Back in 2007, John Coleman was an avid Golfer who worked in medical sales. While watching golf, he noticed that many of the players on the PGA tour were wearing more stylish clothes than they had in the past. In particular, a pair of pink pants sported by pro golfer Eric Axley alluded him (pictured at right). He was unable to find them for sale in the U.S., so he began reaching out to the brands overseas.
His contact with those brands, alongside their lack of distribution in the U.S., presented John the opportunity to start a business centered around the sport he loved. FairwayStyles.com was launched in 2007 and has been making the world of golf more stylish ever since.
Starting with smaller brands, Fairway Styles eventually broadened the selection to include larger brands as they began making more stylish clothes. The goal was to try to stay on the forefront of golf style, with a wide array of unique and fashion-forward apparel.
The trouble with being a successful pioneer is that sooner or later the competition is going to catch on. Fairway Styles was the only player in the game for a long time, but more and more competition emerged. Much of it came from other small websites. However, larger retailers, who are able to sell for lower prices, eventually followed.
Fairway Styles has been successful by providing excellent service to a niche market. But as competition has increased, the need to build a brand to help stand out from the competition has never been greater.
Our challenge was to transition Fairway Styles from being merely a transactional business and turn the company into a magnetic brand that stands out from the category.
Fairway Styles golf heritage grounds the brand in a classic tradition while not limiting its growth. The brand is an advocate for the evolution of the sport and its players. The modern golfer is not the same as he was 20 years ago. FairwayStyles aims to provide him with the tools he needs to express that new identity.
As society’s views on masculinity shifts, the modern man is pressured to wear more hats than ever before (no pun intended). There are a million dualities this man is expected to juggle. He has to be a provider and a caretaker. A serious businessman and a fun-loving friend. Confident and self-assured. All while simultaneously being vulnerable... His wardrobe is no exception to this rule. The modern man is expected to have an effortlessly cool look, respectable but not too stuffy. By utilizing “statement pieces”, like unexpected socks peeking out from his dress shoes, the modern man can give off a sense of being “put together” but also fun.
Alex Robinson, Creative Brand Manager (Client Liason/Project Lead)
Hunter Kelly, Strategist
Melissa Jackson, Strategist
Carly Harrison, Strategist
Afia Boakye, Strategist
Nick Koutris, Creative Brand Manager
Kevin Rothermel, VCU Brandcenter Faculty Mentor
John Coleman, Founder/Owner
Turn Gain, our assigned category also-ran, into a disruptive challenger brand. Doing so took an understanding of who the brand was, the specific business problem to solve, and then developing a business strategy as well as a comms/experience strategy to bring the brand to life.