are they supposed to improve?

As another example, the Innova displays say that the Beast will give beginners greater distance (or something to that effect). Umm, no. Sure, maybe someone throwing over 300' could be considered to be a "beginner", but that's not what the average beginner who is going to buy their first discs would consider a "beginner".

And it's not like Innova has competition; I have yet to see any other companies' discs sold in stores near me, except once a store had Discraft.

Innova, get your act together, you're hurting the sport.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby jubuttib » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:40 am

KRooster wrote:As another example, the Innova displays say that the Beast will give beginners greater distance (or something to that effect). Umm, no. Sure, maybe someone throwing over 300' could be considered to be a "beginner", but that's not what the average beginner who is going to buy their first discs would consider a "beginner".
Well... When I first started out my DX Beast was easily my longest disc, compared to a D-P1 (DX Aviar), D-MD1 and even a DX Leo. I could throw the Beast quite horribly yet it would still fly, whereas the others just didn't... =)
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby Mark Ellis » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:49 am

Innova, or any manufacturer, does not decide which discs a store offers for sale.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby keltik » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:21 am

Mark Ellis wrote:Innova, or any manufacturer, does not decide which discs a store offers for sale.


yes this is 100% true. Every store/chain/outlet whatever has buyers that select the merchandise that is to be carried in the store. They place orders with the manufacturer, this case Innova, and then the manufacturer sends them what they chose. The retailer puts it on the shelf in hopes that people will give them money for the merch.

Some retailers invest more into their selection than others. Innova and all disc makers are in business to make money by making and selling discs. These are not giant conglomerate evil corporate entities as you might imagine. I would say that 100% of disc manufacturers are on the "mom & pop" level of industry.

Is some of the marketing materials provided by the manufacturer(s) a bit confusing and misguided at first glance? maybe, but this is because maybe the manufacturers are giving the end customers credit as being somewhat intelligent.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby PMantle » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:07 am

They are displaying what sells. In my very short time of playing disc golf, I almost never see a very new player with a smart set. I mean, I have, but it's very rare. Recent example. New guy is meeting us to play. He had played with one of our regulars before this. The regular told him to get some slower more noob friendly discs to go with his one high speed driver he had no business carrying. What does the guy get? Slower drivers. So, he's playing with 3 discs, and I may be a little off, but his slowest discs was a Ch. Leo. I even offered to give him a putter from my truck. he wanted nothing to do with it.

Anyway, that's just one example of what I have seen a lot of in 11 months or so. Heck, even some of our regulars are still throwing 10+ speed drivers on wooded holes under 300'.

Again, those things sell. Pretty sure no Nuke stays in our Hastings more than a few weeks. Flashes, Wildcats, XLs, XSs etc collecting dust.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby aerodriver » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:00 am

More people go into the store looking to buy those discs so that is what they stock more of. Perhaps you could make a suggestion to the shop to create a new player-friendly section that keeps things under speed 7 with no real distance drivers. Just slower control drivers, midranges, and putters.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby KRooster » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:19 am

I dunno, I guess I just feel like there is some responsibility on the part of the disc manufacturer to provide the information necessary for inexperienced players to make purchasing decisions that lead them to enjoy the sport and want to play more. Ultimately I think that is in their best interest in the long run. I don't think it's realistic for the responsibility to fall on the beginner to do hours of research before going to buy discs, or for the responsibility to fall on the store to know anything about disc golf.

It would be so easy to have a brief informational display with information along the lines of "if you're throwing distances in this range, here are the best discs and in this weight and plastic, and here's a brief explanation of why deviating from these recommendations will result in a less enjoyable experience".
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby PMantle » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:24 am

Hastings and Academy are the two biggest sellers in my area, and both have charts. Obviously, those are ignored. Heck, even the description under the disc models mentions beginner vs. advanced players.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby andrew » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:16 pm

The concept of beginner friendly vs advanced player discs is too convoluted for Americans used to business models selling cheaper stuff called "beginner" and better quality, more expensive stuff called "expert" or "advanced." At the same price point, would you choose the beginner or advanced drum set, or the beginner or expert chef's knife?
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby PMantle » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:31 pm

Good point
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby KRooster » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:42 pm

But you can, for example, briefly explain what approximate max distance is required to make a disc fly straight, pointing out what happens if you deviate from the recommendation. The terms "beginner", "expert", etc don't need to be used.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby andrew » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:58 pm

I just went to Innova's website to look at their flight ratings guide and I do concede your point a bit. Speed, for example, is described thus: "Speed is the ability of the disc to cut through the air. Speed Ratings are listed from 1 to 13. Discs with high numbers are faster. Faster discs go farther into the wind with less effort. Slower discs take more power to throw, but have less of a chance to fly past the basket."

Slower discs take more power to throw, huh?

An off-topic rant: many of us here remember when Innova was the upstart that completely revolutionized the sport. Innova and Discraft, who entered the disc golf market around the same time but were already established frisbee makers, virtually buried every other company that existed before them. (Lightning used to be the biggest company other than Wham-O, I'd assume.) The whole idea of focusing the weight around the rim leading to the triangular-shaped rim was Innova's. Anyway, there's this thing that happens- same thing with the Powell-Peralta skateboards- where their successful vision turns them into some huge evil conglomerate in the eyes of the next generation....
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby KRooster » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:40 pm

Exactly, Andrew. Innova does some things right, like their beginner disc set is great. But for the most part they do an unbelievably awful job providing good information for someone just trying to get into the sport. It almost makes me cry inside when I see someone who seems to have some natural talent throw discs that they can't control or get to fly straight, and I know it's not their fault and I know they probably won't improve; the resources to learn disc selection are not easy to find and not everyone knows people who are really good who can teach them.

I just noticed that discraft has an amazing disc selection video for beginners on their website. It's incredibly comprehensive and accurate, but it's like 10 minutes long. I would really like to see these companies (particularly Innova) spend some time researching a effective way of communicating the basics of disc selection for beginners in a way that allows people to have a good experience as a beginner.
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby JHern » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:53 pm

If this store only sells Innova, then that tells you that the owner sucks. Their customers are missing out on a lot of amazing plastic on the market, from Discraft, Legacy, Prodigy, Lat64/Dynamic Discs, MVP, Prodiscus, Westside, etc., and they are all usually selling MUCH better plastic than Innova (An exception is the gummy Roc3 plastic, which was also featured in a few other discs, like the 1st run Tern).

For historical context, there is a plain and simple truth about disc golf today: We are presently in a consumer's heaven of a market for discs. Amazing variety, in all ways, and all reasonably priced, way way way more cool stuff than ever before in all of disc golf history. What kind of store owner is so lazy that they would prevent their customers from participating in this amazing market?!
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Re: Marketing of Innova discs

Postby discspeed » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:40 pm

Innova gives businesses price breaks to carry their discs exclusively.
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