John Bartolo Show - Jason Wright - Sig Sauer

Short Summary:

In this episode of the John Bartolo Show, John talks with Jason Wright, a Branding and Marketing Executive at Sig Sauer. John considers Jason not only one of the experts in the industry but also a friend and mentor. To begin, Jason explains his work history and experience, which includes 10 years in radio.

John and Jason talk all things marketing and advertising and comment on Sig’s approach to engaging with consumers, hiring expertise and passion, and staying ahead of the curve of innovation — both in products and marketing.

In the second half of the episode, John and Jason cover COVID-19, including welcoming the new gun owners that this crisis is producing, whether or not shows will happen this year, and how marketing and advertising will be done after COVID is over.

Long Summary:

In this episode of the John Bartolo Show, John talks with Jason Wright, a Branding and Marketing Executive at Sig Sauer. John considers Jason not only one of the experts in the industry but also a friend and mentor. To begin, Jason explains his work history. He has been at Sig for three years and beforehand worked in advertising for 20 years, ten of which were spent working in radio. 

Jason notes how difficult and complex it can be to market and launch products and the tendency to do nothing because it’s all overwhelming. Instead, he says, companies should choose one thing and do it really well. John then comments on the people who work at Sig and their expertise and passion.

John and Jason discuss how and why the gun industry may be behind the curve of innovation and how Sig has stayed at, or ahead of, that curve. Jason also talks about the need for both innovative marketing and excellent products, Sig’s approach toward speaking with consumers, and why Sig doesn’t sell soft goods like hoodies and t-shirts. 

In the second half of the episode, they talk COVID-19 and what it has to do with the gun industry. Jason highlights the fact that as Americans realized their need to be ready and responsible for their own safety, they wanted to buy guns. Consequently, the gun industry got a lot of attention. Jason and John also touch on whether or not shows are going to happen this year. 

With many new gun owners in American, John and Jason also give their perspective on welcoming these new owners into the culture. Finally, Jason comments on how he thinks advertising and marketing will be done after COVID is over and the need for more digital and online experiences to sell a product. 

Timestamps:

1:28 – Jason talks about his career path and how he started working with Sig

3:48 – John asks about the “dying medium” of the radio and how that has to do with the “new radio” of podcasting, satellite, etc.

6:15 – Jason’s approach to media, branding, and developing the ideas the Sig comes up with

9:00 – Why is it a struggle for so many brands to do a good launch of a product?

11:16 – Jason and John talk about the fundamental differences between branding, marketing, and advertising 

12:47 – Different brands within the firearm industry and the culture of innovation

17:53 – John and Jason comment on the people who work at Sig and their approach toward investing in people

20:15 – John asks Jason what is most “behind the curve” within the industry

24:49 – How has Sig stayed at the curve or ahead of it?

36:29 – What brands does Jason look at outside of the industry to shape his thinking? 

39:30 – Jason and John comment on Sig’s approach to speaking with consumers

45:23 – John asks Jason why Sig has always stayed away from soft goods like t-shirts and hoodies

48:56 – The new world of COVID and what Jason has seen in the gun market lately

51:24 – Jason comments on whether or not shows are going to happen this year

58:40 – How to welcome all of the new gun owners that COVID has produced and the culture within the industry

1:07:22 – Jason’s perspective on advertising and media after COVID is over

1:19:00 – What Jason expects in the next few months

Key Quotes:

 “I’ve been at Sig for almost three years or so but prior to that I was in the advertising world for just about 20 years.”

“When you look at the world of podcasting today, I think that was kind of the vision that everybody thought radio would become in some ways and I guess it kind of has.”

“Whoever invents the best search bar is pretty much controlling the internet.”

“You get overwhelmed about all the things that you should be doing and it becomes challenging to do anything.”

“Doing something now and doing something effectively – whatever that one thing may be – is gonna be more effective than doing nothing because you can’t seem to figure out how to do everything.”

“You guys [at Sig] take a different approach: a lot of what you invest in is people.”

“Nothing will kill a bad product faster than really good advertising. So if the product is bad to start with… then a good campaign is just gonna kill it faster.”

“You want the marketing to be as innovative as the product is.”

“We’ve tried to elevate how we talk about Sig beyond just ‘let’s talk about this one firearm” or “let’s talk about this ammunition. And ‘let’s talk about this company.’ Let’s talk about what we’re doing and what we’re focused on. And that’s a different kind of conversation to have with consumers.”

“The gun industry definitely got a lot of people’s attention when people started to feel as though their safety was at risk or that potentially they needed to be a little more responsible for their own personal safety. Guns became pretty important to people.”

“And now we have some estimate 3.5, some estimate a million new, some estimate 7 million new guns in the space and new gun owners that we have to welcome.”

“Let’s hope those people then become interested in shooting as a whole and I think we’ll see an increase in competitive shooting from this.”

“As powerful as it is for companies, it’s also a roadblock for new people in some ways when you have such a powerful culture built around your world, and guns are like that.” 

“In times of crisis or significant disruption in people’s lives, I think people turn to brands that are the tried and true kind of element of brands and brands that they can trust, and their willingness to try new things and stuff may go down, and so it can be challenging to start new companies in this environment or start new brands in this environment.”

Links:

John’s Website: www.johnbartoloshow.com

Sig Sauer: https://www.sigsauer.com/