EXCLUSIVE: Report Details Dealers’ Views on Brand Loyalty

An aerial photograph of an RV dealership lot with dozens of RVs lined up neatly

A manufacturing marketing company, Huebner Integrated Marketing, released a research report utilizing survey results gleaned from 279 big-ticket outdoor items retailers in the U.S. from February to September this year.

The retailers carried products like RVs, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, golf carts, motorcycles, jet skis and zero-turn mowers. Specific to the RV retailers who responded, dealers said the top three challenges they expect in the next year to be market fluctuations, product quality and staffing.

Jim Huebner, founder and CEO of Huebner Integrated Marketing, said even with a competitive market, dealers are seeking to grow and want more than just the best price available.

“They want outstanding customer service, sales enablement tools and a strong brand story to help them engage their customers,” Huebner said. “Today’s RV customer is equally as concerned with brand reputation and customer support as they are with the features of the product. This points to an incredible opportunity for brands to create long-term customer loyalty by knowing and communicating a clear story to their customers, starting with the dealerships.”

The research report found 60% of RV dealers saying they will increase the number of brands they carry in the next 12 months, and the remaining 40% will stay the same. None reported plans to decrease.

Huebner said he believes the results confirm trends from the past 30 years.

“I am so excited to see this data come out,” he said. “The results confirm what we have seen coming for the last 30 years: the need for brands to be a hero to their dealers.”

The report found:

  • 62% of RV dealers rank product relevancy as a reason to add a brand, followed by demand (61%), manufacturer warranty (46%) and manufacturer customer support (41%).
  • 53% of RV dealers plan to prioritize an improved customer experience, just ahead of increased online and in-store sales (51% each).
  • 81% of RV dealers agree that customer service from the manufacturer is very or extremely important.
  • 80% of RV dealers agree that a brand’s reputation or story is very or extremely important to the customer’s end purchase decision.

Huebner said brand loyalty for dealers is simple.

“The more the OEM has the dealer’s back, the more loyal their dealers are,” Huebner said. “‘Having their back’ means everything from quick parts turn-around to co-op advertising to quick warranty approval. We also see things like customized marketing tools including websites, pre-produced ads, digital asset management, lead management, and even sales events helping build that loyalty.”

He said the most important aspect of selling a product is equipping the dealers with a great story to tell about the brand.

“We have seen it firsthand,” he said. “When there is a great story to tell about the brand, the dealer salespeople seem to just gravitate to those products, taking the customer with them.”

RV News magazine spread
If you are employed in the RV industry and not a member of the trade media, Subscribe for Free:
  • Daily business news on the RV industry and the companies and people that encompass it
  • Monthly printed and/or digital magazine filled with in-depth articles to increase profit margins
  • Statistics, data and other RV business trade information
Scroll to Top