Smith & Wesson Fires Up Customer Loyalty Program

Smith & Wesson has turned its aim from new customers to existing ones.

Last October, the Springfield, MA-based gun manufacturer tried to expand its appeal to women with the launch of Crossings, an apparel and home décor catalog. The book was canceled several months later amid an upper management reshuffling.

Now the company has introduced its first customer loyalty program, called Smith & Wesson Club 1852.

“The main goal of the program is to increase the ownership experience of Smith & Wesson,” spokesman Bill Brown said.

Benefits include exclusive access to a catalog containing merchandise with the Club 1852 logo; Club 1852 regional centers where members can meet and the company can hold promotions and shooting events; direct mail and e-mail announcements and a subscription to a quarterly newsletter.

Club 1852 was introduced Sept. 1, and 10,000 members have signed up. To become a member, individuals must own a Smith & Wesson firearm and fill out an information warranty card. New members get a packet containing a membership card, patch, key chain, sticker, safety CD and the latest copy of a quarterly newsletter.

The e-mail blasts, which will begin in about a month, are the first of this type of communication from Smith & Wesson to be sent to consumers. Along with new product announcements and e-mail-only specials, the blasts will include information on special events at local dealers.

“The program allows the company to deepen our awareness of customers' interests, needs, profiles and buying patterns. The information will be useful in our ongoing effort to build customer loyalty and meet customers' interest in the introduction of new products or new product features,” president/CEO Roy Cuny said in a statement.

Brown estimated that 1,500 new members sign up for Club 1852 monthly.

Smith & Wesson is including information on Club 1852 in every firearm box. Beyond that, it will rely on word-of-mouth to build membership.

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