EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association (RVIA).
Erin Curtis, the vice president of marketing and development at Genesis Products, has had a lifelong career in marketing.
Her entry into the marketing field first launched after she graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Ill., with a major in creative writing and a minor in philosophy. “My first job out of school was as a copywriter for an advertising agency,” Curtis said. “I was very fortunate to be surrounded by a group of people that were very generous with their time and knowledge. They took me under their wing and didn’t put me in a box. They saw something in me that was hungry for a bigger role. Most importantly, they were able to help me understand brand strategy and the intersection between consumer need and brand purpose. Uniting those two things was
Curtis went on to build a career as a creative director and strategic planner, working with a number of impressive brands, including Whirlpool, JennAir, Google, and Cardinal Health, that have given her in-depth marketing insight. “I’ve had a varied career in the types of accounts I’ve been able to work with. I’m so grateful for the experience that I’ve had because it’s made me well-rounded and helped me gain so much perspective, as well as understand the points of commonality. All we’re really trying to do is solve a problem: how do we unite what a consumer needs with what our brand stands for? I’ve learned that ‘good marketing’ isn’t transactional. It’s about creating a relationship between the brand and the consumer.”
Now, after starting her role at Genesis Products a year and a half ago, her responsibilities include building the company’s messaging and supporting its initiatives through strategic marketing. “We’re building foundational strategic plans for our key industries and focusing on establishing processes, messaging, and content from the ground up. We are able to execute with speed thanks to our internal marketing team, which has grown considerably in the past year. We have agency partners, of course, but we’re also fortunate to have strong talent and creative skills in-house as well.”
Founded in 2002, Genesis Products is a leading supplier of RV interiors specializing in decorative laminate components. The company has over 1,200 employees, 1.8 million square feet of manufacturing space, and 14 plants across the Midwest and East Coast. Their goal is to help customers realize their vision without being restricted by capabilities, style, or supply. Genesis delivers a custom approach to fit and finish, a connected approach across placements, and a cross-functional team dedicated to pushing the limits in support of their customers.
“At Genesis, we feel that every environment deserves to be elevated. We’re very invested in our product offering and feel we’ve earned the right to call ourselves leaders in the interior RV space,” Curtis says. “A new face of Genesis has developed over the last 3-4 years of investment and I’m able to introduce that to the market now. We feel we offer a unique point of view in how we approach interior spaces. Now, after the pressure cooker of COVID 19, we can lift our heads up and truly set our sights on what the consumer wants.”
“I also think we’re uniquely positioned in that we’re not broken up into different silos. Our company approaches everything with a cross-functional team across both product lines and disciplines. Our engineers, our designers, our sales team, and our product leaders are all working together to solve for a space for our customers.”
Erin emphasizes that, along with an interior’s style and appearance, Genesis Products also places high value on the engineering and functionality of a product. “From light-weighting to alternative materials to engineering new cabinet and storage functionality, our engineering and product team thrives on solving problems for our customers. We make a point to keep our finger on the pulse of innovation coming out of Europe and infuse that into our offerings. For instance, we’re the only domestic supplier to make a curved Euro door. And, as the most comprehensive laminate component and panel supplier in the US, we’re able to color-match across multiple laminates, from paper and vinyl to high-pressure laminate and thermally-fused laminate.”
In terms of what’s next for Genesis Products, Curtis highlights that the company has recently launched an aftermarket line focused on RV interiors. “While we’ve been focused on elevating interiors for new models, we’re now offering a line of refacing products for wallboards and cabinets that are going to help used RV owners elevate their space as well. We have an initial partnership with Camping World, which launched in 10 locations and on their ecommerce platform in late May.”
Along with her work at Genesis Products, Erin is also involved with the RV Industry Association. ”Joining the Association has been key for me to understand the business in a deeper way. It’s allowed me to network and make connections across the industry. I’ve never met a more welcoming group of people. I learned so much from RVs Move America Week in particular.”
“I think the Association is an amazing asset for the industry,” Curtis adds. “Everybody comes together across the supply chain for the consumer—manufacturers, campgrounds, suppliers, aftermarket. It’s all there. It takes all of us working together to strategize how we’re going to reach this new, younger consumer, and the RV Industry Association plays a critical role in facilitating that important work.”
Curtis is also a part of the RV Industry Association’s Sustainability Committee: “When I heard that the Association was launching a Sustainability Committee, I thought it was a great way to get involved. I’m now Chair of its Marketing Subcommittee and that’s been an amazing challenge and opportunity. The Sustainability Committee emphasizes an important topic that we all need to address as a collective industry and I’m excited to be part of the beginning of that effort, learning alongside all my industry counterparts.”
Now having settled into her role at Genesis, Curtis states that she feels proud of her company and the experience she’s gained. “Before I took this job, the RV Industry was pretty foreign to me. But I’m honored to be a part of it now. I’ve been able to experience that amazing feeling of being in the right place at the right time. All of the experience I’ve gained has prepared me for this role in this part of the company’s growth period. I feel very grateful and excited for the future, both my own and the future of Genesis.”