Understanding the Overland Industry
Scott Brady and Brian McVickers discuss the opportunities, risks, and trends of the overlanding marketplace. They do the deep dive into current trends, income opportunities, and emerging segments, along with where the industry sits on the typical consumer trend lifecycle.
Scott Brady: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I'm your host, Scott Brady, and I'm joined today by my cohost, Brian McVickers. Brian's coming on this podcast because we want to specifically talk about the Overland industry as a whole. We want to discuss the opportunities that we believe exist within the marketplace, kind of the origin story of overlanding in North America, where we see that there are opportunities for businesses to engage with this new audience, where we're seeing the industry heading trends that we're seeing in the industry.
Things that we're seeing people struggle with and things that we see people being successful with. We also talk about different opportunities for travelers to earn an income while on the road. So this is a very wide ranging conversation about the scope and the opportunities within the overland industry in North America and the world.
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You can subscribe directly. On our website at overlandjournal. com. Brian, thanks so much for being on this podcast with me. You have, you have had, you have had a run of [00:02:00] podcasts with us going on my third one in a row. That's right. Which is, which is awesome. And, and a lot of that is because you do have so much experience and it lends itself perfectly to this conversation.
One of the things that I've realized in recent years is that there are so many people that are passionate about overlanding and they want to be connected in with the industry in some way. Some of them have even started small businesses or there are people that are passionate about overlanding that work for a larger company that are helping to try to guide their organization.
Towards participating in this rapidly growing space. We thought it would be helpful for those that who, anyone who's ever thought about how do I make a living in overlanding? How do I start a business in overlanding? What opportunities exist in the overlanding space for new businesses? And then more importantly, because we've been doing this for over 20 years, the things that we have learned along the way that people have really struggled with, there have been some doors that have closed that are, it's too expensive to come into the space now, unless you're a much larger organization.[00:03:00]
But we do believe that there's a lot of opportunity that exists and we thought it might be helpful for our listeners that are interested in how could I make a living traveling around the world in how to do that. But then also we know that there are lots of partners and there's people that are passionate about the industry that make products that we might be able to help them be more successful in some way.
By what we share today. So that's really
Brian McVickers: the goal. Oh, there's a tremendous amount of potential right now. There's continuous growth. We've seen thousands of companies come into this space over the past two decades. I'd say 80 percent of them have found a good foothold and we've seen even more people.
Yeah. Come in and out of the space. And so there's still a lot of opportunity from everything from a big corporation to a mom and pop business to an individual. That's right. Who can even just get it out in as a journalist. That's right. So there's a lot of opportunity around the space and around the
scott Brady: activity.
Right. And, and, and at all levels of. Of knowledge and expertise. And I think that the thing that's the most key is being [00:04:00] authentic to who you are. So I think that an influencer could be very successful in this, in the space just by saying, I don't know anything. And this is my story of trying to learn things as I go along.
The ones that we always see struggle are the ones that don't know anything and pretend that they do. I've not seen one of them make it through the fire. They all end up kind of washing out their credit cards are maxed out. And yeah, it
Brian McVickers: comes down to the end consumer. So the, the consumer that's, you know, digesting the content, reading the content, viewing the content, and also making the purchases at the end of the day, it's a very savvy customer.
They are. Right. They're very highly educated. They're very affluent. They're very interested in quality for price. Yep. They want to maximize their time in the activity. Yeah. And so they, they make assurances for that. So they're going to buy the higher quality product. Because they know they can rely on it and they're not going to be out in the middle of their adventure dealing with something that doesn't work.
scott Brady: lots of reasons why quality matters within this [00:05:00] space. And it's something that we've learned through our demographic studies, through our surveys of the audience and the industry that we've done. We've done many of them through the years. So we're going to be sharing some of that. And if you have specific questions that come up through the podcast and you'd like to have a conversation, please feel free to reach out to Brian.
He'll provide his information at the end. Because we do want to be a support to the industry. It's important to us as it continues to grow. It's also good to kind of give a frame of reference around the history of overlanding. We've oftentimes been credited with starting overlanding in North America and that absolutely isn't the case.
We certainly were the first to create the sandbox where there was actually started talking about it. We were the first step to actually create the foundation of an industry. But overlanding has been going on in North America for a very long time by people that far predate us or even the 20 years that we have in the industry.
You think of Gary and Monica Westcott and their travels around the world. Those are the two that inspired me in the very beginning. And they were already well into their overlanding career. So [00:06:00] there are people that have forgotten more about overlanding than I've ever learned. But the one thing that we have worked really hard from the very beginning is to help to, to foster and create an industry, which is something that had not really been done before about the mid two thousands.
So when we look at the history of overlanding, at least within the context of North America, it's still in its infancy. It's so interesting to hear people say like, Oh, we reached peak overlanding. And I think it's a lot of times the people that are saying that are the ones who've been around a little while.
And it seems like that. It's hit peak overlanding or that it's so popular now that it's going to do nothing but decline. But the thing that we understand by understanding the industry and by surveying the industry is that we're actually just at the beginning of the rise of the industry. And that is because overlanding is now part of the narrative of large companies like OEM manufacturers.
Brian McVickers: The terminology is being used more than I've ever seen before. That's correct. [00:07:00] Companies and people who I'd never thought would identify with it. And those
scott Brady: are really easy things to understand. If you go into, there are Google tools that allow you to search for search terms. So you can do the search term of overlanding and you can see the trajectory.
You can see the trajectory that it's on. So there are people that have opinions and then there are people who actually spend the time to understand the data. And when you have within the last year, when you have a manufacturer like Toyota saying we are all in on overlanding, That is a very significant indicator of at least the next five to 10 years because of their planning.
That's correct. Their planning schedule and their product planning. So when you think of them launching models we are at a minimum 10 years away from anything that could be remotely looking like peak overlanding. People
Brian McVickers: need to understand that when a company like Toyota identifies with it and starts talking about it, it is a few years out.
Even though they might have an example. Like sema, they, the last year they offered the trail hunter. Yeah, the trail hunter. And a lot of people [00:08:00] looked at that and said, well, that's either appreciated it for what it was, or you said it wa it wasn't quite right. But it's an Evo it's an evolution, right? So they're, they're kind of saying, Hey, we're, we're in on it and here's an example of, of our commitment.
And you've gotta give that some fake, well they know that in the next five, six years, they're just gonna hit it outta the park. And also
scott Brady: they wanna sell cars. Right. So they're not going to bring like the car that you and I want to buy from Toyota is a 70 series Land Cruiser, but it's like you and me and Greg Miller and Clay Croft and a couple of like, there's, there's literally a hand, couple of handfuls of guys that are going to actually go and buy that vehicle, whereas they, they do.
And they do that through vehicles like the new Land Cruiser, this new two 50. So it does check a lot of the boxes that we have as overland travelers, but it's also going to be exciting and interesting for a very large market of people. And another great example of that is Grenadier. So we now have in 2023, a brand new car company.
Their sole objective is to make some of the best overland vehicles in the world. [00:09:00] Right. They lit it's a brand new car. They're off to a good start. They are. They've got. 7, 000 orders here in the United States. So they're off to a good start, which is very exciting for me to see. So it's, it's really important to understand the scope of the industry and also where it started.
We have seen a lot of success and the ones that have been the most, the most successful are the ones that are the most authentic. So if you look at the Overland Expo, they still provide training. They still work very hard to engage with the community. They provide opportunities for people to participate.
In the event, even if they don't have the resources to do so, they can volunteer, they can teach classes. They really help support also around the world overland travelers. They're very careful to not just put the shiny object, the thing that's currently shiny on Instagram. Up on the stage, they actually want to bring in the people who have done it.
And those are the things that make me so encouraged about the industry going forward. Yeah.
Brian McVickers: So I think one of the things that I would help consumers and businesses, everybody is if [00:10:00] we touch very lightly on what is overlanding and what is the definition of overlanding? Cause that is the biggest question that I get from consumers, from businesses, trying to understand what's going on.
We all have a little bit. I think at the root of the definition, it's vehicle supported adventure. The foundation of it is a little bit more long term exploratory expedition travel, right? But the modern day, everyday use of the idea of overlanding has been really just about getting out to support whatever your adventure might be, using your vehicle as.
Almost kind of like it has a backpack.
scott Brady: Yeah. And we've used that description oftentimes, which is a backpack with wheels because it does in most cases. I mean, I think of myself, I do a lot of hiking. I really like to be outdoors and I use my Overland vehicle to get me there to help me camp at the trailhead.
to go hiking and then to come back at the end of the day. I also like to [00:11:00] work remotely, so the vehicle becomes my home on wheels with Starlink and everything else that facilitates me being able to work in remote, beautiful areas. So a vehicle based adventure travel is what overlanding is, but it's important to note that it's not like hop in the car, in the van with your family and go on a road trip.
A road trip is a road trip. Sure. And also camping is camping. Car camping is car camping. And you don't need to camp to overland. That's correct. And it's important to note that you, you can go around the world without camping and still be an overlander. You've gone around the world in a vehicle. You certainly qualify as an overlander, but you don't have to camp at all.
Some people, for many reasons, some people can't do it for health reasons. Some people just choose to not camp or they don't enjoy it or they want to camp inside their vehicle every night. Well, the idea
Brian McVickers: of adventure travel and traveling the world or traveling even your own state or your, you know, your own county, you're stopping in those little towns, you're experiencing the cultures and the [00:12:00] food and interacting with the people.
If you just focus on where am I gonna make camp every night? You're never gonna interact with that part of the world.
scott Brady: Yeah. And even that, and you don't lose out on that experience. And even that is okay. I think that there are people who have genuine overland experiences and their goal is to camp as remote as possible, which is great.
Which is really I, I believe, a beautiful way to also overland travel. But the one thing that we can do as an industry is to continue to put perspective around that. There is a definition of it. People who say overlanding is just car camping are people who have not traveled by their vehicle. They don't understand it, but we do understand it because we have the opportunity to travel around the world and we know that the goal of overlanding is vehicle based adventure travel.
If we understand that it is vehicle based adventure travel, are you in your vehicle? Are you using your vehicle for adventure? Are you traveling? You're overlanding. You're qualified. Yeah. And
Brian McVickers: I find it to be a very, it's developed into a very general
scott Brady: term, which is also going to happen anytime
Brian McVickers: something grows.
Yeah. And so I, I [00:13:00] don't think that people in wanting to participate or companies wanting to participate should get too hung up on how they're defining it and are they doing it the right way? Right. It's one of those things that, you know, it's, it's a general idea and the execution of it. It isn't really going to make or break if you're doing it the right way or not.
There's really no wrong way to do it. And just be,
scott Brady: just be authentic. So where we see people lose the script a little bit around authenticity is that they will call their trip across California and expedition or you go do a trip through someplace in Australia and you call it an expedition. If you don't have a scientific purpose or if you're not doing something for the first time, If you're not literally exploring into the unknown, then don't use words like expedition because it does come across as inauthentic.
Brian McVickers: we've gone down that rabbit hole a lot over the last many, many years and it also becomes, well, what qualifies as an expedition to something [00:14:00] like one of the societies, right? Like the Royal Geographical Society. The Define an expedition. And then we've even gone down the path of saying, well, what about a personal expedition?
Yeah. Right. What did, this is my first time doing something that a lot of people have already done, but to me, this is a big deal. Yeah.
scott Brady: Right. Totally. And I remember some of my first trips, they certainly felt like an expedition, but it was because I was so inexperienced. We have to be careful
Brian McVickers: not to take that away from people.
scott Brady: No apps. We want them to have. Those experiences. But when we see it within the context of the industry, when we see it in the context of business, when people wonder why their narrative falls short, it's because oftentimes they're being inauthentic, just say, call it overlanding. That's fair enough. And instead of, because we do want to honor.
People like Tom Shepard, who was the first to drive across the Sahara in a vehicle. And they took all of these measurements. They gathered all of this scientific data and materials along their trip that [00:15:00] forwarded the human goal of better expeditions. They are. And they're, and that's why they're called expeditions.
It's not about trying to gatekeep because I don't use the word expedition unless I'm absolutely certain that I'm providing some other level of service in the activity. So there's been very few trips that I've done that would qualify. So I'm just, I, myself personally, I tried to hold that. To account. And I made that mistake early on.
I called things expeditions because it felt like it to me. Well, but just because it feels like an expedition doesn't mean that it really is. Overlanding has really grown and the scope has changed. And we've had other events happen in recent years, like the COVID bump that happened in overlanding. Which we'll talk about here in a few minutes, but Brian, can you talk about what you see is the size of the market?
So let's start by how many individuals, how many people strong do you feel at least are tacitly engaged in overlanding?
Brian McVickers: Yeah. I think part of that is an actually [00:16:00] actual measured number that we have access to through our research. And then part of it's a. It's a bit anecdotal, right? And you're just kind of gathering it from what we see and where we see it.
So if you just take our properties alone as a media company, we probably reach around 18 million unique users or unique people every year. Globally. Globally. Now you add on things like other. Media companies, whether it's a publication or a film outlet like expedition overland, then you look at the events.
So the overland expos, the more expo, the overland rallies, there's, you know, there is events popping up left and right. I think the last, the last list of events I had related to the space, including the van rallies, it was 64 events is what I had on the list.
scott Brady: And that's, and that's a lot. And that in and of itself shows that how the industry is growing.
And one of the things that I really love to see is the fact that the industry is not just so concentrated in the Southwest anymore. It's now event in new England [00:17:00] last year. It's now everywhere. And that's
Brian McVickers: awesome. I'd say if you looked at everything collectively, I'd safely say that for an overland vertical audience, it's probably between 30 and 40 million.
Yeah. And then that's going to expand exponentially when you start looking at the complimentary area. Sure. So overlanding is very much this integration of automotive, outdoor travel, and those are, I mean, out the outdoor industry is billions, billions of people and dollars. And so the automotive enthusiasts and the travel enthusiasts, you start to bring all that together.
Yeah. And we're starting to see the use of the word. In places that 20 years ago, I would have never thought that we would have like that. The terminology would have penetrated
scott Brady: that deep. Yeah. I bet Jeep is pretty stoked that they've got the trademark on overland, overland for vehicles. That's pretty, pretty awesome.
Yeah. And they, and they take advantage of it and they're making. Better overland [00:18:00] vehicles than they ever have. And we're seeing that from so many manufacturers. I mean, it is so cool to see some of the vehicles that are coming out of GM, some of the vehicles coming out of Toyota. I mean, it's just what a bellwether moment for those of us who love this.
Brian McVickers: noticed in the past year, you go to a lot of company websites, whether it's a retailer. Yeah. Or a manufacturer, like a brand you're on their website. And a lot of times they'll have, you know, shop for the products and they break it down into categories. Sure. So you might have mountain biking and skiing and outdoor and camping and there's overlanding.
It's interesting how everybody's trying to define it and figure out what products do they put in that overlay category. And it's usually rooftop tents and awnings and fridges and a lot of the basic things that we would think of, but just the fact that they're recognizing it as a category and implementing it.
as part of their strategy says a lot
scott Brady: for the growth. Yeah. And it's really important for us as an industry to continue to make stewardship a priority. If we want overlanding to [00:19:00] be continually viewed in a positive light by everyone within the outdoor space, which we have seen overlanding be adopted in a positive way.
That's because stewardship is a cornerstone of the activity. So we need to continue to. Clean up our campsites. We need to be mindful of not doing damage to the trails. We need to stay on, on the trails. We need to take responsibility as the industry continues to grow. Otherwise we'll end up where like some of these companies are like maybe I don't want to be associated.
Brian McVickers: interesting thing I've seen some of the. Some of the OEMs, so the, some of the auto manufacturers actually doing in their written and, and, and kind of verbal communications is they'll talk about a vehicle as it might be appropriate for off roading in a separate light. They're going to talk about it being appropriate for overlanding, which I like that.
Yeah. And, and I, and I respect that a lot because I don't think one replaces the, no, they're different, but they're kind of saying, Hey, you can use this to go out for the weekend, challenge your driving skill, challenge the vehicle. And it's built to do that. Yeah, you can also use it as a [00:20:00] reliable platform for, you know, kind of a longer trip.
Totally need a reliable vehicle. This is also, it can also do that. Yeah,
scott Brady: because you can go on a very long overland trip and never leave the pavement. They're not synonymous. Yeah, it's not just off road camping. Off roading is something that I still enjoy doing. You know, I still enjoy four wheeling. I enjoy the recreational aspect of it.
It's a form of sport. Whereas overlanding is travel. Travel is overlanding. Sport is four-wheeling, so no
Brian McVickers: you, you're saying overlanding as travel
scott Brady: now? Yeah. I would describe overlanding as travel, and I would describe off-roading as sport. So
Brian McVickers: where, because I also see overlanding as a supportive, it's a supportive tool or supportive activity to help facilitate other activities.
Oh, absolutely. Right. But so if somebody is going to go fly fishing, but they want to go into the remote back country places where they need an overland rig,
scott Brady: you mean they want to
Brian McVickers: travel further, they're traveling further. But now. It's a lot of people look at [00:21:00] travel like, Hey, I'm going on vacation or I'm going to a different country or I'm going to go to some touristy area.
That's our typical definition of
scott Brady: travel. Well, and that's another one that's really interesting. And that's where that nuance is so important because many people are tourists and there's nothing wrong with that. Yeah. But there is a difference between a tourist and a
Brian McVickers: traveler. And I do think that you can.
You can define overlanding just as vehicle supported adventure without the travel all the time because everybody's defining travel in a different way. So if I go, if I go fly fishing in the back country for four days, yes, technically I'm traveling to get there, but I consider it fly fishing. I don't
scott Brady: consider it.
Yeah. It sounds like you're going fly fishing using your overland vehicle. Right. It
Brian McVickers: becomes very nuanced. And I think that that's, and the reason I'm trying to clarify that a little bit is that is where I see the consumer. And businesses get hung up. There's this speed bump that nobody can figure out how to get over because they don't know if they're doing it right.
And I think if they just, like [00:22:00] we've said, you kind of stay genuine to what you're trying to do and you kind of, it's, it becomes defined. Along the way.
scott Brady: Yeah. And the products are so useful in so many different areas and there's so much crossover. Yeah, I don't think that they're, you know, it's not a zero sum game.
You know, you don't have to be an overlander or a fly fisherman. I think a lot of people use their overland vehicle to go fly fishing. And then they also go on overland trips that they may do some fly fishing along the way.
Brian McVickers: Yeah. And that's the largest, when you look at the audience. That's the largest growth segment is people who they're not going to say that they're overlanding.
They're not going to consider themselves to be an overlander. Right. They're realizing that they can outfit their vehicle, whatever it is. It could be a Subaru. It could be a lane cruiser. They're outfitting their vehicle with some of these products. That just make life a little bit more comfortable out in the
scott Brady: back country.
And because overlanding has grown, the products have gotten a lot better. So they're going to appeal to a wider audience too, which it only helps to have the whole industry grow from there. So I think getting back to the scope, you know, we talked about the, [00:23:00] the 18 million. Unique individuals that we touch within a year.
And based upon our understanding of the market on the whole, the work that we've done with the Overland Expo, we would put the total global audience size at around 30 million people. That's a lot of consumers. That's a lot of potential customers. And that's why OEMs and other, and other larger organizations are starting to play more actively in the space.
Is that they realize like this is an affluent generally well educated consumer that is oftentimes interested in buying high quality gear. So that's going to appeal to a unique set of suppliers, including, and this is why the OEM piece is important. We come back to it often. OEMs are interested in selling new cars to new car customers.
Traditionally. The off road buyer was with the exception of a Wrangler was oftentimes a used car buyer because you don't, you don't, you're not normally like first generation discovery owner. That's going to go out and go four wheeling in his, in his
Brian McVickers: [00:24:00] 80, 000 car that you're not allowed to scratch or
scott Brady: not worried about scratch normally.
And I'm generalizing that for sure. But whereas the, the OEMs recognize that the intention of overlanding is Not typically putting the vehicle in as much risk and you also want the vehicle to be comfortable. You want to be able to maybe carry your family in it. A lot of the things that a daily driver also needs to do.
The OEMs are finding, and this is what the OEMs have told me, is they've identified overlanding as a key opportunity because these are in many cases new car buyers. I think that's why we're seeing them go all in on overlanding is they recognize that there are people who enjoy overlanding that have the resources.
to go buy a new car. Sure. So that's what's been really interesting and exciting for me on the OEM space. And it extends way beyond that. The OEMs are very active and I engage with a lot of them frequently. They're very interested in how do they connect with this community. We see it at the Overland Expo.
We see it at the Rebel Rally. We see it at a lot of these other events and we see it in their engagement with us is [00:25:00] that these OEMs are like, how do I understand this customer? What are their needs? How can I best meet the needs of that customer? And it's also a feel good story. When you see Clay and Rochelle and their family driving around some, some place together and this great.
Film. And it's very, it's a feel good thing that easily resonates with new car buyers. Whereas there are maybe other stories that don't. So again, staying authentic to that storyline is really important
Brian McVickers: for the OEMs. It's very appropriate for them to talk about overlanding directly with their vehicle because it's, it's an integral part of the overland experience, right?
scott Brady: But, and most of the time they don't need to be heavy, heavily modified. Now where it
Brian McVickers: becomes disingenuous and where the consumer I think sees through it is when you get a product that the consumer is going to. Use it for overlanding, right? So one of the things to realize that the consumer in this space, again, using the idea of overlanding to support their other activities.
They're going out to do all these other activities. When we look at that activity list and that kind of demographic, psychographic breakdown of this audience, we see [00:26:00] all the other activities that they're interested in. Sure. And so we were talking earlier and you use the idea of a backpack, 86 percent of this audience considers themselves to be backpackers.
Sure. Right. Well, that's another.
We're going to go hike the Appalachian trail or are you just going to go on a three mile hike on Saturday morning. If you bring a backpack into the space to this consumer and say, Hey, here's a great backpack for you to use. They'll identify with that and they'll buy the backpack. But if you say, Hey, here's an overlanding backpack.
Nobody's going to buy it. It's an
scott Brady: overlanding backpack. It sounds
Brian McVickers: silly. So there's a time and a place to use the terminology and it's, you don't want to force your way through the door, right? You want to, you want to kind of say, Hey, I bet you guys could use what we make. And I mean the, the amount of lightweight camping equipment that this audience uses is.
scott Brady: Yeah. There's a lot of motorcyclists, smaller vehicles, lighter payload, and you try to put
Brian McVickers: three to four people [00:27:00] into a Jeep Wrangler. You can't take the big stuff, right? You're taking little things because you run out of space. You ran out, run out of, we were talking yesterday about payload capacity on a lot of these vehicles.
You run out of it
scott Brady: really quickly. No, I would agree. The other thing that I think is important to understand around scope, and I think what confuses people in recent months around peak overlanding, the idea of peak overlanding is that we did have a COVID bump. So during the COVID lockdown, we did have a huge bump.
So during the COVID lockdown, we saw this massive increase in interest in overlanding. Tons of trailers were purchased. Lots of vehicles were purchased. We saw that inflationary effect because people couldn't go do the family vacation to Italy or France or whatever. So they, you know, they bought a trailer or they, or they bought a vehicle or they started to go doing more overlanding cause that was their only option.
They couldn't fly internationally. So up until that point, we saw really consistent growth of the space 15 to 20 percent a year. And it was fairly consistent. Like if you look at, at even some of those Google tools, the [00:28:00] rate of growth and overlanding was very consistent. And then we saw this massive spike because of COVID.
So now what has happened is there's going to be a natural effect from that. There's going to be a natural retraction after some kind of an explosion in any market. It's understanding market dynamics. And so there is a slowdown that we have seen. We understand it to be somewhere around 18 to 20%, but if you had just taken the chart.
and cut out the bump, we were already, we're still on the exact same growth rate. Right. But we do know that that has affected a lot of businesses and we just want to give people the, the, the courage to know that we still see the industry growing at the same rate that it always has been. If you exclude the.
The COVID bump. So we do know that the industry is healthy where there's a lot of discussion around it. There's a lot of new players coming into the market. You know, like kuat racks just started making Overland truck bed racks. And so we're seeing more and more companies that have specific knowledge and skillsets around [00:29:00] manufacturing high quality components that are making tools that Overlanders need in order to go and travel in their vehicle.
So we're seeing more and more expansion within the space. Have some courage around the fact that this is an understandable situation. Interest rates are always, are also higher at the moment, which is going to be affecting like trailer sales or camper sales or overland vehicle sales. Every
Brian McVickers: industry is kind of seeing, at least in the kind of the outdoor space, you're seeing a lot of.
It's going to mirror. Outdoor recreation went on, you know, it went crazy for a couple of years. Now it's, it's readjusting. It's coming back down to kind of like the, the previous projector, you know, but it's. We saw, I think it was 30, it was high thirties in 2020 and 2021 as far as audience growth. That's right.
So normally 15 to 20 percent growth year over year because it's an expanding space. Sure. And then to jump up 38 percent and then come back down, but it's like you said, it's still growing. Yeah.
scott Brady: I mean, if you just take out the bump, [00:30:00] the trajectory is still on that normal 15 to low 20%. growth rate. So there's a lot of reasons for, for the smaller businesses that are listening to have some courage that there will be a normal balancing of supply and demand as the industry continues to grow.
It will bring in new customers. It's just making sure that you have a good plan around how to speak to those new people that are coming into the space. And then how to reinforce to the existing audience base, why products like you sell are, are really relevant. And there's also lots of new white space.
There's lots of new opportunity. We talked about the other day, we talked about the unique componentry company that makes this conversion to the Starlink. Like he cannot keep up. So like there are these, there are these opportunities around new and emergent technologies that I think, I think people are able to
Brian McVickers: capitalize on.
If you can find the white space, As a manufacturer, as a brand, if you can find the white space that hasn't been addressed yet and you look for, if you're a, a brand or a company trying to figure out how do [00:31:00] you get into this, you know, maybe go on a couple of trips yourself and figure out like what was easy about it and what was difficult about it and what type of product is missing from the space, right?
You know, I always tell folks like, think about storage, you know, storage for any vehicle. You know, is a very difficult one, you know, cause every vehicle's a little bit different and there's always new vehicles coming onto the market and every person needs different type of storage. They bring different types of gear.
So is it hard storage, soft storage? What's the answer there? So that's a huge category. And also
scott Brady: being really careful around just because someone else is doing something or it appears to be successful that you just. Parrot or that you copy that you end up in this echo chamber and it takes away a lot of the things that you are inherently good at.
So find that confluence of something that if you're a knowledge worker, maybe you're in technology, find a need within overlanding that corresponds with your core skills. What you don't want to do is just say, like, I'm going to quit my job as this [00:32:00] technologist and I'm going to start sewing overland bags.
Yeah. The copying doesn't go very far. It doesn't. It doesn't work. Look for those unique opportunities and then build something of high quality that dovetails in with your existing skill sets. So many people that we have seen be successful in overlanding. It's because they took something that they already did well and then they incorporated it into their business or they started to serve the overland customer out of that skillset.
Just going like what the thing that we've seen people struggle with the most is the Alibaba overlanding. You don't want to just go on and buy another roof tent of the same type and put a different cover on it and expect yourself to have a business. It's not going to be successful. There is no such thing as a get rich.
Brian McVickers: here's where that works and it, and it's not a great model, but. But if you try to do that, if you try to do the copy and you bring it to the existing Overland market, it's not going to work because it's already, there's already five of them and the consumer's [00:33:00] incredibly savvy. Oh yeah, they know.
So the only place that that would work is if you say, go to, you know, you go buy the generic rooftop tent or the generic fridge freezer and put a different logo on it and then take it to a completely separate group of people. Segment. Yeah, sure. Sure. Take it to.
scott Brady: She did get I call it one of
Brian McVickers: Tastemaster. And what she, she said, Nick, we can look at your timing and her timing
scott Brady: it from a different perspective. She said, yeah, I want the championship. In the beginning, for people to be generalists, for me, I just remember that off roading because that was what I was doing a lot of.
It became more and more and more hardcore and it didn't meet my goals, which was to go out with my family and go explore. And I realized like this whole industry was moving in this one direction towards extreme rock crawling. And they stopped talking about the thing that the majority of people did, which was they took their vehicle family.
And they went out with their family. They [00:34:00] went exploring a lot of times they went camping and I'm like, Oh, there's this thing called overlanding. And so for me, it was, I saw it as a white space 20 years ago and that's what worked for us. And then when we look at once we understand the scope, so this is a very large, it's a very large industry right now.
It is an industry that is still growing. We see opportunity coming up all the time and we know what some of these forward looking opportunities are. A lot of these things we can't share with the audience, but we can tell you that we understand based upon what a lot of these OEMs and larger companies are doing is that they're investing heavily in what's coming next.
So we know that the overland space is going to continue to grow in a
Brian McVickers: healthy way. And on the retail side, we're seeing. We're seeing a lot of expansion as well. We're seeing larger online retailers and some new brick and mortar retailers. They're kind of taking that it's almost a big box approach, right?
So online you've got companies like real truck now has. A whole overlanding segment on their [00:35:00] website and they can outfit all these different vehicles with all these different products. Right. Right. And then on the brick and mortar side, you've got, it's a, what? Expedition superstore that is expanding through all these markets.
And pretty soon you're going to have an expedition superstore and all the DMAs. Right. You've got all these things where, or these retailers, large retailers where what's happening to the small retailer. They have to start to specialize a little bit more. So instead of carrying 50 different things, they maybe have to carry a dozen to two dozen very specialty things that are harder to get anywhere else
scott Brady: or get really, really good at services.
So a great example of that, a standout in my mind is mainline Overland. Also, okay, four wheel drive is another great example, right? So these are companies that specialize in doing premium service. To their customers, which means installing the suspensions, installing the red Arc battery systems, installing campers and shells, and well, okay,
Brian McVickers: four wheel drive you drive in one side of the building.
Yeah, with a, with a brand new car, or you know, just a [00:36:00] bare truck and you drive out with a fully outfitted
scott Brady: rig. That's right. And mainline Overland is also doing that. They have multiple locations, three locations now. So it's really impressive to see that. So if you're. Just trying to be a brick and mortar or a retailer without providing those premium services, then you're competing on price or you're competing on because you have it in stock.
That's also very expensive to try to win at that game. So
Brian McVickers: there's also rack attack is another one. They just focus on roof racks, but it's another one of those. You drive in one side of the building and you get fully outfitted and now they're doing tents and refrigerators and everything. So it's, it has the full installation.
So from a service side, they've got the inventory and the service. What a,
scott Brady: what a great example. So when we, when we talk about what works and what we've seen work, it's important to in an industry that's maturing, like overlanding, it's important to, to be careful to, to not try to parrot the outliers or the first movers.
There's not an opportunity for a lot of first moving now in the space that happened 20 years ago. So [00:37:00] what you want to do is find what you are uniquely good at. A lot of times those first mover positions are already taken. So look for, if there is a new opportunity or an emerging technology, like EVs would be a good example, EV overlanding, you could be a first mover in this emerging segment within overlanding.
Brian McVickers: We've seen a lot of those lately and you know, you talk to them about it. They're looking 20 years ahead. That's right. The practicality of implementing it right now is limited, but they're coming up with designs that they know if they get in on the head, you know, get ahead of it 20 years from now, they're going to be a leader.
scott Brady: also being really careful around the outliers. We see that in the influencer space. There are influencers who have. outsized audiences and then we see thousands of people trying to do the same thing. So you want to make sure that you can present a unique story and unique perspective, something that is unique to your own experience as opposed to like, Oh, it worked for this one individual or these two individuals because we interact with a lot of the influencers.
We know that [00:38:00] very less than a handful of them actually make a living. We've seen a lot
Brian McVickers: of influencers kind of come and go over the last probably
scott Brady: five years. It's because it's very difficult. And the biggest problem with the influencer business model is that you don't own the customer and you also don't own the outlet.
When you're on Instagram, imagine waking up one day and the Instagram servers got hacked and that it's down for a week. Right. It's gone. Or in the case of the algorithm or in the case of TikTok, there's an emerging outlet that And the problem with Tik TOK, especially for those that were YouTube producers, is that nobody makes any money on Tik TOK, right?
I mean, they make pennies compared to what they made on YouTube because Google, despite its size, they make an effort to be an ethical company. So they actually do compensate creatives in some way, whereas Tik TOK does not, but Tik TOK is the fastest growing outlet for that kind of content. So in my mind, I've never seen the influencer market as being Viable for a significant number of people.
So I've [00:39:00] never recommended people consider it cause it doesn't meet my qualifications of a successful business, but there are going to be outliers that are very successful. And so then just congratulate them, be like be happy that they were the ones that got to be successful in that outlier position.
But when it comes to putting your own family at risk, your own finances at risk and your own future at risk, make sure that you're coming back to really core fundamental business principles.
Brian McVickers: And some are very successful at it. Like you said, there's the outliers. It was at a vehicle drive media launch a couple of weeks ago, and they brought us in on waves one day after the other.
And the last day happened to be. It was Influencer Day and they had, you know, seven or eight people who were just social media personalities and they were there to do the first five days that were full of just kind of what you'd consider, you know, journalists and then the social media aspect. And it was really interesting to see the OEM embrace.
That group of people, they were all very well qualified to be
scott Brady: there. That's right. But again, it's a very [00:40:00] small group. So the influencer game is very difficult. It's also very, very expensive to come into now. It's like if you bought Bitcoin at 75 cents. Right. That was pretty cheap. It's kind of a side gig.
That's right. There were people there that had outside gains with crypto. And now people are trying to do it in 2023 and you want to talk about a fool's errand. I'm not, this is not financial advice, but it's, it's a lot more difficult to have an outsized outcome in something that has already had
Brian McVickers: some moments.
And that's not to say that social media is not a good play. We have our own social media channels. We use them every day on, you know, on a regular basis. And I do think it's, It can be difficult to figure out for a business. How do you translate somebody watching your social media feed or liking whatever you posted?
How does that translate into a dollar that goes to your bottom line? Yeah, we look
scott Brady: at it as an internal marketing tool, just like. Any other company awareness tool for a company would, we don't see it as a business model because it's too, it's too fragile. It's too [00:41:00] volatile
Brian McVickers: and it can change without our, we're not in
scott Brady: control of it.
Yeah. Whereas we produce our own print publication that we print, we know the customers, we have a relationship with them. We have our own website. We know when people come to it, we own the URL, we own the servers. We have control over the process and same with the podcast. Podcast is probably one of the better ways for someone who's looking to get started from the media perspective into the space because you have the opportunity to share your specific knowledge, share your stories, meet with others and talk about others.
And the cost of entry is very low, but you actually. own the category. You, you actually can move it from server to server. It's available through RSS feed around the world. There's not a gatekeeper like an Instagram. It's a much more
Brian McVickers: intimate connection with the consumer, right? So there's people listening to this podcast right now have chosen to do so.
scott Brady: reason why I like pot, I mean, I've learned, have learned so much through this podcast process. I've met so many of my heroes and spent time with [00:42:00] them, and it's been such a rewarding exercise for me. But one of the reasons why we started the Overland Journal podcast. Many years ago now is because we identified it as actually the only form of media that every Overlander can consume.
So if someone's on a motorcycle, they can't be on the internet. They can't be reading a magazine but they can listen to a podcast. It's great for drive time. And it's also great for drive time or in an airplane or whatever else. So we know that podcasts can be consumed and it's a rapidly growing segment of the space too.
One of the things that we've seen work. In general is, is making premium products that are specific to either your skill sets or if you're a company that wants to come into the space, make a great version of something that an overland overlander can use like the kuat rack. Is an example of that. They are a premium rack maker.
It was not a stretch for them to make
Brian McVickers: a truck rack. I think to enhance that idea a little bit more is realize that this [00:43:00] consumer could very well use your product as it is. Oh, totally. I think a lot of overlanders could. Yeah. Kuat came out with the Ibex or a truck bed. You can very well use their hitch mounted bike rack, which is also great.
Yeah. Don't feel if, if you're trying to figure it out, don't feel like you have to come up with a whole new business plan, a whole new product plan. Yeah. A lot of times you can just identify that this is a very dedicated and affluent group of consumers that you can bring your
scott Brady: existing product line.
Oftentimes. Yeah. Yeah. No question. It doesn't have to have the Overland badge in order to be useful in many cases. That's
Brian McVickers: the biggest hurdle that I see paralyzed companies. They feel like it's got to say Overland. They feel like the picture's got to have a truck in the background. It really doesn't.
scott Brady: Yeah.
Well, I mean, the picture is probably a good idea, but not to spend a whole bunch of money spooling up. A product that's kind of like the other ones that you make and ends up not being as good. So yeah, no, that makes, that makes a lot of sense. So I think really focusing on those premium product opportunities, like Brian said, go out, find out where the gaps are [00:44:00] in your own experience and use that to determine innovation.
Brian McVickers: Expos and a lot of the events are a great place to do that. A lot of folks will go to the events and they'll walk around and just look at the exhibitors. I always recommend go out to the campground. Yeah. Walk up and down the aisles of the campground and look and see how the end consumer is actually participating in the experience.
Right. You know, if you go around, if you go around dinnertime, if you go, you know, happy hour time, dinnertime, maybe at breakfast when everybody's kind of doing the start of the day, they'll have their, their, you know, they kind of unfold their campground near their campsites. Everything's out. Right. And you can see.
All the different products that they use just by walking around.
scott Brady: Yeah, that's a good way to do it. Always go through the Overland Expo campgrounds. There's a lot to be learned and really trying to don't be something that you're not focus on who you are, especially if you want to get into the media side of things.
If you want to get into the social media side of things, just be authentic to who you are. Make sure that you maintain other income streams. We've seen influencers that are successful that [00:45:00] also do social media marketing for companies or they're photographers, or they have other skills that they're bringing into the space instead of just trying to somehow make a living off of YouTube traffic numbers.
That's a very difficult thing. What
Brian McVickers: about writers and photographers? How would you, what advice would you give to people who want to, I want to go travel, but I want to, I want to have some income while I do it. So we get a lot of inquiries on a daily basis from people who just say, Hey, I want to write for you.
scott Brady: And I think that's the first mistake. The best thing that you can do if you're interested in the journalism side of things is to create a complete package of either a vehicle build that you've done or, and make sure that that vehicle build has been used out in the field. because we'll also discount those if they haven't been used, unless it's somebody that's a very experienced overlander, because we want it to show that there's credibility behind it.
The other option is go do an amazing adventure and document your adventure. Take great photographs. Don't just take photographs of the truck. Take photographs of the truck, take photographs of the people, show us the experience, [00:46:00] show us the mountains, the streams, the food, give us, nobody wants to read about the family vacation.
They want to read about an experience and adventure. Tell us how it felt, share new information, give history, and then create an entire package with images, with captions. Make sure that the package has been edited and then submit it to a publication and you will be shocked how successful that you are because 95 percent of people don't do that.
Even people who describe themselves as professional journalists, they always pitch on an email. They don't take a lot of time. When I got started into all this, that's what I did. I created a complete package. And I sent it to Phil Howell at a four wheel drive and sport utility magazine. And he's like, I've never gotten a complete package before.
He's like, you're in. Yeah. It was like a proposal. Yeah. And it wasn't even a proposal. I sent him the, he had to do no work. It was already edited. The images were good. The copy was there. I did the research. I bought the magazine. I did word count assessments of how long the stories were on average. [00:47:00] I delivered him something that I know he would put in the magazine.
And he took that one. He's like, what do you got next? Because I, I made his job easier. Whereas there's, there can be a lot of entitlement come with a complete package, come with, with, with that. And I think you'll be really surprised. It's also important to work with, with good outlets that pay people properly.
Your time is worth something. So you're better off continuing to work on your craft. So that way you could submit something to an outside magazine or to an Overland to a premium publication that pays their editors properly. We Pay our editors well enough that they earn a living as a family. And so work with outlets that pay, pay people properly for the work that they do.
And I think you'll find a lot of success with that. And people make a living doing it. Yeah. So I think that's a real, that's a real opportunity. Being a great photographer is a real opportunity. You know, there's challenges around that right now with. AI and the accessibility of a lot of equipment that makes it easier for people to take photos than ever before.
The video work stuff is challenging too with the shift between TikTok [00:48:00] and YouTube. But I think that telling great stories will always have a place. And this would be my last piece of advice. The comedian, Steve Martin, he had this great saying, which was be so good that they can't ignore you. Take the time.
to become an expert at your craft. Spend the energy to do great work and you will not have to worry about an opportunity within the Overland space. It's the ones that expect to kind of fall up into success. At the end of the day, those stories are rare. They're the outliers. Take the time, do the work, create great work, create great products.
And like the guy from the componentry company that makes. The Starlink antenna, unique componentry. He doesn't have to market or advertise. He makes an incredible product that solved all kinds of problems for me. Unique solution. Yeah, exactly. So we're, we're talking about it because it's, it's literally a game changer.
Right. So, you know, making products like that, that people cannot ignore. That they'll want to talk about those, be so excited to use, do great work, make [00:49:00] great products, and you'll be shocked at the success that you see. Well, the last thing that we got a few more minutes, I want to talk a little bit about how, once you've decided that you want to create a product, what are some ways that you can market that?
And there are lots of great outlets within the Overland space that people can, can use to do that from my perspective, as. Content producer and as someone who works with a lot of these companies is just making sure that your, your narrative is very authentic. Don't present your, your product as something that it isn't, and then be very genuine to the quality of the components that you're making and the work that you're doing.
And then really establish that credibility and innovation of your product in your narrative. So just be careful about the taglines that are popular from everyone. Really focus on credibility, show your product being used in unique ways, partner with influencers that are doing big adventures that add credibility to what you're producing.
And then Brian, of course, you've got to have, those are my few ideas, but you're going to have a whole lot of them around marketing. The experienced
Brian McVickers: marketers will get it. The people who [00:50:00] are coming in and saying, Hey, I just want to, I want to get into this space somehow, is that we talk a lot about the funnel in marketing.
It's the funnel. You've got the top of the funnel, which is just general brand awareness. People need to know that you exist. Right. And then as you go down the funnel, now you can start to educate them on what your individual products are from that general awareness. And that's the big, you want to reach as many people as you can with that general awareness and education.
Sure. And then it starts to become, and it's great for general media properties, right? And then at some point you want to give people a chance to kind of touch and feel it, which is great. A great. Reason to go to an event, right? Go to an event like the Overland Expo or, you know, a couple of the other four or five dozen that we've identified.
Give people a chance to see it, to touch it, to feel it, to understand how it works. And for
scott Brady: you to get their feedback. Right. That's a great opportunity. And listen, listen
Brian McVickers: to your customers. And then that eventually is going to trickle down to the bottom of the funnel, which is ideally a purchase. Yeah. If you can understand that it's very [00:51:00] difficult to find success by just.
Injecting yourself into the middle of the funnel
scott Brady: or only one part
Brian McVickers: of the funnel. You really need to, if you can, time and resources, if you can utilize that entire funnel, you're going to have more longevity beyond that, that purchase. That flash of the pan. Yeah. You want to have repeat purchases. You want to have some brand loyalty.
And we see it all the time where people become brand loyalists, where every accessory on their truck is from ARB, you know, from a specific company. Yeah. Like AEV or whatever, whatever it might be. And he just kind of like, they're like, Nope, that's a lot of consumer trust there. That's what I do. And we see it with clothing too.
Everybody's wearing. You know, cool clothing and they, and they, you know, or Arc'teryx, everything from the beanie hat to the shoes, everything in between. Right. And so know that this type of consumer, once they identify a brand. Or a product that's going to work for them. They will continue to go back to that.
scott Brady: And I think a lot of those [00:52:00] companies also do a good job of playing the long game of reinforcing the values of their brand. They do use the whole funnel, like a, like an ARB is a great example of that. They participate across the industry in ways to. Work with influencers, work with traditional media, work with podcasts, work with, with all of the different levels of the funnel events, et cetera, to make sure that they reinforce the values of the ARB brand across such a large
Brian McVickers: audience.
We've seen a lot of good success in the overland space and in the general outdoor space, a lot of spaces where the brand kind of creates a it's its own community for people to identify with. And then they feel this sense of belonging connected to a brand and then that Yeah. You know, that has a lot of longevity to it as well.
scott Brady: think it does. Yeah. It really does. Well, those are all great insights, Brian. We could talk for hours about this cause this is what we do. This is like, I wake up in the morning, I make my cup of cup of coffee and I go to work every day. Every day I work in the Overland space and so does Brian and we're here to help.
If there's [00:53:00] something we can do to support your small business, please let us know. How do people reach you, Brian?
Brian McVickers: Probably easiest way is email. Which is it's Brian, B R I A N at overlandinternational. com. We've also got all of our social media channels. You can send us a direct message there and
scott Brady: reach out to me.
That's right. And if you've got a question for me on the areas that I have knowledge around, which are very few compared to Brian, you can reach me scott. a. brady on Instagram. Happy to help, especially small businesses. We really, we really value. Their introduction into the space and we always want to support.
So please let us know
Brian McVickers: if you've got something new going on to see the community continue
scott Brady: to grow. That's right. All right, Brian, thank you so much. We thank you all for listening and we'll talk to you next time.