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You have heard of the 4 food groups (and I do not mean dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mint chocolate and double Dutch chocolate). These groupings were developed so that people would understand how to look at food and develop better eating habits. Without understanding these groupings, people would not understand why they were not eating right.

We have a similar situation in bowling, the 4 bowler groups. Without understanding that there are different groups of customers in our facility, we will continue to develop programs that will not be effective. Understanding these 4 groups allows us the opportunity to develop programs, pricing levels, marketing strategies, etc. to target each group appropriately.

The 4 groups together should be considered as a pyramid, with the most dedicated bowlers on the top and the least dedicated on the bottom. As you can probably guess, the most dedicated bowlers make up the smallest of the groups and the least dedicated bowlers are the largest group, just as in a pyramid. Yes, there are exceptions in each group but we will consider these another time.

At the top of the pyramid of bowlers is the high-average bowler. This group bowls two or more times a week. They have updated equipment, understand the game of bowling, understand the rules of the game, can read lane conditions and adjust, etc. These are the customers who also bowl in the tournaments. They can be demanding, try to manipulate the rules in their favor, and are probably money oriented. Many of these bowlers have large egos. With all that said, they can be very loyal customers to a single center. The challenge with this group, in today’s world, is to get them to come in to practice, improve their game by purchasing equipment that fits their game (not necessarily the newest and priciest equipment) and to take lessons. It is amazing that the greatest golfers of our time, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, all have coaches to not just improve their game but to make certain that they do not develop bad habits. Why not bowlers? They usually do not bring in bowlers to the center unless it addresses their ego or their pocket book.

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