There seem to be a few market messages being voiced by the industry this year. Have you noticed the unspoken messages being shouted by this years newest products?
One of which seems to be: “Ladies, we hear your voice.”
For the past few years females have made up one of the fastest growing segment of the shooting sports market. Early on manufacturers met this trend oftentimes by taking an existing product and making it pink. I assume that this was indicative of men marketing products for women. Can we all agree that men know very little about women? I live with three females, my wife and two daughters, and at any given moment in our family history this truth can be illustrated—I don’t understand them.
It’s encouraging to notice new products being released this season that are clearly targeting women. Many of them have functional rather than merely cosmetic changes. It seems as though women have been entrenched in the R&D departments of late. For illustration purposes, I recently took a few moments with female reps from Glock and EAA. Sharon from EAA had been highly involved in their Pavona project and displayed her passion as we spoke. She said things like: “We’re here to empower women” and (a bit tongue in cheek) “we don’t think that every woman needs a revolver.”
When speaking to Shannon, our Glock rep, she mentioned how excited she was about the G42s concealment potential for her as a runner. She said that she uses the flashbang and has found it quite effective. Could it be that the female market had a part in the G42 being released in .380?
These are two small examples, just the tip of the iceberg, but the market will be filled with examples in 2014. Some of the efforts will prove successful and some not so successful. Still the message should be heeded “Ladies, we hear your voice.” Those who listen, adapt, and accommodate will be rewarded and those who patronize will become extinct.