As you read this, Magpul is very busy breaking the Internet by using a well laid out marketing strategy leading up to SHOT SHOW 2015.
Typically, at the show, Magpul has a great booth adorned with the coolest vehicles, walls of unobtanium, and just a whole bunch of rad products. Given what has happened this week, I hope I’ll just be able to get within viewing distance of the booth. Dollars to donuts they are going to be swamped and rightly so.
What I love about their current marketing strategy is that you can tell that a lot of thought went into the release of EACH product. Rather than taking a cookie cutter approach that a lot of companies fall into of having the same look and feel for every single product video year after year, Magpul has developed segments that distinctly capture the elements of the products they want to highlight.
Take for example, the video that accompanied the release of the stock for the Remington 700 series. Not a single word is uttered in the entirety of the video, but the story that is relayed works perfectly.
The D60 Drum Mag was more of your traditional product release video, showing the product in action, with explanatory titling. Again, no voiceover, but the messaging was more directed and obvious.
With the AK furniture, Magpul took yet another different approach, explaining the complexities of design and their approach to problem solving in a subtly funny but honest way. The stark white background and team effort to add/replace items keeps your attention focused. This was augmented by a concise voiceover that leaves the viewer with enough information to understand what was done, but not boring you with technical specs.
So what can we take from all of this?
Magpul’s creative and marketing team is doing it right. This is not some fly by night “slam it in place for SHOT” release. These are obviously built to elicit a specific response for each product, have been planned for a good long time, and I’m really glad to see them taking this path. Like them or not, as a leader in the industry Magpul continues to set the bar high for competitors. Knowing what it takes to put together a large project plan like this and have all of the pieces fall into place simultaneously, I have been really impressed.
When it comes to small businesses without the Magpul budgets, a lot can be emulated. Focus on the story, not the look. Focus on the core of the message that you’re getting across, and what will emerge is the vehicle by which you communicate it. Sometimes you WILL have several videos for a product line that DO look the same and that is fine, but do it only so long as it plays to your strategy. Get rid of the glitz, the gun-bunnies, and the Bourne Supremacy brotastic-action shots and think about your product first.
There are a lot of folks out there willing to help develop that story. Get uncomfortable and watch good things happen.
Matt Stagliano is a photographer first, and firearms / outdoors enthusiast second. His work has appeared in countless magazines and online outlets such as RECOIL, SKILLSET, Guns & Ammo, Concealment, Breach Bang Clear, Ammoland, and others. He spends most of his time running Stonetree Creative, a full service portrait studio in Maine when he is not on assignment as Firelance Media. Learn more about Stonetree online or follow him on Instagram (@stonetreecreative). On Facebook here.