THE MARKETING 100;GASTON GLOCK;GLOCK

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For a decade, Gaston Glock has been taking on some of the biggest guns in American firearms.

And Mr. Glock, 67, founder and president of handgun marketer Glock USA, has done so without consumer advertising.

"It was a conscious decision to go after the law enforcement market first," Mr. Glock says. "In marketing terms, we assumed that, by pursuing the law enforcement market, we would then receive the benefit of `after sales' in the commercial market."

His strategy is right on the mark.

Ten years ago, there wasn't a single Glock pistol in the U.S.; today, the company sells more than 20,000 a month at an average cost of $600 apiece, representing about half of the law-enforcement market, according to Paul Jannuzzo, corporate counsel.

The product design, masterminded by the Austrian inventor, has been the single biggest factor in its success. The lightweight frame, reliability and easy maintenance quickly made this semi-automatic handgun a favorite with cops.

This was achieved through demonstrations at police departments and advertising in magazines such as Law Enforcement Technology. Glock used agency Indelible in Atlanta for the campaign themed "Perfection," but since moved its account in-house.

Right now, the company is in the position of trying not to advertise. Glock halted its advertising because the company is chronically back-ordered, Mr. Jannuzzo says.

Instead it sponsors the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation, a club for enthusiasts.

While Mr. Glock says competition is "absolutely fierce," he doesn't expect to redirect marketing.

"I see no reason to change," he says.

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