Digital Transformation of an Iconic Sporting Brand

Titleist watermark

A digital overhaul of a well-loved brand needs to be boldly mobile, accessible and give fans direct access to the products they love.

Titleist’s greatest asset is its loyal customer base. They’re more than customers; they’re fans. Dedicated and invested fans with high expectations for the brand. As their customers increasingly turned to digital, Titleist knew it was time for a full website transformation. They needed to deliver an elegant representation of their brand that was seamlessly mobile, to engage their customers anytime, anywhere.

A decorative image of a sunny, unoccupied golf course.

Achieving Precision Requires Careful Planning

Working with their team, our main challenge was to create a consistent presence that reflected this brand’s world-class reputation, while embracing the new digital reality of mobile users and digital shoppers.

The complex task of elevating two important Titleist brand qualities, elegance and simplicity, required behind-the-scenes rigor and attention to detail. From initial wire framing to final design, the work would include thoughtful architecture, clear user experience flows, and meaningful user content. Additionally, we knew we would want to create an atomic design strategy to ensure any future content updates were fast and simple.

Titleist website on a laptop and an iphone

User Needs Guide the Blueprint

In a situation like this, it’s fundamental to understand content requirements and user needs before making major UX or UI changes. The digital experience had to simultaneously support a complex combination of e-commerce functionality, brand communication, and social community engagement. The new design had to account for the fact that visitors would be also coming from traditional advertising channels.

A comprehensive site audit identified redundancies, user journeys with dead ends, and overlapping or obsolete content. The next step was to perform a comparative and competitive analysis for insight on how other major sports brands presented content. This critical research phase uncovered what their passionate consumers wanted and needed from a future experience.

mobile wireframes for the Titleist website

Opportunity Hides in the Gaps

Next came categorizing and mapping existing content to identify gaps – a process that revealed new content opportunities. This helped the team test journeys for key user personas and identify high-value content like video and social components. Focused efforts like this are critical to uncovering the experience from the end-user’s perspective and ensuring that the content and activities that matter most are easy to find.

Mobile Drives Engagement

A significant 50% of Titleist’s website traffic was already coming from mobile devices. Knowing our target users were devoted fans wanting to engage deeply, we had to keep the content rich for all use cases and form factors. That meant our responsive approach had to translate to all device sizes and types without losing any of the depth or performance users had come to expect.

wireframe for the mobile Titleist site shown on an iPhone
a grid of images of different screens in the titleist page

Flexibility Makes Your Brand More Future-Proof

Knowing that multiple stakeholders were responsible for different site functions and content, we defined and created an atomic design system of individual elements, components, and content modules. This modular design system allowed for infinite page or template configurations. With very little effort, decision-makers could direct user focus to product announcements, promotions, social feeds, time-sensitive brand communications, and other content blocks over time. Additionally, the atomic design system was integrated into a robust legacy CMS that allowed each business area to make updates as needed without significant development resources.

an image of a Titleist webpage featuring a golf bag and other golf accesories

A Unified Design Allows Golfers To Bond On and Off the Course

Before the redesign, the website and Team Titleist (the engine behind their social community) needed more synchronistic control over their digital properties. It was important to create a feeling of cohesiveness across the site, so users would feel just as engaged connecting with the brand in commerce areas as they were in community and event sections, bonding with fellow players and keeping tabs on brand ambassadors.

To increase engagement and readability, we created a magazine-like style and feel, with a sophisticated type and layout system, large photos, and simple headlines. The design reduced the effort required to cross-promote stories, videos, and other content, while treating users to a more natural flow.

These improvements significantly increased community interaction, site visit duration, and the quantity of content consumed. Just as important as these hard metrics was the direct, positive feedback from users expressing their increased satisfaction and enjoyment.

iPad view of team titleist, the social hub for titleist

The Results

Today, Titleist’s users enjoy:

01 Optimized site performance across all devices, measured in download speed
02 Enhanced content readability and consumption resulting in increased site visit duration and content consumption
03 A personalized, digital Team Titleist experience

The Titleist Team Can Now Leverage:

  • An elevated website experience that complements the Titleist brand
  • A powerful new process to quickly build and maintain digital assets
  • Simplified content publishing, with the ability to seamlessly repurpose content across the site and other channels
  • Improved collaboration between multiple internal marketing teams
  • Integrated/unified cross-channel marketing
  • Reduced errors and redundancy in marketing content and campaigns
  • An extensive design system that maps out every site element, from simple components through complex sections
  • A comprehensive online style guide that codifies content modules and web design standards
  • Greatly improved accessibility, which had previously been non-existent
  • Improved semantic markup, making the site SEO-friendly

Resources Coded style guide

Corkscrew, our coded style guide, is a framework to help conserve time and resources when creating new pages.

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