It’s a BIG Year for O.F. Mossberg Firearms
NASGW interview with Member Company: O. F. Mossberg & Sons Inc. and Tom Taylor, VP Sales & Marketing.
North Haven, CT –-(Ammoland.com)- Insight: Tell us a little about your company.
Mossberg was founded in 1919 and is based in North Haven, CT. We are the oldest family-owned firearms company in the U.S. and have 377 employees in factories in North Haven and Eagle Pass, TX. We serve the U.S. market and export more firearms than any other U.S. manufacturer to over 85 countries. Our company provides firearms for over 40 military agencies world-wide and has been in service with the U.S. Military for over 30 years.
The U.S. Military selected the Mossberg 500 and 590A1 12 gauge pump action shotguns which meet the rigorous MilSpec 3443 requirement. We also serve the largest police department and state police agency in the U.S. along with numerous others. In the sporting market, we manufacture, sell and distribute a full line of shotguns, bolt action rifles, lever action rifles and rimfire rifles in semi-auto and bolt action. We also have the most complete line of youth firearms on the market with over 40 options.
InSight: This is a BIG year for Mossberg. Tell us about that.
Yes, it is a big year for Mossberg as we embark on a more customer and consumer based strategy. We have introduced a new ad campaign focused on “Field Proven Performance”. This campaign spans print, TV, web and radio mediums. We also have a new focus on editorial coverage for Mossberg in all those mediums. On the retail front, Mossberg has introduced a major initiative called the Mossberg Triple Crown Dealer Program. This program has a stocking dealer element, Point-of-Sale materials, dealer and distributor sales associate incentives and special dealer VIP pricing. Mossberg has also added professional shooters Jerry Miculek and Patrick Flanigan. Lastly, and certainly not least, as of the NRA Show in May, Mossberg will have announced 19 new products this year. As we all know, new products are the life blood of the firearm industry so those introductions are critical to go with the new pull marketing programs. All of these products, initiatives and more are part of fulfilling a commitment to customers to create more pull marketing.
InSight: How competitive do you feel the current market is compared to 5 years ago and how has it affected your business?
The market is significantly more competitive than it was 5 years ago. Consumers are looking for quality, value and solutions.
The mass of the consumer base is becoming more educated on what products fill those requirements. Therefore it is critical that manufacturers meet those demands in order to be successful. It affects Mossberg’s business significantly because we feel that we meet those demands with quality solutions at affordable prices. Our business is healthy for that reason.
InSight: How long has your company been a member of NASGW and how has it helped your business?
Mossberg has been a member of NASGW for 30+ years. We feel that distribution is the key to our business and we spend the majority of our time focused on distributors. This is evident in the development of selling tools like the new Mossberg Triple Crown Dealer Program. This initiative was widely embraced during the show season and outperformed our expectations. Also, we feel that the time investment at the NASGW Show and in preparation is possibly the most important part of our year. We view this event as our time to share our new programs and products and reach joint commitment for the upcoming year.
While other sales outlets are important, unlike most industries today, the local dealer is still a critical part of the outdoor industry. We feel that the significant role distribution plays with the retailer justifies our focus.
InSight: How does your company stay viable and thrive during this period of constant change?
We believe that the vitality of the outdoor industry begins and ends with new products. While all the other areas mentioned such as customer focus, aggressive programs and good pull marketing are critical, everyone is capable of such strengths. At the end of the day, successful companies will be the ones that have dynamic new products to go with solid business practices.
InSight: What do you believe to be the biggest challenges facing manufacturers in the sporting goods industry?
We believe that we face two major challenges today. The decline of potential hunters and sport shooters is something we must all be aware of and address to the best of our ability. Even with the growth of firearm sales for self defense, it is critical that we find ways to help with the growth of shooting sports. The other area we must stay focused on is legislative issues. Obviously, protection of the Second Amendment and the public’s right to those freedoms is of critical importance to our industry.
InSight: Do you feel that your communication with your wholesaler partners has improved or declined in recent years. If so, how?
At Mossberg, we hope that communication has increased dramatically in the last year. We have increased staff and focus in this area.
We made a commitment to not only be more responsive but also to be proactive in seeking opportunities with distribution. Lastly, we hold a firm belief that we should always strive to be easy to do business with.
In Sight: How can we (NASGW) improve the relationship with all of our members?
At Mossberg, we value the NASGW and appreciate the role played in coordination with distribution.
InSight: What’s new at Mossberg in the way of new, improved or innovative products?
As previously mentioned, Mossberg will introduce 19 new products during the first half of 2011 with more on the way. Some of these are line extensions and others are truly new and innovative products. It continues to be our commitment to stay focused on innovation, quality and value. Some of the headliners so far this year are the Tactical .22, 500 Chainsaw Shotgun, Tri-Rail Shotguns, Turkey THUG Shoguns, 50th Anniversary 500 and many more to come at the NRA Show.
InSight: How do you use the NASGW Expo as part of your business sales and marketing plans?
As mentioned above, we feel that the time investment at the NASGW Expo is possibly the most important part of our year. It is our time to share our new programs and products, determine how we will plan for success and reach joint commitments. Said more specifically, the NASGW Expo is critical to our business.
InSight: What would you say sets you apart from your competitors and has allowed Mossberg to stay successful for 100 years?
Well it’s “only 92 years” but we’ve got 100 in our sights. Mossberg has been legendary in its ability to adapt to the market and offer innovation, quality and value. This has consistently been a theme of the family and the company. In that same spirit, the company continues to renew itself with a shift from more of a manufacturing focus to a consumer focused approach…with those same values in place.
InSight: Would you please complete this sentence: “If I could change just one thing (practice) about this industry it would be:”
…To stop doing things the same way and expecting different results.
InSight: Thanks Tom. We appreciate Mossberg’s membership and commitment to our industry.
For additional information on the NASGW and the services and benefits it provides for members, visit www.nasgw.org or contact: Tracy King Kolojeski, NASGW Director of Operations at PO Box 721564, Orlando, FL 32872 • Telephone 407-362-6391