RV PRO

August '18

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id you hear? The U.S. RV market is in the midst of a stunning comeback. According to the RVIA, the travel trailer market in particular has been very strong, accounting for 67% of all RV shipments in 2018. This coincides with the light truck market selling vehicles in record numbers. So far, 68% of all vehicles sold in the United States in 2018 were considered light trucks, according to the RVIA. With the travel trailer market expected to keep growing into 2019 and beyond, Liberty Outdoors holds a fierce belief that its trailer products are perfectly positioned to capture the hearts and minds of a whole new camping audience. This is an audience that values camping convenience, and the majority of them are buying a trailer for the first time. "We've done our research, and full-featured, convenient travel trailers are where we want to be," said Joe Kicos, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sales and Marketing for Liberty Outdoors and Little Guy Trailers. "Our teardrop trailers are grabbing people's attention in huge numbers. And we see that continuing as the market is trending upward. Now is a great time to become a Little Guy dealer because we can't keep the darn trailers on the lots. The demand off the charts," said Kicos. You've probably heard of Little Guy Trailers, long known for its iconic and economical teardrop trailers, but what in the world is Liberty Out- doors? Allow us to explain. For many years, Little Guy Trailers was the sales, marketing, and deal- er outreach component for some well-known lines of teardrop trailers. In late 2016, a manufacturing agreement ended, and Liberty Outdoors was born. Since late 2016, Little Guy Trailers has been manufacturing its own trailers under the parent company known as Liberty Outdoors, LLC. At the corporate level, Liberty operates out of its long-time headquarters in Uniontown, Ohio. Manufacturing is based just a short drive east in Somerset, Pennsylvania. The Little Guy Max, the Little Guy Mini Max, and the MyPod are engineered and built at a 100,000 square foot facility in Somerset. The city of Somerset has a rich and vibrant history dating back to the Revolutionary War, but it also has a wealth of RV manufac- turing talent. The western Pennsylvania location was chosen mainly for its close proximity to so much RV manufacturing experience. "Somerset was by far the best choice for us. The folks here have trailer manufacturing in their blood. We've taught each other so much, and that helps make our commitment to quality that much stronger," said Dylan DeHoff, Director of Operations for Liberty Outdoors. Since its inception, Liberty Outdoors has steadily improved its manufac- turing expertise, progressively improving its versatility, efficiency, and top of the line quality. But the climb has not been without it's challenges. "Honestly, we stumbled a bit at the beginning. We took our lumps in the first few months, but we learned quickly and that's what is so great about having an experienced manufacturing team. We learn from our mistakes and we don't make them again," says DeHoff. DeHoff says that initial manufacturing kinks have long ago been solved, and the Somerset plant is now humming along smoothly. With trailer orders from dealers booked for the majority of 2018, Liberty Outdoors finds itself perfectly placed to take over the small travel trailer market in 2019. "We're ready, and we're excited for the future," Dylan said. More than any other time in their history, Liberty and Little Guy are looking forward to recruiting new dealers at this year's Elkhart show. The 2018 Midwest RV Super Show takes place at the RV & Motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, August 9-12. And the Liberty team is excited to attend. "We really look forward to the dealer-focused shows," said Chris Baum, Director of West Coast Sales for Liberty Outdoors. "We get to let loose a little bit and actually talk shop. We encourage dealers who are looking to expand their product base and their audience to stop out and see us this year. We have a lot to show you," said Baum. According to the RVIA, the 55-74 age group is expected to rise 15% between 2015 and 2025, and similarly, the 30-45 age group is likely to grow 13% between 2015 and 2025. Liberty is preparing for this steady, accelerating growth for years to come. Millennial nomads, downsizing baby boomers, retirees, and tent campers are starting to take notice of the simplicity offered by the Max and Mini Max. Dealers are noticing, too. "Liberty Outdoors products bring us a whole new group of buyers that never before would have stepped onto an RV dealer's lot," said Brad Leach of Tom's Camperland in Mesa, Arizona. In addition to new customers, Liberty offers what it considers to be in- dustry-best support to its dealers. Sales support, marketing support, and warranty support are the hallmark of Liberty's strategy going forward. "We've been working very hard to make sure that dealers are well-edu- cated and have all of the support materials they need to feel confident in the sales process," said Baum. "If you know what you're selling, the rest is just connecting with the customer," Chris said. Chris also noted that dealers receive 24/7 support from Liberty's sales team. "I don't think there has ever been a time when we weren't avail- able. Nights, weekends, it doesn't matter. We're here to help our dealers, no matter what," said Baum. Traditional marketing materials such as flyers, banners, and feature point stickers are readily available and free of charge to all Liberty dealers. Training manuals, training videos, and support documents are available anytime on the company's website. These items are expected in the industry, but the innovative digital advertising arm of Liberty's marketing team is what has dealers talking. To sum it up, Liberty Outdoors uses what they call sophisticated loca- tion-based and interest-based social advertising to speak to exactly the right audience every time. "We don't waste a single penny of our advertising budget," said Nor- man Clark, marketing team leader for Liberty Outdoors. "We're able to use anonymous website and Facebook data from our visitors to build a lookalike audience. Which then makes it easy to advertise to people who share similar characteristics, whether it be hobbies, general age range, or a general location," said Clark. "And the dealers get this for free. The more active a dealer is on social media, the more useful it becomes." This, the company says, is the engine generates so many high-quality leads for all of their dealers. In the past 90 days (April-June 2018), the company says it has created 1.2 million ad impressions, and 244,000 people have taken action on those ads. The ads are often based around events at a specific dealer's location. Location is a big factor in their advertising, because Liberty Outdoors also facilitates a number of dealer open houses all year long. "We had this bold idea to do open houses, advertising our trailers by email and social media, to only the local audience for a particular dealer. Then, our reps travel out to the dealer to do educational training and to help sell the trailers that weekend. Customers and dealers have loved it so far, so we're going to keep doing it until they get sick of us," said Chris Baum. Liberty Outdoors and Little Guy Trailers are clearly on the upswing and seem to have positioned themselves nicely for a new wave of RV owners entering the marketplace. You can tell by talking to the employees at Liberty Outdoors that the future is bright. "We have a unique mix of old-school sales and new-school marketing, and we try to be mindful of when to lean on each of those strengths," said Joe Kicos. "Now is the perfect time to become a Liberty dealer. We're super excited for the future, and we want everyone to be a part of it." See Liberty Outdoors and Little Guy Trailers at the Midwest RV Super Show in Elkhart, Indiana, August 9-12, 2018. Learn More: 1-877-545-4897 or visit golittleguy.com Become a Dealer: golittleguy.com/dealerinfo Liberty Outdoors Reaches Untapped RV Markets With experienced manufacturing, the continued growth of travel trailer market, and a winning marketing strategy, the Ohio-based company is well positioned to bring its teardrop trailers to a growing audience. P A I D A D V E R T O R I A L

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