Nationally-Recognized RV and Marine Dealers Share what Sets Them Apart from Their Competitors

With websites, social media and internet reviews playing a larger role in what brings traffic into your business, dealers have to rely on more than just word of mouth to keep their customers engaged. In order to stay competitive, you need to offer something unique to your business that consumers can’t get from anywhere else in your area. You also need to take your unique branding and market it through the appropriate channels.

We’ve asked 3 nationally-recognized RV and Marine dealers about what they’ve done to set themselves apart from other competitors. Each have their own unique methods for making their dealership stand out and have taken the right measures to highlight that success.

industry recognitionWork to Acquire Industry Recognition

As a business owner, there are few things more rewarding than being respected by your industry peers. Each year the RV and Marine industries come out with several lists of rankings showcasing the most elite dealerships in North America. These rankings are based on several different criteria. Although it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to even be considered, those who make these lists have the ability to advertise recognition that automatically sets their business apart. This social proof can easily drive traffic into your business.

Garth Bromley and his staff at Transcona Trailers and Rond’s Marine, in Winnepeg, MB, have put significant time and effort into achieving some of these top rankings and they believe it’s one of the biggest contributing factors to each dealership’s success.

“With our marine store, we spent a lot of time to acquire a 5-star rating and we’re the only dealership in our province to have that rating,” said Garth. “To obtain that kind of rating, you have to let them evaluate your dealership, your employee processes, and your CSI. The process has provided us with a lot of good information and it’s made us spend more time on the information so we can see how we rate versus the competition.  It also gives us something to promote that no other dealership in our province can.”


“On the RV side of the business, we were the recipient of the 2012 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award which was presented by the RVDA of Canada,” added Garth. “It’s based on your level of commitment and community involvement.  It’s something that we’re able to promote a lot to our customers to give them comfort.”  


industry expertsProve you are the Experts in Your Industry

It can be easy to assume that if you own a dealership, you are automatically the expert in your field. But what are you doing to actually prove it to your customers?

Being an expert is something that Kyle Redmond and his team at Bucars RV Centre, a Top 50 Dealership based in Calgary, AB, have placed emphasis on promoting to its customer base. The dealership has developed a Bucars U, which is a series of free, in-house classes offered year round on various RV topics.


“Bucars U goes with our philosophy that we’re the ones who have the information customers are looking for,” said Kyle. “In our experience, we haven’t found a lot of good resources out there for RV consumers in regards to things like towing specifics, how to pull your car behind your motorhome, how to get satellite TV, etc. Though our partners and expert staff, we’ve been able to put on a wide array of classes to our customers for free.”

“We know that salesmen don’t always have the answers customers are looking for, so we felt like we needed to get this information out to the consumer,” added Kyle. “We also offer classes on topics such as RV basics for women, maintenance, winterization, etc. The classes also help get our name in the marketplace. We rely on our website and social media, as well as our newsletter and magazine to get the word out.”


These classes have proven to be extremely successful in drawing customers in to Bucars and providing opportunities to gain business.

“We have a specific room at our dealership that we use for Bucars U,” said Kyle.  “It holds about 110 people and we generally fill the seats. We do an RV 101 that is an introduction to the RV lifestyle and that is usually our highest attended class. When you draw those kind of numbers into your dealership, it does wonders in helping promote the business.”


Customer GuaranteeOffer a Unique Customer Guarantee

A bold way to stand out in front of your competitors, especially in a competitive marketplace, is to offer a customer guarantee that no one else in your area offers.

Kyle Kelly and his team at Kelly’s Port Marine, a Top 100 marine dealership located in the heart of the Lake of the Ozarks, work in an extremely competitive market. With several dealerships located in the surrounding area, the only way to consistently stay ahead of the game is to give customers a guarantee that they are choosing the right dealership for their marine needs.

“The joys of being at the lake is that we have great competition,” said Kyle. “We very much encourage it and we’re also pushed by our competition to strive, innovate, do better, and grow. Our primary focus is our commitment to service. In an effort to separate ourselves, we decided to qualitatively define what great service is to us. The main thing we do to set ourselves apart from the competition is guarantee same-day service. We’re the only marine dealership in the nation to offer this.” 

“If you purchase a new or certified, pre-owned boat from Kelly’s Port and your boat breaks down, we will send out a mobile service unit and have a certified tech in your boat working on it, anywhere in the Lake of the Ozarks, by the end of the day’s business,” said Kyle.


Kelly’s Port believes so heavily in same-day service that they keep business open during all peak times and offer an even bigger incentive with an additional $500 guarantee.

“We are open throughout the weekend and holidays, so you can call us any day if your boat isn’t running,” added Kyle. “Whether you’re at the 20 mile marker or 90 mile marker of the lake, we will be on your boat by the end of the day’s business.  If we don’t make it, we’ll send our tech out the next day with a $500 check.  That’s our commitment to our customers. They obviously make an investment with us, so we feel it’s important to back it up with our name as well.” 

These are just a few things that dealers are doing to give them the edge over the competition. By evaluating what makes your dealership unique and leveraging it to your customer base, you will discover your dealership’s true identity which will breed success and keep customers coming back. . 

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