Catering to the female firearm enthusiast
Quick Fire Cases
One of the major misconceptions about the firearm industry in general is the prevailing stigma that it is exclusively dominated by males. On the one hand, it's actually fairly easy to see why. Many gun enthusiasts were likely exposed to their favorite hobby for the first time by an older male in their family. It's also not necessarily common to see a female down at the gun range, depending on the area of the country where you live. Entertainment and images of guns in film and television are also usually dominated by males, as action films and other types of content where guns would appear are naturally male-oriented genres.
Despite this, however, there are actually a huge number of female firearm enthusiasts out there that represent a huge new revenue potential that is just waiting to be taken advantage of. Catering to the female firearm enthusiast requires you to take a close look at what women are buying, how women can be reached through effective marketing and even their role in gun-centric activities like shooting sports.
Female Firearm Purchasing Trends
To understand current female firearm purchasing trends, it's first important to go over some statistics. Recent studies have indicated that female gun ownership is up a full 77% since 2005 alone. That is a number that is only expected to rise as time goes on. 23% of all gun owners in the United States are female - representing a huge segment of the marketplace that can no longer be ignored.
Simply put, women want to protect not only themselves but their families. When you consider that one simple fact, the actual types of guns that women are buying makes perfect sense. This segment of the marketplace isn't necessarily attracted to big, flashy guns that show off - they want something small and dependable that they know they will be able to use to protect themselves if times get tough. While there are certainly some women out there who are attracted to large guns like semi-automatic rifles, you are much more likely to encounter a female looking for something like an AR-15.
Marketing to the Female Customer
One of the keys to marketing to any type of customer is establishing a very important and very personal connection. Part of it involves knowing your audience. You need to use your marketing materials to identify a problem that the customer is having (even if they aren't necessarily aware of that problem just yet) and show why your product is the best and only solution to their every need.
When marketing to the female gun owner, the same logic applies. When marketing to men, you likely use tactics like showing off how "impressive" or "flashy" a gun is. Men tend to respond positively to the total number of rounds that can be fired per second or the size of the ammunition that they get to use. With women, it's decidedly simple: show women a gun that can reliably protect both themselves and the ones they care the most about in times of stress and you'll be able to make your sale. Focus on education - let your marketing materials show female gun owners WHY a product is offering a superior level of protection and the results will be significant.
The Role of Women in Shooting Sports
It's also important to keep in mind that while protection is a huge concern to female gun enthusiasts, it isn't the only reason why they may be in a gun shop. Women are regularly becoming a much bigger part of a wide range of recreational shooting activities like hunting, general shooting, competitions and more. An entire industry has cropped up devoted to females who love guns. The agirlandagun.org Women's Shooting League, NSSF.org's National Target Shooting program and more are just a few of the many examples of this in action.
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