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.