American Marketer


Northrop & Johnson looks to luxury horizons for creative marketing initiatives

March 18, 2016

Northrop & Johnson yacht Northrop & Johnson yacht


Yacht charter Northrop & Johnson is sailing into the Palm Beach International Boat Show with an impressive posse.

Over the past few months, the yacht charter has struck partnerships with high-end brands across a variety of sectors, many of which will be present at the boat show March 17-20. Drawing on brands with established following across other sectors builds a specific image for Northrop & Johnson and will also appeal to enthusiasts of the partners.

“Our clients have a high purchasing power, and the collaborations with different sectors allow us to offer them exclusive experiences with an incredible added value," said Ottaviano Iacono, strategic partnership director at Northrop & Johnson. “In this way, every single client can create a union element between own yacht and some iconic brands able to realize unique experiences.”

Partners in maritime
Northrop & Johnson has partnered with British automaker Aston Martin, Swiss watch manufacturer Arnold & Son, Goldfinch Pianos and Chile-based winery Casillero del Diablo. The brands will join the yachter at boat shows throughout the year, with all but Aston Martin appearing in Palm Beach March 17-20.

Goldfinch Sygnet

Goldfinch Sygnet

Goldfinch is unveiling its new piano, designed precisely to fit the yacht’s dimensions at the boat show. The Goldfinch Sygnet is the smallest grand piano in the world and has a self-playing feature that can be controlled through mobile applications. A self-playing piano designed specifically for the brand’s yachts gives the Northrop & Johnson an advantage in enticing music-loving consumers.

Arnold & Son will be present at all of Northrop & Johnson’s boat shows. In Singapore April 7-10, the watchmaker will display the products launched at Baselworld, which runs concurrent with the Palm Beach show.

The yachter and the watchmaker have partnered in previous years and promise more projects and initiatives to be announced in coming weeks and months.

Casillero del Diablo, present in 145 countries with 10,183 hectares of vines, will also attend the Palm Beach boat show. Northrop & Johnson clients are invited to enjoy special wine collections and meet with Casillero del Diablo ambassadors, displaying an excellence in service for the yachter and giving the winery an opportunity to win over new consumers.

Casillero del Diablo wine

Casillero del Diablo wine

Aston Martin will kick off a multi-year partnership at the Monaco Yacht Show in September, with more joint appearances to follow at more yacht and brokerage shows, luxury events and global automotive appointments. The partnership between brands touting exclusivity and technical excellence is mutually reinforcing and will help cultivate a desirable image for both, in addition to opening up marketing opportunities.

“Luxury and design are key words for Aston Martin. Art of Living is a perfect complement to our luxury sports cars. We believe in creating superior quality products with superb style and excellent performance,” said Katia Bassi, brands managing director at Aston Martin, in a statement. “With Northrop & Johnson, we have found a strategic partner that shares our values, and the common objective is to create high-class services with modern style and elegance.”

Anchors aweigh
Yachting represents a very particular lifestyle, so it is something that consumers spend more time deliberating. As a result, brands need to have clear points of differentiation and visible mission statements and values.

For example, newly established yacht brand WOW Yachts is hyping its series with a promise to “inspire, educate and evolve” consumers.

WOW Yachts, which made its official debut at the Sunset Harbor Yacht Club in Miami Beach, FL during the Miami Boat Show has entered the market with an emphasis on sustainability and education. Carefully designed yachts are plentiful, but standout hooks and a clear demonstration of values could help WOW make a successful entry into the crowded field (see story).

While WOW Yachts and Northrop & Johnson have prioritized positioning, others have purely product-oriented pitches.

Superyacht builder Dynamiq is breaking new ground in the yacht industry with customizable, made-to-order yachts.

Clients can customize everything from paint scheme to finish and amenities on Dyanamiq’s Web site and, for the first time ever, build the yacht of their dream. According to the brand, consumers have never had such control over their boats before, so Dynamiq’s model may provide a new benchmark in high-end yachting that empowers the consumer and eases the transaction model (see story).

"The collaboration with our partners improves the performances of both brands engaged thanks to the use of our own respective marketing and communication platforms," Mr. Iacono said. "At the moment there are few companies that, as we do, are able to effect a global multi-year strategy of such complexity with the luxury world, and that allows us to reveal many new marketing ideas."