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Blog: Reinventing Your RV Business During and After the Pandemic

George Carson

George Carson and his publicity/advertising agency (CARSON MARKETING, INC.) has been a dynamic force since 1980. He has created successful ad campaigns and publicity programs for a variety of clients in the RV, automotive, sports, food, and entertainment industries. His exclusive Core Branding approach identifies the best solutions and strategies to help companies become successful.

As businesses are starting to reopen, many RV dealerships are concerned they cannot survive if their clientele has to be at a minimum to enter their facilities. Now is the time to re-invent your business to respond to the new way consumers will be purchasing their RVs, products and repair services. We know people want to get out and travel, as proven with the increase in RV rentals.

We are witnessing how several major companies are adding new opportunities by re-inventing themselves. From automotive manufacturers to the apparel industry they are converting their factories to produce essential wearables, providing products that protect first responders and consumers. RV dealerships need to understand they too can reinvent themselves and realize there are different avenues available to survive in this new changing economy.

Think Outside the Box

Although businesses outside of the RV industry have been able to convert their factories to produce essential products for the pandemic, how do RV dealerships and manufacturers adjust? You need to think outside of the typical box and be creative. Remember, every business today is experiencing similar problems, so team up with other companies to expand your opportunities. Be open-minded. For example, contact business owners and sales teams. Offer a 90-day exchange policy with limited miles when they purchase an RV to be their “office on the road.” Another market: various automotive racing associations. These potential customers purchase toy haulers, trailers and motorized RVs to travel to races. Smaller RV manufacturers should look into the medical industry. You might build trailers for companies selling medical products and supplies to hospitals to create a traveling store. Contact various hospitals, clinics, and labs to discuss how RVs can be converted to meet their needs. It’s time to recognize that the “status quo” isn’t, anymore.

Re-Inventing Does Work

A critical industry hit very hard is the restaurant industry. Reach out to local restaurants. Develop a promotion with an RV to be their traveling store delivering meals to those celebrating anniversaries, birthdays and office parties. This will create a memorable experience. Another creative idea could be for dealerships to contact real estate agencies to do a tie-in promotion. Imagine the agent driving potential homebuyers in an RV! That can be an exciting experience to help build a stronger image for the real estate agency.

Expand Your Opportunities

RV retailers who sell parts, or dealerships with retail stores, could do tie-in programs with local businesses in their community. Offering discounts should not be your primary marketing strategy. These are short-lived programs. Instead, work with other non-competitive businesses. That will further build a strong and more powerful way to gain attention and establish customer loyalty. It becomes a win-win-win for everyone.

Keep Your Brand Visible

One of the most productive and cost-efficient ways to rebuild a business is by keeping your name in front of current and potential customers. Using social media is an excellent way to communicate. Be active on all platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn. Do postings to let customers know what you are doing, such as: how you are making your environment safer for them, special promotions you are offering, free pickup and delivery for repairs, tie-in promotions with other businesses, community programs, new services offered, and more. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself, “what would you want to know about that business?”

Be open-minded. Be creative. Think forward, not backward, and you will discover how productive it can be when you re-invent your business.