135: garrett finney, ceo & founder of taxa outdoors

“As a designer, I think of designing a better mouse trap, whether it’s the system or the finished object. So, I don’t usually think of it to myself as we are made in the U.S. as a point of pride. It’s just like that is the practical thing to do. It always has been for us. And it’s practical in every sense. So, it’s so practical, I should take great pride in it somehow.”

– Garrett Finney

EPISODE PREVIEW:

Outdoor recreation will be a healer for all of us post pandemic and through the recovery of the recession. Taxa Outdoors is a revered client partner of Verde Brand Communications, the presenting sponsor of the Channel Mastery podcast, and I had the honor of interviewing CEO and founder of Taxa Outdoors, Garrett Finney, on the podcast today. 

So what is Taxa Outdoors and why do they make mobile human habitats built for adventuring? And why do they have only four products named after insects? The Mantis, Cricket, Tiger Moth and Wooly Bear are the four models available today. 

Does Taxa Outdoors make a recreational vehicle (RV) or an outdoor gear hauler? Yes. Is it a people transporting mechanism to the natural environment? Yes. Is it more mobile habitat designed to be a functional and fun basecamp than box-like RV? Yes!  

Taxa Outdoors is enjoying a healthy surge of sales and community growth through the pandemic and now, the recession. These American-made, artisan campers are not exactly inexpensive, yet they’re selling very well during this time of constriction and consumer confidence. 

Want to know why? Listen to this conversation. You’ll learn how Garrett was his own target consumer, and how he created what he truly wanted in a mobile, adventure-ready habitat: the promise of freedom and life transformation that you can pull behind a light-duty SUV! Who doesn’t want that in the throes of the pandemic? 

This episode is all about the business of belief, and the inspiration of one very special visionary entrepreneur. I hope you enjoy it!

GUEST PROFILES:

Garrett Finney

Garrett Finney the founder and CEO of Taxa Inc., which designs and manufacturers innovative, forward looking mobile habitats. He is a trained architect and lives and works in Houston, Texas. He has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Yale University. He was awarded the Rome Prize in Architecture in 1994.

TOPICS COVERED:

Taxa Outdoors, Recreational Vehicles, Brand Storytelling, Owning a Brand Story, Owning the End Consumer

SELECT QUOTES:

“If we {Taxa} were just an RV, we would just be, I don’t know, a white box, but now we are, people are dreaming about us as escape pods because people are less inclined to jump on an airplane. People are less inclined to do a lot of other things. People just want some sanity in their house.”

“…three out of four of our products are RVs. That’s how the state categorizes them. And most of our customers are from the outdoor industry world. And the RVs are something they’ve driven past on a highway, but it’s like a parking lot to them. It’s not selling a lifestyle or a dream of freedom or even as a piece of equipment. And all those things are what we’re trying to sell.

“And now are trying to do a hundred times faster is to own the sales funnel or our customer, interact with our customer as much as we can to explain to them are intuitive, but not necessarily easy to explain quickly products, and try to help people dream appropriately and try to fit them into the right habitats, and try to give them advice on how to achieve the road trips they’ve always wanted to go on. Also tell them, because we’re all working from them, how they make great home offices in your backyard. How you can have a camp out right in your backyard, even as you’re waiting for another month or two months, or next week, depending on your state for a state park to open up and let you go. We’ve achieved sanity again in a different way.”

“Yeah. We’re not trying to sell amenities. We’re trying to sell the plan, the equipment that lets you achieve dreams. Those are two different things.”

“As a designer, I think of designing a better mouse trap, whether it’s the system or the finished object. So, I don’t usually think of it to myself as we are made in the U.S. as a point of pride. It’s just like that is the practical thing to do. It always has been for us. And it’s practical in every sense. So, it’s so practical, I should take great pride in it somehow.”

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