Formula Marine – Creating a brand story to attract an amazing audience

What’s that old saying? ‘Do things the same way and you will get the same results’.

We had the pleasure of working with Dutch business Formula Marine and helped change the way they went to market, which in turn helped bring them face to face with some of the most influential players in their industry.

Formula Marine supplies products for Superyachts. These products are stylish, innovative, extremely beautiful and very expensive. They supply globally to naval architects and superyacht designers dealing with the world’s richest yacht owners. And here lies the problem. How do you reach these key players and what do you talk about when you do?

One of the ways to get close to the decision makers is to attend and exhibit at one of the world’s most prestigious yacht shows. Monaco Yacht Show welcomes the world’s key superyacht suppliers alongside the rich and famous who come to enjoy, discover and ‘shop’ for the most luxurious boats and peripherals.

So along with the rest of their competitors and all of the other suppliers to this exclusive market, Formula Marine exhibited at the show. They took a small stand, brought some of their lovely products, produced some stylish collateral and worked, like all of the other exhibitors, to attract potential buyers on to their stand. There was some return and of course you have to be seen at these events, but whilst looking at their strategic approach we questioned the true value, given how much they had to invest both financially and with their time.

Together we decided to look at the market more closely and see if we could understand if there were better ways to target this very hard to reach audience.

We firstly undertook market research into the superyacht industry to uncover business growth opportunities, the key players in yacht design and manufacture and emerging industry trends. We then carried out Client Insight Research™ to find out from the company’s customers what they valued about dealing with Formula Marine and why they chose them over their competitors. These two research phases gave us the insights that allowed us to create a story for Formula Marine to bring to the market, based on the key message that they wanted their audience to hear – Formula Marine was technically excellent and brought skills from the most advanced industries in the world to bear in the products they produced.

Then by developing an understanding of their key target audience’s requirements, we helped Formula Marine to do something completely different.

We agreed they would pull out of the Monaco Yacht Show exhibition!

Instead, rather than exhibit again we set up an exclusive event on the opening night of the show and sent out tailored aluminium and carbon designed invites to the industry’s most important decision makers. We held the event in a well-known bar and restaurant with balconies overlooking the beautiful superyachts in Monaco harbour, and offered drinks and canapés. And rather than spend the evening presenting Formula Marine products we arranged for an Aerospace industry expert – a real ‘Rocket Scientist’ – to be a keynote speaker. He talked about collaboration and learning lessons from other industries. He shared his stories from running the Cassini Huygens mission to Mars and what it was like when a rocket went wrong in space.   This gave the audience something different to listen to rather than the constant noise of Superyachts, and it gave Formula Marine a platform to talk about new innovations that they were making themselves. They created their brand story by aligning themselves with one of the most technically advanced industries in the world, and inviting an expert to share his insights. The event was not only attended by 80 of the most important decision makers in the world of superyacht building, but it also attracted the press to attend and they were keen to follow up and write stories about the content of the event.

By hosting this VIP event Formula was able to position themselves differently from their competitors and they enjoyed the attendance of some amazing guests, converse with them at close quarters and achieve press coverage that they just wouldn’t have had from having an exhibition stand. Not only that but they had a different brand story to use which helped them develop further content well after the event had finished.

Formula Marine was delighted and they subsequently opened doors into potential new prospects that perhaps may have taken an awful lot longer without this activity. And what’s more we came in under budget!

We are keen to help our clients think differently and perhaps this will give you the reader an idea to try something different yourself. This is just one example of how we can help you create your brand stories.

Finally yes we did spend a nice couple of days in Monaco and no we couldn’t afford a thing!