Gun Retention

No, I’m not talking about keeping your mitts on your gat when some mook is pawing away at it, I’m talking about gun companies keeping their customers loyal to their brands.

There’s a saying that, when it comes to warfare, “amateurs talk talk tactics, dilletantes talk strategy, but professionals talk logistics.”

I think the marketing equivalent of that saying might be “amateurs talk acquisition, dilletantes talk about conversion, but professionals talk about rentention.” In today’s world, it’s better to own the audience than it is to own the factory, and yet when a factory moves, it grabs the headlines. When an audience moves? Crickets.

One of the smartest things Glock has done is to create the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation*, not because it’s a good shooting match, (it’s not), but rather, it is an EXCELLENT way to gather the clan and celebrate all things Glock. By reinforcing the image of the Legion Series as an “elite” pistol, Sig is doing the same with their Legion Series, and um, that’s about it.

And that’s rather sad. Ruger had a good idea with the Rimfire Challenge series, but got hamstrung by the sheer lack of .22 ammo when they launched, and Springfield is doing a bang-up job of leveraging Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus in the competition and defensive worlds, but other than that, what’s out there? What marketing is being doing to tell customers “Ok, you’ve just bought one of our guns. Now buy another one!”

Brand loyalty exists within the gun community, heck, there are people still bitterly clinging to their Kimbers, a brand who’s glory days were a long, long time ago, and you’ll take my pre-B CZ75’s from me only when hell freezes over. Maybe I’m blind, but I’m just not seeing a concentrated push by gun companies to retain their customers and keep their market share, especially in today’s shrinking gun market.


* Nice website, GSSF… for 1998. Responsive site design, mother$#%^*, do you speak it?

The iPTS Funding Campaign Launches Tomorrow!

Introducing The Interactive Pistol Training System

Rubber, meet road. Road, rubber.

We’ve been getting some great feedback and a lot of interest from shooters, law enforcement and military, and some…. not so great feedback as well.

To the Facebook commenter who compared us to “Duck Hunt” on the Nintendo: There is a reason why all the shots from your .40 cal HiPoint  go low-left, and it has a lot to do with how you view dry-fire. Deal with it.

I digress.

Anyway, go check out the campaign page and watch as it changes tomorrow, and remember, if you want the best deal on an iPTS, get in on the ground floor.

Return Fire.

My local coffee shop, like oh so many other local coffee shops around the country, has a customer loyalty card. I buy 10 ten drinks to feed my caffiene habit, and the 11th one is free.

Quick, what is your local gun shop doing to keep customers coming back? Does it have an email list? Does it advertise specials on social media?

Heck, does it advertise at all?

We’ve had seven, heck, make it ten fat years. At least seven lean years are coming.

If you’re not ready for them now, it’s probably too late.

TacCon, MAG40, iPTS

I talked with Paul Carlson on the Safety Solutions podcast about his experience at Tactical Conference this year, why people should take advanced training like a Massad Ayoob class, and how the Interactive Pistol Training System will change the world and clean up your acne.

Okay, one of those two.

      Go check it out
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Security Hub

The P.C. was supposed to be dead in 2001, and yet Apple turned it into the center of their success by making everything else in our lifestyle revolve around the P.C. Apple came out with its “digital hub” strategy before it came out with their stores, before it came out with the iPod, before it became the Apple we know today.

Want to play music? Pop open iTunes and either blast it out through your Sonos or sync up your iPod. Digital camera? iPhoto. Camcorder? iMovie. Want to bring it all together? Use iDVD to put in on disk and send it to your friends. Apple is in the lead right now because they’ve been living the idea that a computer (or similar device) is not the focus of your life, it just a tool to help you live your life more fully. This is the strategy that launched the iPod, the iTunes Music Store, the iPhone and all the other gadgets that have made Apple the #1 company in the world.

Now let’s talk about guns. Who is coming up with a “digital hub” strategy for personal security? People have a generalized, non-specific fear that they’re “not safe”. They’re aware of this, and they want to “feel safe”. Re-watch that video and see how Steve Jobs talks about the gadgets and tools he’s selling… iPhoto lets you do this, Macs let you do something else, and iTunes lets you listen to music. He’s not talking about how cool Apple’s tools are, he’s talking about how cool your life will be if you use Apple’s tools.

How cool will your life be if you “feel safe”, if you don’t need to have that non-specific fear that something “isn’t right?” There are trainers out there like Joshua Gideon, Paul Carlson, Jeff Street and others who offer online and personal security tips to go along with their gun tips, and that’s an avenue we need to look into as well.

There has got to be something out there that’s in-between the “SEVEN SECRET SHOOTING TIPS OF THE NAVY SEALS” marketing out there. There are other trainers out there with that avoid such hype and bluster, but then leave their students stranded two-thirds of the way up Mount Stupid, without an understanding of what metrics will get them over the top.

There has be something that makes derp-free personal security seem cool. We just haven’t found it yet.

Talk About The Passion.

Maybe it’s former missionary in me, but I am FAR more concerned about bringing people into gun culture who own guns and don’t use them than I am about talking about TV shows like “Super Blastomatic Presents THE WORLDS BEST SHOOTERS DOING COOL STUFF YOU CAN’T” or “GO SHOOT THINGS IN THE WOODS, SPONSORED BY REDNECK CAMPING GEAR”.

The choir has heard the message before, and they don’t care.

One thing I’ve been encountering as I wade through the flotsam and jetsam of the “establishment” conservative movement over at Ricochet is that we conservatives have very little understanding of the importance of narrative. Establishment conservatives are upset that Trump won, and they can’t understand that Trump won because he created a narrative and stuck to it. No position paper or think tank has EVER won an election, but passion? Passion wins elections.

To bring this home to American Marksman and Big Guns (to name a couple of shows), there is plenty of passion for the shooting sports amongst competitors, but precious little concern for the other competitors in the sport. This is one of the reasons why USPSA, 3 Gun, et al, is stuck in a rut, because only people who compete in those sport watch a competition for the sake of the competition itself. The rest of us watch a competition to cheer on the heroes and boo the villains. Shooting competitions need heroes, and they need villains, currently, they have neither. Top Shot gave us heroes and villains, and it was the most-popular competitive shooting show ever made. Top Shot made the show about the competitors, not the competition, and it was popular beyond the shooting world.

And that’s not a coincidence.

Ruger LCP II 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 384 – 446

I spent some more quality time with the LCP ][, getting used to using it as a carry gun. I concentrated on doing Tueller drills with it, from the pocket, with and without my hand on the gun, and mixing in a few Mozambiques as well.

I was kinda happy that I was consitently able to get off two shots into the Down Zero area within 2.5 seconds with my hand out of my pocket, and 1.5 seconds with my hand on the gun in my pocket.

I’ll take it.

As for the test itself, I shot a bunch of Lucky Gunner’s ammo (and you should shoot their ammo too), and I encountered one Failure To Feed on the 400th round, shooting PMC Bronze.

Rounds Fired : 62
50 Rounds PMC Bronze
12 Rounds Hornady Critical Defense

Total Rounds Fired: 484. One possible failure to feed on round 116, one failure to feed, round 400.