When you have 15,000 customers and put 1,300 new campers into the market every year, you are doing something right as a business. Celso Prado of Mars Campers says a large part of the company’s success comes down to their focus on the customer.
“As a business, we’re not going to get to 100 years by looking at every dollar we make, but by looking at every customer like they’re a family member,” Celso says.
What does this involve? Creating a value for money product, a diverse range, listening to and incorporating customer feedback, offering a rock-solid warranty and support network, and more.
“We have a very comprehensive range, ranging from seven to seventy thousand dollars,” Celso says.
“There’s something to cater to all budgets. Similarly, we try to make something for everyone’s common needs. We have grown from releasing one model to four models a year. Whether you’re a mad keen offroad enthusiast or are into staying at caravan parks, we have a product for you.”
For each of these models, Mars ensures the best possible value for money, firstly by including budget solutions when expensive alternatives achieve the same outcome and secondly by not including unneeded or redundant features. That said, the brand strives to include everything you do need to hit the road.
As Celso says, “When you buy from Mars, you just add groceries and clothes and then you go.”
An exciting, affordable product is one thing, backing it with warranty and after-sales service another. Mars offer a five year structural warranty, and ensure this side of the customer experience, which is not immediately obvious on the showroom floor, is maintained to the highest standard.
“At Mars, we have a dedicated team to take care of our warranty,” Celso says.
“There’s one person in charge and a team that undertakes repairs. We have repairing facilities all around the country. We understand that, when someone is on a trip, they have a schedule. They want to get things done quickly, so as not to interrupt that schedule. We help to promptly solve any issues and get you back on the road ASAP.”
Celso tells Camper that through ongoing conversations with customers and engagement with their online community, Mars also identify any issues that recur and nut them out at the root.
Similarly, they listen to and, where appropriate, incorporate customer feedback — hence the extended prep bench, increased fridge capacity and convenient location of the control panel (which requires a lot more engineering, wiring and labour) on the Endurance.
This policy of openness to change has seen the brand’s reliability increasingly strengthen for over more than a decade.
Ultimately though, what makes the work so meaningful to the people behind the brand are the beautiful stories they hear from their customers, who are, Celso says, “Good, honest, hard-working people.” Reunions between estranged fathers and sons, ticking off of long-held travel ambitions, awe-inspiring Big Laps — it can all happen in a Mars camper.