e12 kent wilson

12: How did COO Kent Wilson help RV SnapPads sell over 500,000 units across North America?

Kent Wilson is the COO of RV SnapPads, a fast growing company that started in their family garage and grew to over 500,000 units sold across North America. I was blown away by their story.

This episode of the First Customers podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms including YouTube.

They’ve built a great business with a bright future. I was inspired by how they prioritize customer service and listen to their customers’ feedback. As always, I learned a lot during this episode. I’ve already started rethinking my own ecommerce work based on this episode. Come get this free wisdom.

Mentions

Topics Covered:

  • How RV SnapPads stared
  • Community Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Customer Feedback
  • Supply Chain Issues
  • Shipping Issues
  • Finance Issues
  • SWOT Analysis of their business
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Chat Automation
  • Ecommerce
  • and more!

Show Notes Raw Transcript

paris_vega:
Welcome to the first customers podcast today, we’ve got Kent Wilson with R V Snap pad. He’s the co. O. This company started out in a garage, boot strapped all the way, grew to sell over five hundred thousand units across North America. Kent, welcome to the show.

kent_wilson:
Thanks so much. Glad to be here.

paris_vega:
Tell us a little bit about your family’s background. You told me beforehand, this is a family business, so talk a little bit about where your family where you grew up. where your family started.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, it’s it’s actually funny story. So my brother and my dad were the founders and launched this product on the oldest son, the middle. and then we have the youngest son is also involved, But the story actually starts. We’re up here in Calgary, Alberta, So western Canada. The

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
story starts actually in the early nineties Like thirty years ago, My dad back then worked with a partner who came up with an R V accessory for the the industry back then, and it was long, befor Or direct, a consumer or the Internet or anything like that, so they had to you know, fund it, get it made and then launched into distribution, because that was really the only way to sell a physical product like that into retailers and dealer ships. So they did that the launch was a success. It’s still a product in the R V industry Today. A lot of people use it, but they were diluted out of their own company at the time

paris_vega:
Oh

kent_wilson:
because they, as they were raising money, The lawyer they were working with to make that happen was also working with one of their larger

paris_vega:
Man,

kent_wilson:
investors. Yeah, so

paris_vega:
Shady.

kent_wilson:
kind of. Yeah. So the family kind of struggled after that, but got back on our feet over time.

paris_vega:
So how exactly did they lose? Like what did? what happened there? If you can speak about it a little bit to where they actually lost the company.

kent_wilson:
So there was kind of double dealing by the lawyer on the two sides, right, So they trusted him a little bit too much. I would say they were relatively naive. They’re out

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
there just trying to. my dad’s, actually from Suscatch, One from a little farmer down. He is very much like your handshaking. Your word is your bond, so they were operating on a different level than you should be. in terms of naive day when you’re raising

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
money and dealing with investors, so they Found out kind of over time once the the product got traction that they were no longer actually owners, share old major shareholders in their company, so the major investor started doing things, and eventually he fired them both out of their own company. So or they left one of the one of the two, because I don’t think you’d want to stay in that situation right. so,

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
um so years down the road, all of his, We have you know two. There’s three sons. We’re all sort of grown up. I was in digital marketing at the time, the middle brother had gone to business school, and the youngest brother was in so and website building, So he came to us and said, I kind of want to get this or being thing another go. I still kind of know people in the industry and I have a new idea, so the idea I came up with was permanent jack pads, which doesn’t mean anything unless you’re in our ver, but up until this product idea of jack pads and things you carry around isn’t Vere, and put under the leveling systems and stabilizers that they have because our vis need to be level because you have kitchens in them, and you put your trip down and you know it, sliding, and things like that. So

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
they have these modern hydraulic and electric leveling systems on them, with big middle feet and the metal feet can sink into ground. It can damage concrete or ashfault, so people for a long time and still do work, Carrying mats and blocks and other things to put under these things. And we just made up a product that snaps on snap bad,

paris_vega:
M,

kent_wilson:
and it’s kind of like a shoe for these metal feet to come out. eliminated a lot of castles. so he said, Let’s try to take this to market. So that was

paris_vega:
M.

kent_wilson:
the start of the company.

paris_vega:
And what was the product before in the first R V related company?

kent_wilson:
It was called Links levelers, There, these orange blocks that look like big Lego blocks and people

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
would drive up on them And there’s still pretty much a stable in the industry. You’ll see them everywhere if you go arveing. So still

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
a thing which is both nice and galling, but

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
it is what it is. right.

paris_vega:
that’s amazing

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
that they were able to come up with two winning products.

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Do they compete with each other? The product? As far as the functionality of what they do, it’s sounds slightly different.

kent_wilson:
A little bit. They’re in the same sort of leveling accessory

paris_vega:
Hm.

kent_wilson:
segment of the market. The permanent jack pads is kind of a brand new market segment. Nobody has done that before, So it’s it’s kind of like comparing a flip phone to a smart phone like

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
they’re kind of in the same segment. but one is kind of that

paris_vega:
Cha.

kent_wilson:
quantum leap forward right, so in some ways they compete. In some ways they don’t at all.

paris_vega:
Got you all right.

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Well, talk about some of the tactics when you guys were launching the new. like shoes, The snap on version, the snap pads themselves.

kent_wilson:
M, hm.

paris_vega:
Talk about some of that. How did you guys get those first customers?

kent_wilson:
Yeah, So that was the fun part. We met a manufacture in the U. S. who was willing to sort of take a chance on this completely unproven product. So it was a rubber manufacture. That’s what. they’re made out of recycle tires. So we got that in place. We got the prototypes done. We tested them with a third party just to make sure they would fall off while people are driving, Because that’s a. That’s a lot. so and a half

paris_vega:
Okay?

kent_wilson:
right.

paris_vega:
So you said they’re permanent, so they literally just stay on those feet always. And you said it’s made of like pure rubber.

kent_wilson:
It’s made of a mix of recycle rubber crumbs, so they take

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
tires, break them down into like almost a powder, and then we put them back under pressure with eurthin binder, so they

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
take the form that they have, and then there literally just snap on with. They have a cavity and a lip that just goes over the

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
the foot.

paris_vega:
so

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
is it

kent_wilson:
so

paris_vega:
considered

kent_wilson:
we found

paris_vega:
like

kent_wilson:
someone.

paris_vega:
a? like a green product in a way like it’s recite made for some cycled materials and stuff.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, absolutely. so we’ve kept

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
a couple of hundred thousand pounds of tires, sort of out of land, fills in the Us.

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
because of this product. So yeah,

paris_vega:
beautiful,

kent_wilson:
nice little brand Halo that came along with what

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
we’re doing right. So yeah, so we got that in place. We got a name. We sort of registered the company. My brother and my dad were sort of working full time on this for about six months before we, we launched the com. And officially, my brother had bought a house with some friends and then sold the house, so he’s literally living off those proceeds. Um, just to get by. So what we did was, as I mentioned earlier, My dad still had a few contacts in the Harvey sort of space, and we started going to Um. ownership, sort of groups and message boards and communities online and just sharing the idea of the product To say, Do you think he would use this? Does this sound good to you? Would you try it? So it was very much grass root space. Because we were, as you said, you know, completely boot strapped. There was no V C funding here. we didn’t. We weren’t sitting on a couple million dollars that we could put into market for marketing, so it was literally just we made a one page just one page website. We had a free shopofybutton for the by button. We’ve done one sort of photo shoot with the prototypes of the products. We found sort of a hard V deal Ship in town that was willing. Let us do that, and you know the page we had one product, sort of foot size was put into three different skew packages and said, All right, let’s put this out there, and the day we launched we got our first for sale

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
Guy came up, put it in his cart, abandoned his cart. He mailed him immediately and said, Why did you abandon your car? He said, You have a shipping charge which the ship in charge of he bought

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
first day yet.

paris_vega:
That’s awesome. So you guys were there

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Like turned the side on and then everybody’s huddled around the computer watching the Google anmalytics or something to see if there’s any visitors? And like, how do you know it was an abandoned

kent_wilson:
Well,

paris_vega:
car?

kent_wilson:
I was at. I was at work because I was still working for a marketing agency at the time. So my

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
brother had, he was everything at that point, So he was the customer service and he was

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
the guy because he was working full time, So he got the notification of the band cart, Um,

paris_vega:
And we

kent_wilson:
and he

paris_vega:
using

kent_wilson:
mailed

paris_vega:
you said you were using Shopifi, So you had a Shopifi store.

kent_wilson:
Just a button.

paris_vega:
Just the button.

kent_wilson:
They had a by button which you could use at the time, but

paris_vega:
Does

kent_wilson:
we

paris_vega:
that

kent_wilson:
did

paris_vega:
still

kent_wilson:
get

paris_vega:
give

kent_wilson:
notifications.

paris_vega:
you Okay? You still get notifications. Does it give you a dash board with that where you can log in and see any analytic? or does it? How does that work?

kent_wilson:
I don’t even remember because it

paris_vega:
Okay?

kent_wilson:
was back in two thousand Fifteen

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
Lake, two thousand fifteen, right, So in September,

paris_vega:
yeah,

kent_wilson:
so it’s even the shoulder season So we’re surprised we sold anything because our being

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
is very seasonal right. But Um, and we asked the guy after he bought. Where did you hear about this Because it was very surprising even though,

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
even though we’ve done some sort of grass roots stuff and he said, I don’t remember,

paris_vega:
He was just on the site.

kent_wilson:
So

paris_vega:
Somehow we running any adds or anything,

kent_wilson:
No, we had no money right. So

paris_vega:
So you just literally

kent_wilson:
it had gotten

paris_vega:
made

kent_wilson:
into.

paris_vega:
the site live.

kent_wilson:
We made the site live and we were. we were active on now. I think there’s a major message board Irv One, which is sort of a big gathering place for our V community S online. so I’m guessing, and we were now putting this in front of some uh, ownership groups, which is a thing in R. Ving, where people who own a sort of a similar brand of our V, get together as

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
a community,

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
So at some point it had found its way to through one of these sort of grass roots channels to this person and the society. I’ll give this a shot. Um, and that’s how it’s sort of initially kind of spread early on, so people posting in forms like Hey, about this new thing. It’s totally different than regular jack pads. And you know, here’s the site I

paris_vega:
So

kent_wilson:
think we got about. Yeah, go ahead,

paris_vega:
No, I was going to say so that was literally the first one in the market. The one that you guys made

kent_wilson:
Hm.

paris_vega:
There wasn’t anything like it yet.

kent_wilson:
Completely new product category.

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
So when we launched we had some positive sort of feed back from these sort of ownership groups and communities. But you never know right. You could say you put it out there and people going to end of right. So

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
we were pretty heartened. I think we made ten thousand dollars in revenue in our first three months, which is not a big number. But when you’re doing product

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
market fit in the early stages, it’s It’s very encouraging.

paris_vega:
That’s so crazy because that’s one of those products that’s like. Once it’s there, you’re like Well, Well, yeah, you don’t want to put metal feet down and tearing everything up all the time. Of course, put

kent_wilson:
Right.

paris_vega:
a layer of

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
some kind of cushion there. That’s

kent_wilson:
yeah,

paris_vega:
incredible. That because I mean or have been around. Well don’t know how that how long those specific hydraulic lift parts of it is that been around? I mean for fifty years, Or how long has that part been around? that type of R. V?

kent_wilson:
It’s mostly a modern thing, so probably twenty five years. if you

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
go back that

paris_vega:
but still

kent_wilson:
as our vis have gotten bigger, they’ve had to get more

paris_vega:
Got

kent_wilson:
sophisticated

paris_vega:
ya.

kent_wilson:
leveling systems on them.

paris_vega:
Okay. That’s incredible. So you had the first mover advantage

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
and did you continue the community kind of yourselves. Like going into the forms and that kind of thing, and like talk a little bit about how your marketing approach evolved.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, very near to the ground. So the first paid acquisition channel used was Facebook, and it was just like five months a day at most,

paris_vega:
Hm,

kent_wilson:
But one of the big benefits of Facebook. Aside from all the other things that comes with you know, algorithm and lots of users was, people commented on the adds. So if you

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
put it out there and people would say, I don’t understand what this is for. they say, I wish it did this. So our first actually major product update came, I think June of two thousand Six, And so not long after, Because the first feedback we were getting aside from we really like this, is we need drainage channels in it, so the way it would lock on to the foot. it would just sort of have this area on top of it where water would gather and people said, You know, like an easier way to do this. So we the first time we did it when I think we took a saw and just put some notches in the side of it and snapped it on to make sure it would work. And then we had that built Out in the actual tool, and it doubled our sales in that month

paris_vega:
So just putting some drainage holes in it,

kent_wilson:
Right,

paris_vega:
Huh?

kent_wilson:
But yeah, we got a membership to R v to, and then eventually as a brand we started advertising with them monthly, which got us a bunch of stuff like banner ads and stuff, but the big thing was we got to post in the message board as the brand so people could say what about this or how do I do that? And you know it was nice to have just complete access to right to your target market.

paris_vega:
Right? that’s that’s

kent_wilson:
Hm.

paris_vega:
golden, and then you’re You’re being responsive. changing the products coming out with new products based on their feedback.

kent_wilson:
Right?

paris_vega:
It’s just perfect.

kent_wilson:
What? we? Well, The other thing we also did in the early going was influence marketing and seeding, So I come from,

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
As I mentioned, a digital marketing background

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
and I was with a major agency here in Calgary, and I was actually their social media, um, strategist, right, So I’ve done some of this sort of work previously, so I knew that we could go out there, see the product get reviews, M and g, C on people’s channels and we didn’t. We didn’t go after the Cardashian level Channels right, even though there actually

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
isn’t any of those in our being, But there are big couple hundred thousand you tube people with you

paris_vega:
Sure,

kent_wilson:
that many subscribers. But we went after a people that had ten thousand right,

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
but that instantly was a huge shot in the arm Because you get that it’s way more credible when it’s somebody living life, Um, trying it out in front of people, and then you

paris_vega:
Right.

kent_wilson:
can leverage that content yourself, But you know we’ve had influencers that have sold. You know, tens of thousands of It’s worth a product in a couple months period, and they don’t have the hundreds of thought, like I said, ten thousand twenty thousand people in their audience. And and they’re selling, you know, selling out for us

paris_vega:
Wow, because I guess if they don’t have anything like it since you guys were the first ones to come to market with it and they use it, I mean, it’s

kent_wilson:
Right.

paris_vega:
definitely solving a problem. They personally really do have. It’s not like some you know low effort product prom where you can tell that they’re not really in promoting something. It seems like they would be genuinely excited that you’ve solved this problem and you’re not. They’re not tearing stuff up or tearing up the R, because it seems like it would help the r V have a little longer life if the raw metal isn’t getting all tore up. you know, interacting Actually with the ground, so it’s like you’ve got all this

kent_wilson:
Exactly

paris_vega:
built in value. Um,

kent_wilson:
Well, The other thing we get was because we launch near the top of the market. It wasn’t with the sort of twenty thousand dollar visus with hundred thousand dollar plus

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
the bigger ones, so that’s a lot of retired people, baby boomers, and setting up no regular jack pads when you set up and tear down, actually is can be a hustle, especially with the bigger sort of class

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
as you got to crawl underneath them and you’re doing that with a bad back or bad hip or shoulder. and

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
it it solves signific Paying points, especially for that sort of segment of the market.

paris_vega:
Okay, So is there? Um, You talked about how you start at the top of the market. Does that mean you have like higher priced high end products that you started with, like the fear or whatever version of your product, And then you’ve worked your way back down

kent_wilson:
M.

paris_vega:
through the different types of R. Vs.

kent_wilson:
Well, the first one we found the first size we launched. It was relatively ubiquitous in the market, so it’s one of the there’s different leveling system manufacturers. There’s different sizes and shapes of feet, so we picked one that was at least common enough that you know we get a signal in the product market fit. and

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
what happened after that is as we got into market, we started making waiting lists because people would get back to S. because we actually didn’t know how vast The number of configurations and feet sizes there were Ye. so people would start contact. It’s going. I want this for my r. V. but I have size x feet, and I have leveling system X. So once we got to a certain sort of threshold with a waiting list would go okay, Let’s make this product. So it just kind of it was more organic than us going. Let’s do this.

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
So it went from the fifth wheels, which are big toiabels to the class as and now it’s kind of come back down to travel trailers, Just smaller ones that are down in the ten to thirty thousand dollar range, rather than the three hundred to five hundred thousand or

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
one. So it’s

paris_vega:
Have you guys covered the market now, as far as all possible feet shapes. and what? not?

kent_wilson:
We’re getting close. There’s there are some that were made and then discontinued over time, so it doesn’t make sense to you. Now make a product for those, the last sort of hurdle for us, or what called, are called cisserjacks. So there, these sort of

paris_vega:
Hm.

kent_wilson:
just sort of stabilizers that sit underneath a lot of travel trailers and they have bow tie feet under them, but they always. they all range sort of shape and stuff, so we can’t make a standard thing for those what we One as we come up with a custom metal foot with a pre installed snap at arum and you can buy this sort of adapter kit and take off the existing foot on the scissor jack and put on our new foot and pad, so that will be going to market. probably in two to four weeks.

paris_vega:
So that seems

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
like it’s a totally different like manufacturing assembly process and everything. If you were just doing the rubber things that kind of you know, snapped on, snapped around it.

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
and now you’re doing a whole replacement part. I mean, that seems like a totally different like product line. And was that a big build

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
out for you guys, like on the back end manufacturing and all that

kent_wilson:
It’s been over two years of

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
trying to figure out how to do it properly. Luckily we found a rubber manufacture and uhrecycled entire manufacture as well, so they make the entire crum. They do a lot of our products right now in terms of the compression moulding, but they also have an engineering firm that does Um metal work, So they have a great big. It’s laser etched and they’ve priced it out for us, and then we had to locate Powder code. Now we’re locating the hardware because we have to send the bolts and the nuts with it so you can swap out the feet, so yeah, it’s been a long sort of process, but we’re hoping to mostly consolidate it with this one sort of firm that can do at least three of these steps for us, and now they’re probably going to start doing the kidding and assembly for us as well. so, but it has been a long, sort of search and development, psycho. For sure,

paris_vega:
But I guess you guys saw how many people had the specific type of support system And it was like Okay, If we can corner this piece, then that’s ex amount of potential revenue there. So it’s worth it.

kent_wilson:
It’s over fifty percent of the market.

paris_vega:
Who?

kent_wilson:
Um,

paris_vega:
Okay? There you go.

kent_wilson:
yea, so yea

paris_vega:
A double. Your business

kent_wilson:
if it works, it will be big exactly.

paris_vega:
Is is so

kent_wilson:
M.

paris_vega:
clean, man, it’s refreshing.

kent_wilson:
Uh,

paris_vega:
It’s just

kent_wilson:
uh,

paris_vega:
like you know, because you had all the digital skills you and your brothers. and then it’s just like a clean physical clear to understand product and you’re just emerging

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
the two worlds of like a physical product and manufacturing and all that, And then just you know, amplify that with the Internet Plus amazing, like customer service tactics that you guys. I mean, you did it So efficiently. It sounds like just literally

kent_wilson:
It

paris_vega:
taking

kent_wilson:
sounds

paris_vega:
advantage of every customer.

kent_wilson:
sounds like that, but there’s

paris_vega:
Maybe looking

kent_wilson:
been a

paris_vega:
back,

kent_wilson:
lot

paris_vega:
it

kent_wilson:
of

paris_vega:
sounds

kent_wilson:
stuff

paris_vega:
like

kent_wilson:
in in between, right, so yeah, we started

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
direct the consumer with the website and then we got the website little better than the one pager, as we added Excuse

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
by about two thousand nineteen. At the end of two thousand nineteen were one channel. So we’re selling the major market places were selling on Amazon for selling to distributors and dealers, and then the pandemic at twenty twenty with Major, You know, we had Ajor headway and all were sort of all speed full speed ahead. right. so

paris_vega:
Hm.

kent_wilson:
Um, the pandemic capped our manufacture as the guy we sort of launched with initially

paris_vega:
Manufacture. Yeah,

kent_wilson:
and then it spiked our demand at the same time because our

paris_vega:
I was

kent_wilson:
vein

paris_vega:
about

kent_wilson:
became.

paris_vega:
to say it seems

kent_wilson:
I think.

paris_vega:
like yeah. Yeah,

kent_wilson:
Yeah, so we got all this demand. We had to turn off marketing. We had to turn off direct to consumer and we were forty thousand units back ordered by the end of that year.

paris_vega:
Whoa,

kent_wilson:
Yeah, and it took Two years to dig ourselves out of that hole That manufacturer went went bust.

paris_vega:
Man,

kent_wilson:
He was done by twenty twenty one, So we had to remotely find other manufacturers in the U. S. who would do this work Because it’s a. It’s a product. Others haven’t seen there a lot. we got to a lot of people only said I don’t know what this is. So

paris_vega:
Really,

kent_wilson:
so yeah, but we, we managed it. we had to find, so our manufacture before was also doing The shipping for us, so we had to find three p. Ls. remotely we couldn’t travel. were stuck up here in Canada most of the time, so it was.

paris_vega:
And so

kent_wilson:
I

paris_vega:
the

kent_wilson:
mean

paris_vega:
trucker

kent_wilson:
too much demand.

paris_vega:
strike

kent_wilson:
It is a nice problem to have,

paris_vega:
didn’t help.

kent_wilson:
but

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
no, no, nothing helped during the. anything that happened

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
was kind of a nightmare, but we managed to make it work. but there were definitely times in twenty twenty where we thought you know cratered our cash because directed consumer was our, Mostly because, and then B. T. B. we’re getting major wholesale pos, but we couldn’t fulfill them fast enough. so uh, yeah,

paris_vega:
Couldn’t make him

kent_wilson:
very.

paris_vega:
or ship.

kent_wilson:
No, We couldn’t make him like our manufacturer, limped along for a while, but he was doing at best a quarter of what we needed and he couldn’t tell us at any one time how much he could make, because he would have workers just not show up, because either they didn’t want to work or they were sick. So

paris_vega:
Did they get shut? Actually shut down? like forced to be shut down at some point

kent_wilson:
At the star at the end of march, I think of twenty twenty, they were shut down. Eventually,

paris_vega:
When everything

kent_wilson:
they kind

paris_vega:
did. I

kent_wilson:
of

paris_vega:
guess

kent_wilson:
got up right, So it was one of our lowest months in years when that came around, and there was a lot of like we don’t really know what’s happening in society right now, let alone our business. So

paris_vega:
Right.

kent_wilson:
we sent everyone home. Everyone worked from home, even though we couldn’t really do much. aside from tell customers and and whole wholesale clients that we don’t know when we are Ping you something. So it was like that for for a couple of months. Actually,

paris_vega:
Wow, did you get tempted to start melting some rubber in the basement, pourin and mold yourself?

kent_wilson:
Well, well, the irony was we had found another because we, the manufacturer was already starting to buckle under the level of our demand. so we were looking previous to that, we found someone up here in Alberta, in Canada. who is who looked like he was going to be able to scale really quickly for us, And then they shut down in April, and didn’t start back up for months, so we were literally three weeks away from launching with them. Yeah, so,

paris_vega:
Do you feel like? I mean you have such a good perspective on the supply chain? I feel like Because of these,

kent_wilson:
Um,

paris_vega:
I mean, you are

kent_wilson:
yes,

paris_vega:
touching all the parts of it there. Do you feel like like? From your perspective, it’s recovering, recovered on the way to recovering.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, so I mean, it was a fully robust supply team for the first time for us Last year. We got it kind of all going.

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
Everyone was making good quality product. So that was another thing that we struggled with with new manufacturers. Was they kind of struggled because we had to get them started and then make as much of this as you can, because we are forty thousand units backward right now, so it’s once you’re on boarding and scaling up manufacture, you can hit a lot of quality Insurance and quality control problems when you’re stepping on their neck, saying, get as many as done as you can, So we had a lot of stop and start with. I think it was three new manufactures in that first sort of year and a half because they would send us off and we go. No, no stop making these right now. this is. We literally had to go down to our three p l in October of twenty twenty one, and hand pick through tens of thousands of pads. Because we found out one of our manufacturers sending stuff That was nowhere near our quality standards, so a bunch of us went down, spent a week ten hour days picking through boxes and going. No, yeh, yeh, throwing

paris_vega:
So was

kent_wilson:
a

paris_vega:
it?

kent_wilson:
bunch of it out.

paris_vega:
was it like cosmetic stuff, or was it like defects that could

kent_wilson:
No,

paris_vega:
cause issues or

kent_wilson:
it was both. So we had to.

paris_vega:
okay?

kent_wilson:
Some of it was because it’s it’s something snapping on to a major, you know, piece of automotive equipment, and hurtling down the highway at eighty miles an hour. it cannot be

paris_vega:
Right,

kent_wilson:
bad, right, but also when you’re selling these stuff like our, R V is about a fifty dollars, us us d right per pack, so this is

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
not a cheap product, so it can’t show up with flashing on it and looking like crap either. So yeah, so But now we have it fully, I mean, our issue last year was the cost of the supply chain. It wasn’t that it was making product, it was that materials went up, freight went up, shipping went

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
up.

paris_vega:
that’s right. That was

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
last year.

kent_wilson:
twenty twenty two, so everything

paris_vega:
Big

kent_wilson:
got

paris_vega:
inflation

kent_wilson:
more expensive.

paris_vega:
here.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, so we could. we were, you know, getting everything out as quick as we could, and you know, two day shipping for direct the consumers, and two to four weeks at most for wholesale pos. but Um, it cost us a lot, so now we’re now this year we’re consolidating the supply chain to eliminate. you know, extra shipping, extra frate, all that sort of nice stuff right,

paris_vega:
So how do you consolidate? Are you like vertically integrating and like taking over parts of your own supply chain? Or what does hat look like?

kent_wilson:
Long term, we want

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
to vertically integrate right now. I think that manufacture discussed. They have the most scaleability Like there, their big company. They make our product the best out of the manufacture. S. we’ve tested like they have the fewest Q. C issues, and then they’re backed by that engineering firm, so they, they’ve already started automating pieces of the of the process where the other firms were kind of just throwing staff at it when they had to scale, like Just get more people doing more stuff, Whereas these guys

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
are kind of the next level, so we think we’re going to consolidate with them at least in the short medium term,

paris_vega:
Okay, so consolidated by just less manufacturers. Now that you’ve tested several

kent_wilson:
Right.

paris_vega:
Interesting. All right,

kent_wilson:
M.

paris_vega:
My family was trying to bust in the room here.

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay, this is really cool. man. Um, this is like the the classic business dreamer type story where like I have an idea in a dream and then it

kent_wilson:
It works.

paris_vega:
just yeah, just works and grows and you making products. You know, fuel in the manufacturing industry, creating jobs, solving problems

kent_wilson:
Yep,

paris_vega:
for people. Really cool. What?

kent_wilson:
Thanks so

paris_vega:
what

kent_wilson:
much.

paris_vega:
do you? Yeah, What do you think has been the most effective tactic That you’ve been up and running for several years, Moved five hundred thousand units. What causes

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
like the biggest spikes?

kent_wilson:
I mean we’ve we’ve scaled with with Facebook as well as best we can. Obviously that macro environment has changed over time. kind

paris_vega:
Sure,

kent_wilson:
of grew up in the gold Magor Fathfacebook and now it’s

paris_vega:
Yep,

kent_wilson:
much tougher Post is sportin, but that’s still one of our primary acquisition channels. The influence or stuff continues to be really beneficial for us. Sometimes we catch that influence, our partner, who you know that does initial review and the The contents Great, The audience is a great fit. They start making sales for us immediately, so we’re scaling that out as best we can in a in a niche like our vieing. Obviously it’s not food or fashion, so there’s not just endless influences. We have to sort of hunt around and find a good fits. But yeah, I think we had one influence. Are had a couple hundred thousand subscribers on their channel while we were still struggling with making product, but the they shared a video where there’s Just sort of a day in the life, and one of the things they did was installed, Snap as, and they sold three hundred three hundred shews boxes for us in two days. They.

paris_vega:
Wow.

kent_wilson:
they clean this out so that you know Facebook and stuff like you can scale it like this. The influence or stuff, much more like this, But when you hit it’s fantastic

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
and then you can leverage over time with white labeling adds, or just an ondooring relationship with them. And we take that u, g C and make it into the paid. Adds all the Tim.

paris_vega:
So when you say white labeling ad, you mean Uh, like giving an ad to an influencer and they run it just as content. Or what does that mean? White labeling Ds with an influencer

kent_wilson:
Yeah, what you can do with that sort of content as they posted to their channel Kind of natively. this is

paris_vega:
Right?

kent_wilson:
for Instagram and Facebook, And then you can go in and promote the add the way you would targeting, and whatever else you want to do. but it’s promoted through their channel, not your brand channel.

paris_vega:
Nice,

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
so it looks like it’s coming from them. Right and it is? I mean, it’s their

paris_vega:
Right.

kent_wilson:
content, but when it’s

paris_vega:
And they love

kent_wilson:
it’s

paris_vega:
the views

kent_wilson:
fed through

paris_vega:
that they’re

kent_wilson:
a sponsor.

paris_vega:
getting. They’re getting a lot of extra exposure themselves.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, I mean, we’ve had adds that can have over a million impressions, you know in a month or two, right, so it’s good for them too.

paris_vega:
Okay, so the influence adds have been the biggest spike.

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
it’s it’s a. We’re building that out, and now we’re getting into affiliate sort of sales. so we’re using a platform called Social Snowball. Anyone who buys through

paris_vega:
All

kent_wilson:
our

paris_vega:
right,

kent_wilson:
store can sort of be on boarded as an affiliate, really painlessly. And we’ve had people you know call us in the past because we have an M p. s between eighty five and ninety every year, So it’s it’s a product and brand that

paris_vega:
Let’s net promoter

kent_wilson:
resonates

paris_vega:
score n p.

kent_wilson:
correct,

paris_vega:
S.

kent_wilson:
you know

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
ye,

paris_vega:
Cool.

kent_wilson:
and then we’ve had people like I sell your product to my Friends and family, and people are vie with all the time, so now we’ve got to got this process in place where they can sign up, and you know, get rewarded for that, so E’re really excited about what that will look like, especially in the middle of the season when everyone’s are being in June, July,

paris_vega:
So you’re the first person to mention Net promoter score on the podcast. Could you explain

kent_wilson:
Oh yeah,

paris_vega:
what that is and how you guys utilize that?

kent_wilson:
Yeah, it’s It’s pretty simple. It’s just it really is just a score of how likely someone a user or a customer is going to share your product or service with their friends and family, So you get a score out of one out of ten when you survey people, and if they’re I believe, eight, nine or ten, they’re considered and the promoter and anything, by think, seven to five or six is considered neutral, and anything below that is A detractor right. So it’s a simple calculation of your net promoters versus your detractors and then you get something out of a hundred right? So if you’re zero, you’re kind of neutral,

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
and if you’re a hundred, every single person you sell to would promote your stuff to friends and family, And if you’re minus a hundred, then everyone hates your product In surface. you should go

paris_vega:
Got

kent_wilson:
to business,

paris_vega:
ya,

kent_wilson:
so Yeah, we know that we’re always shooting for that eight plus m. P. S.

paris_vega:
It Plus, and that’s where you usually stay.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, I think our lowest in the last five years has been eighty four, and most recent was about eighty eight. So kind of in that now

paris_vega:
I mean, it seems like if you own an R V, and you just become aware of your product, you said. it’s about hundred and fifty bucks. on average. the average order value.

kent_wilson:
It can be three hundred and twenty

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
and it can be a hundred and ten just to the size

paris_vega:
But

kent_wilson:
of the package.

paris_vega:
considering

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
the cost of an r V that you’ve invested and you own like,

kent_wilson:
Right,

paris_vega:
it just seems like seeing that your product exists would be like. Well, Yeah, let me get a boot for the thing. It

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
just seems like such a default. Of course, buy. Interesting.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, actually, in our last, our last. so we do a user annual user survey as well as on sight surveys, but the annual ones, The one we use for the M, P, S, and one of the questions, aside from the net promoter stuff is Do you think R V. Snap Head should be standard equipment on our Vs, And I think the last time we asked that ninety four percent of people said yes, So

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
it does seem to be solving a real paying point for people and

paris_vega:
For

kent_wilson:
they

paris_vega:
sure.

kent_wilson:
just think this makes too much sense right. So it’s that’s very in.

paris_vega:
So is that a threat? Though also like the R V manufacturers could be like, Hey, put a little rubber on the bottom. You know what I mean, Or is it you think it’s still like unique enough where you guys have that long enough road ahead or whatever,

kent_wilson:
The good news is that we have a lot of motes. One of them is just when it comes to O m, M, which is from the factory. The stuff they put on

paris_vega:
Hm,

kent_wilson:
manufactures are very cheap.

paris_vega:
Ho,

kent_wilson:
so unless someone’s paying for it, they’re not going to be interested in just putting it on the bottom of their feet. right.

paris_vega:
So it’d be an upset

kent_wilson:
The other thing

paris_vega:
anyway.

kent_wilson:
is is, yeah,

paris_vega:
Add on,

kent_wilson:
it should be an upset, but the other issue is that R vs are the way they’re manufactured. Is is the car parts and the house parts and the Other stuff all come from different places, So the leveling system is manufactured by supply or X, and then the

paris_vega:
I got

kent_wilson:
the

paris_vega:
you,

kent_wilson:
stuff. The other stuff that goes in the kitchen is done by. Why? So they take all these things and put them together. So you need you

paris_vega:
God

kent_wilson:
probably need the leveling system to do that, rather than the the, you know, the floor or the air stream that’s ultimately putting everything together.

paris_vega:
And

kent_wilson:
We have I p on this, too, So

paris_vega:
Okay, there

kent_wilson:
we

paris_vega:
you

kent_wilson:
have

paris_vega:
go.

kent_wilson:
this patented. So

paris_vega:
Perfect.

kent_wilson:
And as we’ve gone along, we’ve built out the fitment data base around compatibility for leveling System X I versus Snap Pad package, and we have over ten thousand lines of data which we doesn’t exist in the industry, except in Harperpriatary, sort of data base right? So we have all these little things that makes it hard to just come along, and kind of one of the big incumbents sweep us out of the way.

paris_vega:
So yeah, it’s like they don’t necessarily have the right incentives to go through the trouble of.

kent_wilson:
No,

paris_vega:
Yeah, That makes

kent_wilson:
exactly

paris_vega:
sense. Okay,

kent_wilson:
yeah,

paris_vega:
and you’ve put the legal barrier there. T would be. Is there like a certain time frame? That how the patterns work?

kent_wilson:
I think they usually last twenty to twenty five years. We have the

paris_vega:
Okay?

kent_wilson:
that, the U S. patent.

paris_vega:
there you

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
go.

kent_wilson:
now you have to defend your patent, so we already have one knock off in the in market now and trying to figure out how to deal with that, But Um, the R V industry also has a couple of really big sort of companies, and usually what they do with outfits like ours is rather than compete. they just buy us right. We have

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
you have the product in market. You have the brand. Um,

paris_vega:
Right beaus. he would have to spend money on the tooling and manufacturing to get it all set up anyway. So why not just Yeah,

kent_wilson:
Exactly,

paris_vega:
is that kind of the long term goal just to cash out maybe and sell the company eventually?

kent_wilson:
It’s definitely an exit, is what we’ve considered especially for

paris_vega:
Hm,

kent_wilson:
We were contacted by four different entities this past summer about potentially selling, and we think we’re a little too early. But

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
you know if we never sell, we can probably keep. just keep running this. you

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
know, up until this year we grew eighty percent year over yer top line revenue. Yea, so we’re pretty happy continuing to

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
run it as a small Sort of family company. you know this, twenty people in the front office Now a lot of us. you know, my wife is the head of customers service now, that type of thing. But yeah, if someone comes along and says, we’re going to give you this amount of money to either stick around and keep running it or go away, And you know we’re not going to say no to that,

paris_vega:
I am so jealous of you guys. I’m going to be honest. I think

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
it’s so cool. that kind of a business like just boot strapped. it built a product business and you’ve got a clear path of like, Hey, we got to cover all these feet and there’s just different kinds of feet and we’ve got to make things to cover. More of those. Are there other product lines like becausei’m? sure at some of the manufacturing the processes or the materials you’re using can apply

kent_wilson:
Hm,

paris_vega:
to other things. Are there other ideas in the works to diversify In case of you know that squat analysis? Sometimes you do with a company like what’s our strength? weakness, opportunities and threats.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely so. part of that use survey I mentioned for the M. P. S. stuff is one of the other questions is would you like us to make anything else like as there are other arvccessories

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
you would like from our Vsnapad, And then we’ve started collecting those things and we also go out and see. Can we make something different? Can we make a better version of that now exists in the market and we’re not going to release things just to release them.

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
But yeah, the sort of the Er side of things, especially because it’s made in the U. S. A It is sustainable. So it’s it’s recycledrubber. A lot of people seem to like that, and a

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
lot of stuff in the R V industry now is made of plastic, and a lot of it is made overseas. So

paris_vega:
M.

kent_wilson:
if we find ways to take those brand halos, apply them to other sort of leveling accessories. We’re going. We’re going to do that.

paris_vega:
I’ll tell you what. my chair has been tearing up my hardwood floor.

kent_wilson:
Oh,

paris_vega:
Come up with a better furniture.

kent_wilson:
need a matteh?

paris_vega:
A. Yeah, I got a mat now. Yeah, but I was going throughdifferent furniture padsbecause. they were just rolling off or they? you know, they just weren’t fitting this specific chair.

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
There’s so much opportunity there because yeah, it’s snap on pad. And so you, Any situation where something is, you know, tearing up a surface or whatever, you could, probably figured out how to manufacture something. design something to fix that.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, there’s industrial applications and there’s like

paris_vega:
Oh, for sure,

kent_wilson:
big truckers have actually have metal feet that come out of the trucks On

paris_vega:
That’s

kent_wilson:
the.

paris_vega:
right. Yeah,

kent_wilson:
Yeah, so we started looking at that and there’s

paris_vega:
Dud trucking

kent_wilson:
you know,

paris_vega:
was

kent_wilson:
utility

paris_vega:
huge.

kent_wilson:
trailers, horse trailers, and the marine trailers, So there’s there’s all sorts of stuff, But we still sort of have a tiger by the tail when it comes to our traffic. So it’s

paris_vega:
Right.

kent_wilson:
some of it is just because, even with over five hundred thousand sort of unit sales to date we, I think we’ve go Into maybe one percent of the North American market so far.

paris_vega:
What

kent_wilson:
Yeah, so there’s

paris_vega:
Are you taking on investors?

kent_wilson:
Not yet.

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
People have asked a couple of times. but yeah, it’s It’s a nice little ride to be on. Honestly, it’s

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
it gets a little bit more stressful every year, but it’s a good stress. right people want the product. People are happy with the brand. It’s just finding ways. Get it out there. profitably.

paris_vega:
So what about one more thread analysis rubber? I’ve heard talk of like rubber tree shortages and different viruses that can

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
kill a rubber tree. but I guess you’re sourcing cycled like just the

kent_wilson:
That’s

paris_vega:
the

kent_wilson:
right.

paris_vega:
garbage. You know. The old tires is that hundred percent where it comes from.

kent_wilson:
It’s just recycletires. So

paris_vega:
We’re not

kent_wilson:
the one thing we ran

paris_vega:
in a

kent_wilson:
into.

paris_vega:
shortage of those, are we? I don’t think

kent_wilson:
No,

paris_vega:
so.

kent_wilson:
there’s lots of tires.

paris_vega:
yeah,

kent_wilson:
The one thing we ran into actually, in twenty twenty one was that polar vortex that went down into Texas

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
and knocked a bunch of stuff out. So the main creator of the urathinbinod that we used was down in Texas, and the kind of got knocked out, so at one point when we were spinning up our new supply chain, we ran out of your thing.

paris_vega:
Wow,

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
huh,

kent_wilson:
That sort of a one in a hundred years thing.

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
Nothing you could really do about it. So and they supplied all these other earthing like they were the main source of it in North America, So it was like All right, Just kinda wait till this. this blows over.

paris_vega:
Yeah, so wow, yeah, there’s no shortage and there’s no end in sight of rubber tires at the moment. I mean,

kent_wilson:
Hm.

paris_vega:
especially considering just the trucking industry alone runs through tires

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
like crazy. I mean, wow,

kent_wilson:
Exactly

paris_vega:
so just got to keep

kent_wilson:
Yeah.

paris_vega:
the

kent_wilson:
there’s

paris_vega:
thing supply going and you guys are good.

kent_wilson:
Yeah. there’s Europe and Australia and other places that are obviously. Can we actually just started getting into Canada, which is where the front office is located. Ironically,

paris_vega:
Oh

kent_wilson:
but

paris_vega:
wow.

kent_wilson:
second biggest Arv market, and then Europe, Australia. we’ll see you from there.

paris_vega:
Okay, so you’ve been focused just on the U. S. and you’re slowly moving into

kent_wilson:
Oh,

paris_vega:
the other countries.

kent_wilson:
correct.

paris_vega:
Amazing. Well, this

kent_wilson:
Hm.

paris_vega:
has been awesome, man. uh,

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
let’s

kent_wilson:
thanks so much.

paris_vega:
yeah. let’s go through a quick little rapid fire

kent_wilson:
Okay,

paris_vega:
session. If you got a few more minutes.

kent_wilson:
Absolutely

paris_vega:
All right, We’ve talked about the core of what you did now. Let’s just go through all right. Have you used any of these tactics along the way or now? Um started with traditional marketing? Do you use direct marketing tactics like face to face meetings to do sales, cold calling, or mailing physical mail to people like people like?

kent_wilson:
Yeah, absolutely so we haven’t done the male thing

paris_vega:
Okay.

kent_wilson:
partially because when you’re dealing with our vers, they’re moving around a lot, so it could be tough to nail them down, especially if they’re full timers,

paris_vega:
That makes

kent_wilson:
Which

paris_vega:
sense. Yep.

kent_wilson:
there’s a million of those people in the States right now, But we did do a lot of direct consumer Arv shows, So you show up and like I said, there’s those ownership

paris_vega:
Okay.

kent_wilson:
groups and they’ll have the big. It’s a tiffin rally and there’s two hundred tiffin owners showing up, And actually, the funny thing is we really knew we had something on our hands, because The first one of those who went to was for tiffin, which is a big class motor home. Um, it was my brother and my dad. They were doing the full time thing. It was the third product line we’ve released, Um, But it was the first major rally we’d gone to like this and they showed up and the security guard said, Oh, it’s not bad. You guys are gonna do well. We thought. What are you talking about? Like we didn’t advertise this. So it was down into some. They set up the booth and they were sold out in the first four hours of everything they took. Um, they literally couldn’t eat lunch. It was like a line up kind of until they’d sold out and then they had to take people’s names and make a list to you know, because it was a three day rally, so next two days they had nothing at the booth and they just met with people and took their names as so. It was this weird feeding frenzy. Um that you know, we didn’t again. We didn’t advertise. We just showed up and we didn’t know what to expect. So that was a really big signal, but doing that face to face is a great way to To understand perception of your product what your pitch should be. So people would come up and say what are these things? and then eventually you run down what they are, how they work, and you know what people will respond to in terms of trying to sell them.

paris_vega:
What about the cold calling aspect of direct marketing? Do you guys just randomly try to call people?

kent_wilson:
We did that when we started to get into the B B dealer,

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
direct stuff, so we would

paris_vega:
yeah,

kent_wilson:
you know, get list of people, and even now locally we will send out. We have two persons sort of sales team here, and we’ll say, want to just go see you know, Wotdisrb, that’s down the road and see if they want some snap at. So Yeah, there’s definitely, and we have a rep group in the U. S. Now who is on the boots on the ground and they’ll stop in with dealers and say, want some snap at here

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
There?

paris_vega:
What’s the percentage you’d say like for the sales team

kent_wilson:
Uh,

paris_vega:
or the?

kent_wilson:
in terms of revenue,

paris_vega:
or? Like the percentage? Like the conversion rate of that, those direct marketing efforts when they’re just like Hey, this exists. It obviously applies to your customers are Vdealership. What do you think that conversion rates like? What percentage of dealerships want to carry your product?

kent_wilson:
It’s hard to say because we’ve

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
been around as a direct consumer brand and we’ve been in market and people see us on Facebook or Instagram

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
or something. So sometimes if they’ve been warmed up by that and they

paris_vega:
M,

kent_wilson:
see the value,

paris_vega:
hm,

kent_wilson:
then it’s an easy sale. The other thing we do have is phone for our customers service team here, so we don’t call people, but people call in, and that

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
close rate, it’s got to be over twenty five percent People calling in interested

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
about the product and is just finished The sale on the phone Is it may be the best converting channel. We have to tell you the truth,

paris_vega:
Customer service.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, yeah,

paris_vega:
Awesome. All right, what about print media, newspaper, ads, magazine, ads, Uh, bulletin boards, where you stick a business card up or fly or something? Any of those kind of old school tactics?

kent_wilson:
Magazine ads are

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
big in the industry, so a lot of

paris_vega:
yeah, there’s R V magazines, right,

kent_wilson:
Exactly so and a lot of the industry guys for the B B site have industry specific dealer specific publications, and there’s a lot of old school people still in the R V industry, So there, if you look at the websites from nineteen ninety five and they, so they still lean into traditional, pretty hard. A lot of

paris_vega:
M.

kent_wilson:
the distributors and stuff. So Yeah, definitely you know print magazines and you

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
know we’re putting q r codes on them. Now see if people

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
can

paris_vega:
there you

kent_wilson:
get

paris_vega:
go.

kent_wilson:
them back to a website or a landing

paris_vega:
right.

kent_wilson:
page. But Yeah, it’s just a big full page. Are snap pad mag At?

paris_vega:
What about broadcast media like T V or radio ads?

kent_wilson:
No, not really. I think we’re

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
a little too nice for that, but I do like interacting with new media like podcasts and stuff. It’s

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
so there’s are the specific and business specific podcasts,

paris_vega:
Sure,

kent_wilson:
which your I find a lot better.

paris_vega:
That makes sense, Um,

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
sales promotions like physical cupons, discount cards, loyalty cards, anything like that?

kent_wilson:
Well, on the directed consumer side, it’s all digital, so it’s all retention

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
mark, marketing or pop ups, or you know, cup on codes that go with an abandoned cart or things like that right, so we’re just going to start getting into bundling and I mentioned the affiliate stuff, which is code based on the other side. We’re learning ways to incentivize wholesale at the dealer level sales. So the thing with accessories when you’re selling them for r V Dealers, is they care a lot more about selling a big R V than they care about whatever accessories go on top of it right. So we’re finding ways to scale that side of the business aggressively by. you know, because a lot of our Rvdealerships right now we’ll buy something to stick it on a shelf and wait for someone to come in and say Hey, I want that, But if you have parts and service managers and people who are you know, servicing

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
our Vs or

paris_vega:
yea,

kent_wilson:
selling our Salesmen, you want salesmen like the same way when you go and buy a car and to do the finance thing, And they say, Do you want three? Whether stripping? and do you want you know the window stinted. We’re trying to get into that sort of

paris_vega:
Right.

kent_wilson:
process where it’s like Do you want snap ads on your new R V? And we have some dealers who now sell seventy five percent of the R V that leave have snap ads on them now, But it’s It’s a small portion, because we’re just kind of getting into

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
that side of the business.

paris_vega:
all that makes sense, especially if they’re getting anything fixed related to their lift system or whatever they be like. Hey might have less

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
problems if you put this on there.

kent_wilson:
Exactly.

paris_vega:
All right, switching over to digital marketing? Obviously, you’ve said you’ve

kent_wilson:
M.

paris_vega:
got a website. Are you using that to like for content marketing? Like putting blog posts out, or like generating leads through contact forms on your website?

kent_wilson:
Yeah, the biggest unlock we have was like, as you can see, the value prop, and the product has really sort of caught the attention of our ver, so it does sell itself to some degree, but when people come to the website they have to know what are the snap pads to buy for their for their art. And it’s not intuitive for people. A lot of people don’t. really. They know that they have a leveling system, but that’s about it. They don’t know who makes it. The don’t know what size their feet are. You don’t know what shape they are. they don’t They don’t really look at it very much right, so we’ve had to build up an entire compatibility lead Gen U X around that. so we have a search tool which interacts with our data base, But we also have a no coachatbought that we’ve we built out, which has contingent logic. So someone comes in and we say, take this quiz or this. Do this little submit your rig thing that we call it. I asked them a series of questions, and at the end of it it should spit out a product, recommend it, And as long as they’ve answered the questions

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
accurately, it should be the right product for them. right. So and then with that we

paris_vega:
Yes,

kent_wilson:
capture their email and we email them back if they don’t buy, or we think some of their their product recommendation looks wrong to us, which means they’ve entered the wrong information.

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
so basically everything has been executed perfectly cool. Got it now? that’s awesome. That’s

kent_wilson:
I wish,

paris_vega:
a great idea on the website having

kent_wilson:
thanks.

paris_vega:
that data base, and

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
then the the little smart chat bought with the logic and everything

kent_wilson:
And that was very iterative over time like initially, we didn’t think people would do that, And then we ran a promotion in July, at one point and we said here, put your r V information and people were very willing to do it. We’re okay, And then it started out as just a big bulky form. With you know fields people had to fall out, and then it turned into a type form and now just it’s evolved into the chat fond over time.

paris_vega:
All right. You’ve already touched on some of the social media stuff that you guys. Do? You already

kent_wilson:
Hm,

paris_vega:
said that you’ve used. You’re using Facebook and Instagram. What about Youtube?

kent_wilson:
Yeah, you tube is kind of the next sort of frontier. For us, there’s a lot of organic stuff that we get through the influence receiving and stuff. So there’s our Vis, seem to really prefer. Youtube has the social channel like they’re on everything. But You tube is big because there’s a lot of do yourself. There’s a lot of life style stuff, so if you’re going to get into our being, it helps to find someone who knows what they’re doing and see how to do it properly right. So but yeah, you tube and Google, we do some search engine are marketing now, A lot of it Um brand terms, but it’s

paris_vega:
Really

kent_wilson:
just sort of poprofolactic against other people betting on them more than anything

paris_vega:
Gotcha

kent_wilson:
because we own the category and if people are searching for Snap, they’re almost certainly searching for us. But

paris_vega:
Right?

kent_wilson:
yeah, I think Youtubes kind of the next big, and we’re going to dabble in tiktok. I think this year to because it’s getting too big to ignore. right.

paris_vega:
That was goin t be my next question. Tiktok. Okay,

kent_wilson:
Yeah, absolutely

paris_vega:
And you know and all the platforms are adding that Tiktok inspired short video as well.

kent_wilson:
Right,

paris_vega:
So like you’re

kent_wilson:
yeah,

paris_vega:
goin to be making the the videos in that form at? anyway, you might as well just send it around all the platforms.

kent_wilson:
Absolutely.

paris_vega:
Okay, um, any chance you’re using a couple of the more rare platforms, but they still have hundreds of millions of billions of users. But what’s at

kent_wilson:
M.

paris_vega:
Snap Chat Telegram interest?

kent_wilson:
No, not really.

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
we’ve looked into interest a little bit, but

paris_vega:
That one

kent_wilson:
a

paris_vega:
makes

kent_wilson:
lot

paris_vega:
sense

kent_wilson:
of our

paris_vega:
for

kent_wilson:
audience,

paris_vega:
you guys a little bit.

kent_wilson:
little bit. A lot of our audience is at last. at least a lot of our buyers are mail. They’re over

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
fifty, typically sometimes over six lot over sixty Because we started in that sort of top of the market, so er more mature there.

paris_vega:
Hm,

kent_wilson:
But yeah, it’s not a lot of probably baby boomers are snap chatting. I don’t. I don’t think this point.

paris_vega:
I can’t imagine I don’t myself.

kent_wilson:
No, Now,

paris_vega:
Um,

kent_wilson:
neither do I, I am too old it for it and I’m forty

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
year.

paris_vega:
I’ve only talked to one other entrepreneur on here That that’s used. They actively uses Snap chat and they, I guess they’re like a fashion they use it for. like a fashion client,

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Rsmethin. they see stuff from it there, but

kent_wilson:
That

paris_vega:
Twitter.

kent_wilson:
makes sense. No,

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
I’ve never liked. I’ve used Twitter sort of when I was back in the agency world and I thought there. Their add engine was terrible. Quite frankly, so we’re not

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
going. No, we’re still a small boot strap company. I’m not going to

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
put any money into Twitter.

paris_vega:
Yeah, I’m waiting to see what Elon Musk does with it. See if he changes it up and start hearing

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
some better like cost per conversion coming from it.

kent_wilson:
Absolutely

paris_vega:
What about some of the things that you mentioned earlier, like community forms

kent_wilson:
M.

paris_vega:
and that kind of thing? Were you going directly to specific likewebsite forms, or did you also take advantage of things like Read it, Cora, slat groups, cord

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
groups,

kent_wilson:
we’ve done. Never did the core of thing. I think we did sort of a red thing. At some point didn’t see too much from it. We still do you know, have our brand terms kind of on search. so if we pop up anywhere, it feeds us an email saying you, someone mentioned Parvsnap at. So we do dive into things if we feel we have to.

paris_vega:
Hm,

kent_wilson:
Um, luckily, we’re getting to the point where we have a lot of customers and advocates in the community, So if something comes up sometimes we don’t have to defend ourselves anymore. Advocates do it for us, which is great. but yeah, we still keep an eye on community spaces as much as possible.

paris_vega:
So the next one kind of overlaps a couple of things that got video, and the kind of the community aspect. But what about Twitch? Any r V or using

kent_wilson:
Yeah, I

paris_vega:
Twitch

kent_wilson:
have. not that I know of. Maybe I should look into that, but

paris_vega:
May

kent_wilson:
know

paris_vega:
all right.

kent_wilson:
T’d be interesting

paris_vega:
Yeah, because

kent_wilson:
yet.

paris_vega:
I know a lot of you know the tech codes and gamers. They do a lot of live streaming. But I wonder if R vers are taking advantage of that.

kent_wilson:
That’s

paris_vega:
All

kent_wilson:
a good

paris_vega:
right,

kent_wilson:
question.

paris_vega:
you mentioned Google ads, Facebook adds. What about you mentioned? Search adds? What about search engine optimization? Like organic Co efforts, You have the data based on your website. But are you like actively trying to Like grow rankings in some way?

kent_wilson:
Yeah, so we do. We had an influence or partner Wright, you know, or the relevant sort of key were relevant blocks for us A while. We do our own stuff. When it comes to that, we do partner with publication, sometimes on the editorial side of things, so it’s either a company feature or we can write about our product or leveling in general from a educated point of view, because we had to become obsessed with leveling systems naturally, so

paris_vega:
Yeah,

kent_wilson:
Yeah, we definitely, and we’re very lucky in that you know, as we said, we created the category were in. We think over a time, Even if other people started making permanent jack pads, people referred O them as snap pads because it was the first mover sort of thing, and in like zero paper or clean, ex, right, so we’re lucky in that we, we dominate the brand terms pretty easily, And then if anyone is looking for permanent jack pads or jack pads, we are right near the top.

paris_vega:
And how are you like tactically or like labor wise, Achieving all of this? I know you came from the

kent_wilson:
M.

paris_vega:
agency marketing digit marketing agency background. Your brother had some background. So you guys full in house marketing agency, or you relying on other agencies as well?

kent_wilson:
Right now we’re in house. We have a partner with agencies a couple of times. we have other vendors. As I mentioned, the Rep group that’s on boots on the ground in the U. S. For us, we have a book keeping outfit that helps us with the financial side, and anyone who has gotten into direct the consumer and started to have revenue, knows that finance has become really really important in a scale, so that’s been sort of a big eye opener for us over time. But yeah, and I am now starting to look back into vendors as we. We come out of the sort of supply chain winter that we were in and go back into. Okay. here’s how we scale again, So we’re not to the point where I want to hire a full in house team, But we do have junior marketers. We do have a dedicated influence and social media market or two. because that started to get a little overwhelming.

paris_vega:
So what’s a dedicated influencer?

kent_wilson:
Sorry influence our management. So they

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
do the social,

paris_vega:
got

kent_wilson:
but they also

paris_vega:
dedicated

kent_wilson:
do all the relationship

paris_vega:
person?

kent_wilson:
building and

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
seeding. Yeah, yeah,

paris_vega:
Got ya.

kent_wilson:
yeah, that’s

paris_vega:
got

kent_wilson:
what I

paris_vega:
you.

kent_wilson:
mean.

paris_vega:
Now that makes sense.

kent_wilson:
yeah,

paris_vega:
Um, last thing. do you ever use it going back to the old school, but now they’re kind of a mix of both

kent_wilson:
M

paris_vega:
physical bill boards or digital bill boards in physical locations.

kent_wilson:
Never have. I think that’s

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
kind of the next step for us.

paris_vega:
really,

kent_wilson:
I know that there’s. yeah. Maybe there is a new Fender outfit platform. I forget what they’re called off the top of my head, but I know that they do do sort of bill boards on. I guess if you can go on bill boards or truck sides,

paris_vega:
Okay,

kent_wilson:
physical trucks that are dropping around

paris_vega:
Yep,

kent_wilson:
and they allow you to

paris_vega:
seen

kent_wilson:
target

paris_vega:
those,

kent_wilson:
like Geo Target, where they’re going to be And they have some sort of

paris_vega:
M.

kent_wilson:
way to measure brand lift, and all sorts of like. They’re very sort of Next level when it comes to that previously traditional form of marketing. so we’re certain to think about that when it comes to major art rallies and stuff, because there’s rallies that can draw hundreds of thousands to even a million people in the Us. So it might start making sense for us to have physical,

paris_vega:
Right.

kent_wilson:
traditional marketing around those events when they’re happening

paris_vega:
Yeah, okay, especially,

kent_wilson:
yet.

paris_vega:
I guess the digital bill board. You can just buy some time during that event and then it cuts off immediately.

kent_wilson:
Exactly? It doesn’t

paris_vega:
M

kent_wilson:
have to be there for the month or something.

paris_vega:
right, right. Okay, I’m surprised by that. Yeah, but it makes sense after you say that because

kent_wilson:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
yeah, okay, Well, I think that’s it, man. this has been amazing. Um,

kent_wilson:
Thanks. Yeah,

paris_vega:
Yeah, I wasn’t

kent_wilson:
my

paris_vega:
sure

kent_wilson:
pleasure.

paris_vega:
what I was walking

kent_wilson:
Lots of

paris_vega:
into

kent_wilson:
fun to

paris_vega:
when

kent_wilson:
talk

paris_vega:
it was

kent_wilson:
about.

paris_vega:
like I was like Okay, something, some r V products and I was checking out the side was like okay, But this has been incredible. really, um, really cool story.

kent_wilson:
Yeah, I’ve enjoyed it.

paris_vega:
I appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

kent_wilson:
Thanks again.


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *