New Research on Brand and Dealer Relationship Trends

Jim Huebner
30 November, 2021

I woke up this morning like a kid on Christmas.

And not because of Cyber Week sales or leftover stuffing. (And I do really love leftover stuffing.)

I’m excited because I’m finally able to share something we’ve been working on for a very long time . . . at least in 2021 terms.

Today we released the results of our research on Brand and Dealer Relationship Trends, and the data is really revealing!

Survey Says


From February to September of this year, we worked with the team at Ascend2 to survey 279 retailers of big-ticket outdoor products in the U.S. These retailers, who carry RVs, boats, ATVs, and everything in between, are on the literal front lines of the industry. Their input is invaluable to our clients, the manufacturers who sell through these sales channels. 

After months of refining the questions and waiting on responses, I couldn’t wait to see if the research matched up with my gut feeling on what these dealers need and want from the OEMs.

I was not disappointed. Some of the most interesting findings to me include:

  • 75% of dealers agree the brand story is very or extremely important to the end customer when making a big-ticket outdoor purchase,
  • 72% of dealers say sales enablement and marketing tools from the manufacturer are very or extremely important,
  • 38% of dealers expect market fluctuations to present a major challenge in the coming year,
  • yet 41% of dealers say they plan to increase the number of brands they carry next year.

Request the full report.


What does it mean?


This all adds up to an exciting opportunity for manufacturers to capitalize on these insights and the growing demand for big-ticket outdoor items. Here, dealers are telling us exactly what their challenges are right now and in the coming year: they’re equally worried about speed of delivery, product quality, customer service, and brand reputation.

These answers confirm that beyond just looking for the best price, these dealers are truly looking for a hero. Manufacturers have the opportunity to be that hero by answering those challenges head-on and delighting their dealers with easy-to-implement sales enablement tools and a clear brand story to tell their end customers.

We’ll be unpacking the insights from this research in the months to come. I hope you’ll download the full report and get excited about the opportunity with me.