Speaking Of Firearms Websites…

Speaking of firearms websites…

How come no one has figured out that authority = trust = sales? 

I shop at brick and mortar gun stores that seem to know what they’re talking about, so why don’t firearms accessory sites do the same thing online? 

REI does this to great advantage, and they RULE their marketspace. Amazon.com bought the Internet Movie Database not because of the Kevin Bacon game but to generate DVD sales from associating themselves with THE online movie resource and establish Amazon as THE place to buy movies. 

Have firearms and firearms-related websites figured this out yet?

Not so much…

There are exceptions. Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog is one of the few corporate firearms blogs that I read on a regular basis because it has more than just advertisements disguised as posts. They’ve done a good job defining themselves online as a “go-to” resource for the prepper community, mainly through their product selection and their blog posts, and they should be commended for that.

But that sort of thing is the exception rather than the rule. You could pick up the content of almost any firearms accessory website out there and drop it on another site, and aside from the prices, no one would notice any difference. Not the best way to establish your brand, and not the best way to establish consumer loyalty. 

Michael Bane noted on a podcast earlier this year that eventually, all brands become fashion. Apple was able to break out from the pack and become ridiculously successful because it defined itself as a brand different from all other personal computer manufacturers out there. In the early 90’s, when they tried to become another HP or Compaq, they failed. Boy howdy, did they fail

In firearms accessories that sorting-out of brands hasn’t happened yet. Everyone seems to be thinking in terms of the “Price” portion of the four P’s, leaving a gaping hole for someone to grab onto the Gun Culture 2.0 market and ride it into the dominant space in the firearms accessory market. 

Firearms accessory sites might want to look at moving beyond their catalog origins and turn themselves more towards the lifestyle of concealed carry. At little more Coldwater Creek and little less Blackwater would go a long way to make firearms websites more consumer-friendly and friendly to BOTH sexes.

It’s going to happen. The only question is, who will do it first? 

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Dear Holster Manufacturers,

Dear holster manufacturers,

Your websites suck. 

All of them. 

When I come to your site, I don’t really care that you make a SuperStar Deluxe IWB with Komodo Dragon skin or your kydex OWB holster is in service with Tier One operators in Derkaderkastan. 

All of that means SQUAT to me if I can’t find a holster that fits my gun.

And listing out your hosters only by holster type/carry position insures that I need to spend 30+ minutes on your site going thru ALL your pages looking for one that fits my gun. I have a life, and spending 1/48th of my day on what may be a fruitless search for the holster I want just isn’t a part of it.

Some of you get it and have built your sites so they allow me to search for holsters by gun type, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. 

Stop buidling your websites around how you build your holsters, and start building them around your customer’s guns. 

Behold The Future Of Firearms Marketing

Behold the future of firearms marketing

A completely brilliant idea: Combine a succcessful videogame franchise with well-known firearms brands. 

This is a win-win for both EA and Trijicon, Surefire, et al, because EA gets to boast about how it uses “Real life” products in its video games to make them more real, and La Rue, US Optics and the like get to have their products out in front of millions of potential customers. 

Are you watching, IDPA/USPSA/3Gun ? This is how you get your product out to today’s market. 

Chicks With Guns

Chicks with guns

Shelley nails it here.

If you look at a lot of the products that are successfully marketed toward women, whether it be a soap, make up or running shoes (Nike does a great job of this) you’ll find that there are lifestyle campaigns that go hand in hand. Many companies collect inspirational stories about their products or provide communities to discuss the lifestyle that goes with the product. That is showing respect and showing commitment, it is more than just a product with features, it’s a product that can and wants to be part of your life. 

I’d add something that came up in a discussion with the (female) Director of Operations at a local indoor range. She said most women think of gun ranges like they would a strip club: It’s a male-only place with something vaguely unsettling and probably morally wrong going on inside.

This isn’t helped by the fact that the layout and merchandising of most stores are NOT women-friendly. A poster of the latest AR variant that’s built from the ground up to kill zombies and has rails on top of it’s rails may appease the Call of Duty crowd, but it will scare an already-scared single mother right out the door. Good marketers understand that they are very rarely their own target market. 

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McMillan Returns Fire

McMillan returns fire

Just posted on their Facebook page

In response to Bank of America’s public statement:

The statement we [McMillan] posted was an accurate account of the events that transpired late last week. McMillan Group has been in good standing with B of A and a loyal customer for the past 12 years. We were told that we must finalize all of our accounts because we manufacture firearms.

McMillan cannot speak for Bank of America’s company wide policies, but we can speak out about our personal experiences.

We [McMillan] kindly suggest that if Corporate Bank of America has no policy against conducting business with firearms manufactures, then they should communicate these policies with their regional Vice Presidents and other management. 

Oh, and that horse you rode in on? Him too. 

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The Wrong Side Of History

The Wrong Side of History

Bank of America realizes that we outnumber the anti-gun forces by at least 100-1, right? That while we can get thousands of people out to buy lousy coffee in support of the Second Amendment, the Bradys and their minions can barely fill up a school bus in favor of a boycott of Starbucks

So why in the name of Amadeo Giannini would they do something like this

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, McMillan Group International have been collectively banking with Bank of America for 12 years. Today Mr. Ray Fox, Senior Vice President, Market Manager, Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking came to my office. He scheduled the meeting as an “account analysis” meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit we have with them. He spent 5 minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last 5 years and have become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.
At this point I interrupted him and asked “Can I possible save you some time so that you don’t waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer what my business.”
“That is correct” he says.

My family doesn’t bank at Bank Of America and we won’t in the future, either. If you do, I encourage you to move your money to greener pastures and banks that support your inherent right of self-defense. 

Update: INSTALANCHE! Thanks for visiting, everyone. I try to write something here very weekday, so stop by again!

Please show your support for MacMillan by liking them on Facebook. Also, please visit the main blog, Exurbanleague.com, and you can follow me on Twitter here, where I’ve been known to snark about 80’s music and 70’s sci-fi. 

If you want to contact Bank of America on this matter, the best way to reach them is: 

Martha Dominguez, Executive Customer Relations Specialist: 714-792-4264

Corporate Headquarters: 704-386-5972 / 704-386-5681
Operator: 800-900-9000 (press 0 twice)

Corporate Headquarters (Bank of America):
Bank of America Corporate Center
100 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28255