Winnebago Unites Towables with Minnie Badge

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September 13, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

In move designed to leverage Winnebago Industries Inc.’s considerable brand recognition, the Forest City, Iowa-based manufacturer is building continuity into its towable division as it consolidates all lines under the newly formed Minnie badge.

“In the past, other OEMs have distinguished their brands on an individual basis,” said Winnebago Towables Director of Marketing Mark Gerber, noting that the launch of the new Minnie line is set for next week’s Elkhart RV Open House. “We did that as well, and what happens is that it doesn’t translate to the customer. It’s hard for a customer to tell who the manufacturer is when the trailer is on the sales lot because there’s no continuity in the brands.

“With the launch of our Minnie brand, we will now have five species of trailers under the same nameplate that share a lot of the same features including internal wood choices and fabric options. We are branding the rollout as ‘Minnie Time,’ giving customers, and salespeople, an easy, logical progression under one name.”

Mark Gerber

Gerber stressed that a key factor in the decision was taking advantage of the built-in consumer loyalty associated with Winnebago name and the Minnie brand’s growing appeal.

“We have seen that RVers are very loyal to the Minnie brand,” said Gerber, adding that the company was maintaining its Spyder branded toy haulers.  “There is a Facebook page for Minnie owners and it has risen to include over 1,000 members. They’re die-hard, which creates brand equity with those customers. Then we’re also marketing under the Winnebago brand, so I can’t think of a better product for RVers to relate to. The Winnebago brand will be very evident in the Minnie line.”

Also adding a sense of continuity, Minnie towable lines will all be offered in eight exterior colors. “It gives people choices and really distinguishes the Minnie,” Gerber said. “We feel that it will appeal to all our customers, including the Millennials that are coming into the market. We also build a lot of technology into the trailers like USB charging ports and stereos with BlueTooth and exterior speakers.”

According to Gerber, the Minnie lineup will include:

  • The Micro Minnie is a lighter weight trailer with a 7-foot-wide box that offers ease of towing. “We thought it would appeal to the first-time buyer but we’ve found a lot of people downsize from a fifth-wheel or big travel trailer,” Gerber said. The line is available in eight floorplans, including two single-axle floorplans. Most models are equipped with a double-door refrigerator, stainless steel stink and three-burner range with oven. Other features include a power tongue jack, LED TV, aluminum wheel assemblies and enclosed tanks.  
  • The retro-styled teardrop Minnie Drop is a 6 1/2-foot-wide trailer sporting an 8-foot tire stance for smooth towing. Launching with six floorplans, the Minnie Drop offerings all have dry weights under 3,000 pounds. Standards include fiberglass sidewalls; one-piece fiberglass roof; power awning with LED lighting; solar charger prep; and a 13,500 Btu roof air conditioner. Wood grain graphics and a 15-inch offroad tire/axle are optional.
  • The Minnie is a traditional trailer with an 8-foot wide box and a choice of a dinette or sofa slideout. Sporting an all-new front cap, the Minnie line is comprised of seven floorplans built for flexibility and livability with an abundance of storage space. A fully equipped kitchen includes microwave, three-burner range with oven and a double-door refrigerator. A 15,000 Btu air conditioner and a 19-inch LED TV are optional in the trailer.
  • Winnebago’s Ultralite and Instinct travel trailers have been merged into the Minnie Plus brand offering a median price point positioned between the two former lines. The Mini Plus is available in six floorplans, including a rear bunkhouse configuration, ranging in lengths from 30 to 37 feet. All models offer larger, multiple sliderooms. Features include NXG engineered chassis; painted fiberglass front caps; solid-surface countertops; TV antenna with booster; LED TV; and optional fireplace with remote.
  • Winnebago has replaced its Voyager line with the Minnie Plus fifth-wheel, offering a spacious elevated stateroom that features a residential queen bed, plenty of storage and easy access to a luxurious master bath. While offering a full complement of amenities the Minnie Plus fifth-wheel is still light enough to be towed by most half-ton trucks. Available in three floorplans ranging from 27 to 30 feet, the model is set off by a painted front fiberglass cap while the kitchen includes solid-surface countertops, flush mount three-burner range with oven and a stainless steel galley sink. Power stabilizing jacks, solar charger prep and a 10-gallon water heater are all standard while dual pane windows, a fireplace with remote and extreme weather package are all optional.

“The feedback from our dealers has been very positive,” noted Gerber. “Our towable lines have been experiencing significant growth over the past few years, and all we can do is accelerate that growth with our new Minnie line.”

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