Do your millennial customers care more than your traditional ones?
‘Conscious consumerism is ingrained in their DNA. These newer generations will determine the future orientation of this industry, which has to be greener. Sustainability is not even a topic anymore. If you’re not steering your company in that direction, you become obsolete. But what sets you apart from your competition is: who comes first? Who is driving better innovation? We have created a measurement tool called YETI: the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index. This shows how green your yacht is.’
You only sell four to six yachts each year. What does a chief marketing officer do in this ultra-niche?
‘We have 2000 employees and apart from those four to six yachts per year, we have many more in our order books. We have a three- to four-year bill time per yacht. We're selling and marketing to the most difficult, most demanding clients in the world. They are well-informed, very intelligent. They are the leaders of the entrepreneurial world. They receive a lot of specialized information from a huge circle of people. All these people funnel a certain desirability to this one client, and they have to end up knocking on our door. The one thing we never do, is actively go to a client and ask them to buy a Feadship. They have to be convinced already. Most of the time we serve clients that are very experienced in yachting. They owned different yachts before and they know what they want. They want to build something that doesn't exist yet, and that's when they come to Feadship. We are marketing a desirability, a private retreat, a personal dream. You are going to create a suit that fits only you.’
The videos on your website are selling a lifestyle, without showing the interiors of the yachts.
‘I have to work with confidentiality, we're building people's private retreats. Our strategy is fully focused on building a love brand that comes with a lot of mystical elements, a lot of sensuality, and a lot of storytelling. Our strategy is a combination of marketing and branding. We start with defining our DNA. In the center of it, we build an amazing experience because it's about the customer journey. They have to wait four years before they have their dream. The journey towards that is an exceptional one because our customers are going to do something that simply nobody else has done before.’