Suffer the poor Marlinistas. After The Freedom Group destroyed the storied brand’s quality control, unleashing rifles so poorly made Grizzly Custom Guns charges a premium to breathe on them, Marlin’s decided that it’s “trapped in an image that no longer reflects its true user.” That’s the post focus group summary provided by the NSSF’s SHOT Business magazine article Riding Off Into the Sunset. “With the cowboy image, there’s a romanticized view of the American West, and Marlin has clung to it for a long time,” admits Marlin Product Manager Eric Lundgren. “But when we really looked at it, we saw that most of the people using these rifles lived east of the Mississippi River. They’re regular guys, not cowboys–guys who wear camo when they hunt.” And so . . .
The insight led to a momentous decision to create advertising that would identify with the actual user. “As a result, consumers and retailers will see a new line of advertising that looked edgier and is designed to educate and promote the tangible benefits of lever-action in a contemporary, relatable manner.”
To paraphrase Clint Eastwood, a brand’s gotta know its limitations. Not to mention the simple fact that great branding starts with a great product. And goes nowhere without one. Oh, and one more thing . . .
Marlin’s set to introduce its $1350 1895 Limited Edition .45-70 Govt. model, the second gun in a multi-year series. Both sides of the LE’s receiver receive scrollwork. There’s an elk in 24-carat gold on the left side and, wait for it, the classic Marlin horse and rider on the right, along with other bits of ballistic bling.
I guess TFG’s marketing mavens forgot to send “the Marlin cowboy must die” memo to the rifle makers. Available on both sides of the Mississippi, FWIW.