I’ll say it again: The Firearm Industry Sucks

Ralphie-AR15

So, Ruger just announced several super cool new guns to the market… BUT… They did so immediately AFTER Christmas. Yes, AFTER Christmas! What the hell were they thinking!

I’ve beat this drum before, but I was really dumbfounded when they pulled the same thing in 2017. They took the newest hottness of products… the ones that every gunnie is now chomping at the bit to purchase… and waited until after the biggest buying spree of the year to launch it. The gun industry just doesn’t fully understand the retail business environment.

I mean, 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. Countless firearms were under the tree this year, and Ruger could have sold boat loads of these new offerings, but they decided to wait until after the 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.

These new firearms from Ruger should have been introduced to the public and been in stores available to buy 3 weeks or more 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 these new products, then Ruger could very easily have been the #1 selling firearm manufacturer during this season. The #1 gun under the Christmas Tree this year could have been a Ruger, 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.

  1. Well, maybe the gun wasn’t ready for sale!

    Should they have rushed it out the door so they could recall it later when it doesn’t work right? That happens too much already.

  2. Wasn’t ready? Then they should have held of the introduction until next september. They could have had production models at SHOT and NRA to generate interest. They could have announced a specific date to release the product. They could have had an ad campaign leading up to the release date. They could have actually acted like a business wanting to make money. Christmas bills and taxes are up, so I won’t have ANY disposable income till late spring or early summer. OR in the fall when I’m buying Christmas gifts.

  3. You really don’t understand marketing tactics do you?

    Okay, Ruger releases their latest and greatest to the gun buying public, and as you predict, a “Ruger” Christmas would surly be had by many.

    What about the remainder of the year?

    After all, everybody with financial means with a hunger for these new guns would be well satisfied come January, yes?

    Here’s what to expect the remainder of the year…

    As predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise, gun rag writers have yet to field these guns, and with the new year upon us, you can bet they will become sleep deprived until they get the chance to do so.

    Typical Ruger quality will once again be found, and all the positive attributes will be highlighted for prospective customers to drool over. Many will go out and purchase these new blasters quickly, while others linger in the backfield thinking about it, and weighing their purchase against what their finances otherwise dictate. After April 15th, and income tax refunds start rolling in, I suspect Ruger will see a sudden increase in sales from those with money to burn. Had these guns been released according to your thinking, these same people would be swamped with now having to take these refund checks, and pay off credit cards that these guns were purchased by. Cash in hand is always easier to spend, than making a purchase on credit. Credit spending makes some people think first before spending, and maybe a gun sale would be lost from taking this approach..

    In the meanwhile, sales will likely be brisk for all of 2018 for these new models, 
    and corporate bills will be paid without “sweating it” like other manufactures are now doing because the world’s greatest gun salesman is no longer in the White House.

    By Christmas, 2018 – shooters will be highly aware of these new Ruger models, and they will be highly sought items for those shoppers that have yet to purchased one of them.

    In my mind, Ruger has padded their bottom line profits for all of 2018, including Christmas of the same year, and by taking this approach! A quick $buck$ war plan is not the intent.

    Maybe there is a reason Ruger is still standing, and remains strong financially these days, while other manufactures are facing employee cut backs, and worries at each new day of business?

    Believe me, these people know what they are doing. Don’t be too quick to judge their tactics, unless you are some kind of highly sought out marketing genius..

    My opinion, and I’m always right!

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