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April 4, 2024

How to Make Your Firearm Business Relevant: Insights from Century Arms’ Adam Ruonala

These engagement strategies will help your business stay ahead in the dynamic firearm industry landscape.

At the heart of innovative strategies discussed at the 2023 NSSF Marketing and Leadership Summit lies the exemplary practices of industry giants such as Century Arms and Canik. Century Arms is a major importer of firearms in the United States, with a rich history. They handle everything from imported AK rifles to US-manufactured firearms. In 2012, they partnered with Canik, a Turkish handgun manufacturer, which has since become a significant player in the US market. Canik is building a new facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, and will employ another 150 individuals in a 200,000-square-foot facility. Canik is best known for its TP9 series pistols, celebrated for their exceptional performance, reliability and affordability, making them a favorite among shooters worldwide.

With a keen focus on consumer needs and market trends, Century Arms has cemented its reputation as a trailblazer in firearm manufacturing. By actively listening to consumers and embracing diversity, both Century Arms and Canik consistently deliver products that resonate with a wide audience, driving brand loyalty and sales.

At the 2023 NSSF Marketing and Leadership Summit, we had the chance to sit down with Adam Ruonala, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Canik and Century Arms. Ruonala shared some invaluable insights into the firearm industry and how they’ve navigated its challenges.

Here are the key takeaways from this conversation:

Tune in to Consumers

The cornerstone of Century Arms’ success lies in its commitment to understanding and responding to consumer demands. Ruonala underscores, “The biggest thing that our industry can do to differentiate ourselves… is to listen to the consumer.” Recognizing that consumer feedback fuels innovation, Century Arms prioritizes staying in sync with market trends and preferences.

“The consumers are becoming ever more educated and ever more of a community,” stresses Ruonala. By remaining adaptable to emerging trends and consumer preferences, Century Arms can craft products that resonate with its clientele’s ever-evolving needs.

Expand Your Audience

Ruonala observed a significant surge in female and minority buyers within the industry. While avoiding catering to any particular demographic, Ruonala suggests that embracing and implementing suggestions from diverse consumer groups can open doors to brand loyalty and increase sales opportunities.

Learn more about the changing demographics from NSSF’s Firearm Ownership & Sport Shooting Participation in the U.S. in 2022 report.

Engage with the Community

Investing time and effort into social media engagement is important, asserts Ruonala. “Word of mouth advertising is so much more incrementally valuable than just placing another ad somewhere.” Active participation in community conversations not only strengthens brand loyalty but also provides vital insights into consumer trends.

Collaborate for Success

Reflecting on the industry’s challenges, Ruonala acknowledges the uncertainties posed by regulatory changes and supply chain disruptions. To mitigate these challenges, Century Arms decided to open a manufacturing facility in the United States, which allows Century Arms to ensure the continuity of its operations.

He emphasizes the importance of collaboration with organizations like NSSF, in advocating for industry interests and safeguarding Second Amendment rights. Ruonala underscores the need for manufacturers to remain agile and proactive in navigating regulatory shifts and market fluctuations.

“So at Century Arms and Canik, to be a patron member of the NSSF is something that we not only thought was of value to us, but was our duty,” shared Ruonala.

Looking Ahead: The 2024 NSSF Marketing and Leadership Summit

Industry professionals are encouraged to mark their calendars for the 2024 NSSF Marketing and Leadership Summit. This premier event offers unparalleled opportunities for networking, learning and strategic planning. Attendees will gain invaluable insights from industry thought leaders like Ruonala, contributing to the continued growth and evolution of the firearm industry.

2024 NSSF Marketing and Leadership Summit

Learn More and Register Today

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