If you haven’t heard by now, the new Ruger American Pistol has officially hit stores. The Ruger American Pistol looks like it is going to be a great new pistol. Its already available for purchase in gun stores and looks to be a very good improvement over their previous Ruger SR series.
I think the pistol is really going to hit all the right marks, but I think the trigger is going to be the one item on the list that is going to stand out the most. If you consider how gosh darn good they did with the trigger on the LCR, I think that we are going to see very similar strides being made here with the trigger of the Ruger American Pistol, and I think consumers may very well respond to this pistol in the same way that they did with the LCR.
But here is the one gripe that I have… It was introduced to the marketplace after, yes, AFTER Christmas! Seriously? What was the marketing department thinking?! I can not even begin to imagine the amount of sales that they just let slip through their fingers. Black Friday was a record setting day for gun sales in-and-of itself… and I have read countless news articles on the fact that guns where THE gift of the year. Countless firearms where under the tree this year, and not a single one of them was a Ruger American Pistol. Not one!
So, think about that for a second… Ruger literally chose to introduce their ‘latest and greatest’ product AFTER the two biggest months of gun buying… After their entire target market finished their buying frenzy.
Look, – I’m talking to you, Firearm Industry! – the times have changed, and this is one area where the industry needs to get up to speed. The previous plan has always been to introduce new products with the intention of creating buzz and excitement for the two big trade shows of the year (SHOT, and NRA). But, thats not really the play anymore. Thats the old way of doing business, and we have been living in the time of “Gun Culture 2.0″ long enough now that its time to make this change. The gun industry’s customers have shifted. There is now enough of “Gun Culture 2.0″ in the fold that they have changed the entire definition of what a gun buyer is. The target market is now 100% in-line with the buying behaviors of the rest of the retail industry and they need to be marketed to with the same principles and practices that the rest of the retail industry is doing to market to their customers.
From a business standpoint, its completely laughable. What toy company on the face of the earth would ever dream of introducing their hot new toy AFTER Christmas? What video game company would ever release their latest and greatest game AFTER the holiday buying season? The examples here are endless. The point that I am making is that they call it ‘Black Friday’ for a reason. Money is flowing most during these two months, so jump in and grab all that you can. Don’t jump in after the buying stops.
With the exposure that blogs and the Gunnie-news outlets now give firearms companies, coupled with the recent change to make new firearm introductions available in stores and ready to buy when they are announced (which I have saluted in the past as being great business)… There is no reason that firearms companies should not be introducing their new products in line with the holiday season.
The Ruger American Pistol should have been introduced to the public and been in stores available to buy approximately 3 weeks before Black Friday. The marketing push then should have been implemented to ramp-up excitement to its peak to coincide with the beginning of the holiday shopping spree.
If Ruger had played their cards right and did NOT wait until after Christmas to launch this new product, then the Ruger American Pistol could very easily have been the #1 selling firearm during this enormous firearm buying spree that we just saw. The #1 gun under the Christmas Tree this year could have been the Ruger American Pistol, and there could have been countless new Ruger owners that might very well have ended up being lifetime customers of Ruger.
Lets see if they make the same mistake again next year.