Cane Caldo found an image of the B&S guns billboard that I referenced in my last post.
Also, RecoveringBeta pointed out that Springfield Armory has a new marketing campaign focused around women:
..you might check out Springfield Armory’s new ad for their Saint AR. 6 strong (attractive) women…aaand sales to betas and omegas skyrocket.
I hadn’t been to Springfield’s site for probably a year, and I’m surprised to see that Springfield has really gone overboard in this regard. Springfield has remade their entire brand image with a corny marketing campaign centering on their very poorly timed entry into the AR market:
With the new Defend Your Legacy site and hashtag (#DefendYourLegacy), Springfield hopes to open up a dialogue about the importance of defending one’s legacy and encourage others to share ideas on what legacy means to them. All of this seems to be leading up to a the release of a new Springfield Armory product. Named the SAINT, this new product is expected to be introduced on November 1st of this year. The website even features a countdown until the release of the SAINT. So far, little is known about what the SAINT will be, other than this new product will be unlike any other from Springfield Armory.
A week after Springfield joined the already crowded AR market with their SAINT, Trump won the election and sales of AR 15s dropped.
Jeremy S. at The Truth About Guns reviewed the SAINT in December and explained Springfield’s rebranding:
Springfield Armory is embarking on a bit of a corporate re-branding. According to the gunmaker’s marketing mavens, their “Defend Your Legacy” slogan targets Americans between 25- and 45-years-old. Buyers who know their safety is their own responsibility. Who understand that the good guys have firearms because they’re the best tool for the job of self-defense. That all Americans have a historical right to keep and bear arms. Enter The SAINT.
He added some more thoughts on the new Springfield brand image in the comments:
I really like how all of the product ads I’ve seen for this gun are geared primarily towards women, yet it’s a black, “black gun.” No pink or frilly or traditionally “girly” crap. Springfield is being very clear that it’s an excellent rifle for a woman to defend herself and her family, seek out professional training with, etc etc, and it can and should be the same rifle used by the dudes. I really do like this. I don’t know how women feel about it of course or how they’ll react, etc, but I think it’s a breath of fresh air… we all know firearms are “the great equalizer” and such, and I never liked what I perceived as the condescending nature of the industry saying “we’ve painted this gun pink because it’s for women.”
I think he is right that Springfield is going for the image of a woman’s gun that men can shoot too. If you look at the product pages on the Springfield website, 6 of the 7 products are pictured in the hands of women (X D, XD-MOD2, XD(M), XD-S, SAINT, M1A, and 1911). I’m not surprised that Jeremy S. is enthusiastic about this, as this was a core point in my previous post. However, I think they have gone too far in anchoring their brand so firmly around the kickass conservative gal image.
As much as shooters love the kickass conservative gal image, positioning Springfield as a seller of women’s guns that men can shoot too goes too far. While men will tend to support the campaign, I don’t think most men will want to identify with a product marketed as made for women. Even worse, women want to break into the male space. Now that Springfield is identifying itself as a female space that men can join too, the thrill of breaking into the male space is also gone.
To the extent that marketing doesn’t matter, Springfield should continue to sell well as their entire X D line has a large following. But as marketing campaigns go, I don’t see this rebranding as helping Springfield with either men or women shooters