What Product Managers Can STUDY FROM A Handgun

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working with clients that are trying to enter new markets by copying products that are already being sold. If you need to be considered a “me-too” product manager, you can certainly do this. However, if you really understand the way that product development definition should be done and desire to be a breakthrough product manager who rules your market, then perhaps you should have a lesson from the handgun manufacturer Glock…

SOMETHING Innovation Story

Handguns aren’t new. Actually they’ve been around for years. Everyone knows virtually what they appear to be, what they do, and who makes them. The market is dominated by such big name firms as Smith & Wesson, Heckler & Koch, Sig Sauer, Beretta, and Steyr. You wouldn’t believe that that even the very best product manager on the market would stand the opportunity of being able to introduce a fresh product into this crowded market.

Apparently nobody told Gaston Glock this. As described in a fresh book, Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun, Gaston just been in the right place at the proper time back 1980 and overhead two Austrian colonels discussing the Austrian military’s need for new pistols. Gaston then did what worthwhile product manager would do, he went and talked with the customer.

The customer in cases like this was the Austrian defense minister. The minister agreed to allow Gaston to bid on the handgun contract. Gaston then had to come up with a product to sell. He knew nothing about handguns so he went and bought his competitor’s products and proceeded to take them apart to be able to learn how to create a better product.

The gun he finished up creating was nothing like the guns which were currently that you can buy. The Glock 17 (so called since it was the 17th gun that Gaston made) was crafted from industrial plastic which both made it lighter and more resistant to corrosion. The handgun was also built out of several subgroups that managed to get easy to remove and replace. Gaston won the handgun contract with the Austrian military.

HOW EXACTLY TO Market A Gun In A Crowded Market

As we product managers are all too aware of, just having a better product will not assure your product of success and isn’t good enough to put on your product manager resume. In the event that you actually want to capture a significant section of your market, then you are going to have to do some serious marketing.

Regarding the Glock guns, it had been Karl Walter who took the Glock to the United States. He faced an uphill battle getting this new and fairly ugly looking gun to be a success. At that time, the Smith & Wesson company ruled the market.

Walter did what any good product manager should do, he focused on getting the Glock to be looked at by people who were going to be investing in a gun. He did this by getting the Glock to be featured in the October 1984 edition of the Soldier of Fortune magazine. He followed this up by getting Glocks found in product placements in both Hollywood films and tv shows.

Once the Glock was adopted by the likes of the trick Service and the FBI the overall game was over. Glock had won. What Glock had shown is a carefully managed promotional campaign can help even a new product to enter a market and to capture a significant market share.

What All Of This Means For You

You may not function as product manager for a firearm, but the story of how the Glock handgun was made and what managed to get successful probably has a story for you. Because you are attempting to enter a crowed, well established market doesn’t mean that you will need to copy the products that are already for sale there.

Innovation is really a word that is tossed around a lot these days, but it holds a special meaning for product managers. If we take the time to concentrate on what our customers’ real needs are before we begin to define our product, then we have the real chance for doing what Glock did and transforming our market. Almost appears like acheter beretta apx is something that you’d find in a product manager job description, does it not?

Just because you make a superior product doesn’t mean that the world will beat a way to your product management door. Instead, you will be the one who is responsible for making sure that the word gets out about how wonderful your product is. Follow the example that is given to us by Glock and your product should have a shot at being successful.


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