After a much needed rest from daily content, your boy is back. This week I posted a video about Course Maps and their hyper local, print on demand strategy. I love it, and we’re gonna talk more about it today.
🏴☠️ ICYMI from my Instagram:
- Vessel and TaylorMade dropped a $3,000 bag
- The golf tee opportunity
- Caterpillar’s 900 item merch store
🎬 Cut30 update
For those following along, last time I mentioned my friend Hans gaining over 7k followers on Instagram less than 2 weeks into posting Reels. Now, in just 3 weeks, he’s passed 18k followers. Be like Hans. Make short-form videos and blow up your business. And join the Cut30 waitlist.
🏘️ Hyper Local Print-on-Demand
Course Maps sells map designs of famous golf courses on the interweb. It leverages existing interest and fandom around popular and iconic golf courses and applies it to a product that it carries no inventory for. I love it, here’s why:
Some of the easiest businesses to build are ones that tap into existing communities, interests, trends or even IP . Now we can’t just use other people’s brands, designs, and the like, but Course Maps is a case study in how to walk the line. They don’t use logos, in some cases they tip toe around the exact naming, but in every case they use unique art, designed around publicly available geography.
In the same way every beach town ever is filled with shops selling neon pink T shirts with the name of the town, or that @PortlandGear co-opted the name of my city into it’s unofficial merch line, or that Fatherhood Studios sells golf hats for dads – this strategy uses general knowledge or even unprotected IP as a lever to get in consumers minds, and ultimately their wallets.
If the approach I’m explaining has you shifting nervously in your seat, talk to a lawyer before pursuing a business that uses it and if you’re scared, go to church.
Print on Demand
Also known as POD, print-on-demand can be an amazing fulfillment method and in many apparel applications – it’s notoriously mid. The jist of it is: you define the product you want to print on, the design that’ll go on it, and then put it on your website. Upon each sale the details of the order are sent to your vendor who grabs a blank *product* off the shelf, adds your design to it, and ships it to the customer. Printful is one of the big cross category players in this space and while it’s a mixed bag for apparel, it works pretty well for some other categories and is absolutely perfect for digital art prints.
For a business like Course Maps, it doesn’t get any better. Their product can be printed, even set in a frame, and shipped to your door without them ever holding inventory, or even touching it.
They could find some margin by investing in those big printers and doing the dirty work themselves – in which case they still aren’t burdened by inventory at the sku level. A stack of media, some frame options, and print the designs as the orders come through. Like I said, dream scenario.
What’s more – in most product businesses launching a new sku not only means concepting and designing: we have to invest in inventory, packaging, and more – all before we’ve sold a single unit. The marginal cost for adding another golf course to the catalog at Course Maps is just that: marginal. It ain’t shit.
You guys have heard me rant and rave about creating content and building an audience before you launch a business – and you should – but the granularity of this product and targeting ability of modern ad platforms makes paid ads for a business like Course Maps extremely compelling.
- Near course X
- With creative about course X
This is the stuff dreams are made of. Why? Because when you find the audience and ad creative that works here you can not only scale it up, but out. That is: replicate it across 200 SKUs into 200 local markets – all without the burden of paying for inventory up front.
I don’t know the details of Course Maps business, but this is a potential money printer situation.
If you want a map of your favorite course, go check em out. This isn’t an add or an affiliate link, I just think this business is sick and wanted to talk about it.
ICYMI: 📈 The Golf Apparel Trend Report
I recently had a chance to collaborate w/ Hyper Studios on a golf apparel trend report. This is what they do, so we put our heads together and created a nice chunky rundown on the state of golf brands, apparel, gear, opportunities, factories and more. It is not free and you can pick it up here.