Over the past year, the experiences of yacht owners and charterers have entered a new dimension. Logistics, planning, and customer service have been redefined, impacted by social and global implications due to the pandemic. There are still clients who have their yachting dream, whether that is owning a new build or cruising the ocean with their family and friends. Clients are now more meticulous about achieving their dream. Excellence and high quality don’t compromise in the luxury sector.
A survey by LUUX Media found that as many as 73% of the UHNWI’s interviewed about their spending habits in the wake of the pandemic intend to spend the same, if not more, on luxury goods or services in the near future. Therefore, how do yachting companies capitalise on the values associated with luxury such as exclusivity, emotional connection or time with family and friends?
Josh Francis who works at TJB Super Yachts as a Sales and Charter Broker Manager shares his insight. “I think yacht charters really epitomise the typical luxury values of exclusivity and emotional experience, as well, a yacht charter is probably the most high-end holiday experience on the open market for consumers. In my personal and somewhat biased experience, I feel there is no better way to spend time with family, friends and loved ones than onboard a yacht as far away from the hustle and bustle of regular life as possible. The actual level of enjoyment possible is something that can go under the radar, but by moving away from the traditional yachting marketing we have seen for some time and into a more lifestyle-focused approach we can showcase the quality of experience onboard to a new demographic and entice clients who have not previously considered a charter.”
A New Chapter For Luxury
According to luxury, lifestyle and consumer brand strategy firm Équité, Generation Z consumers account for around 10% of luxury purchases worldwide and they will be the world’s largest luxury purchasing group by 2030.
In the past, no generation has ever been so connected digitally to brands and devices. Generation Z’ers are challenging the yachting sector from a marketing perspective – they do their research before choosing a company and they judge companies by the total overall experience they receive. Most importantly, Generation Z clients are looking for companies who don’t pretend to be something they’re not; they want to be inspired by yachting companies who aren’t doing what another company does.
Attracting new clients is part of a far-reaching brand development strategy for TJB Super Yachts, which fits into the luxury sector seamlessly. Josh agrees that yachting brands need to show clients perceived value and storytelling along with all their touchpoints, until the decision where they choose to buy a yacht or book a charter. “We pride ourselves on the independent tech platforms and processes we have created for our team which enables us to provide the most accurate information to our clients in the quickest way possible,” states Josh.
This is one aspect at TJB Super Yachts that shows the value for clients and differentiates the company from others. “We would definitely consider ourselves technology-backed and information-focused,” continues Josh. “This is proven by our website tools such as the itinerary builder and route calculator along with many back-end tools. We also work together as a team on complex enquiries to ensure our clients benefit from a wealth of knowledge rather than just one independent broker, this puts their best interests first and ensures we can go the extra mile to accommodate any client enquiry.”
A recent TJB Super Yachts poll on LinkedIn received some solid results focused on the question: ‘How would you define luxury – is ‘luxury’ having tangible things such as designer clothing, real estate, cars? Is ‘luxury’ the advantage of time or privacy? One hundred and thirty-one people responded including CEOs of multinational companies and professionals working in the private aviation, yachting or luxury goods industries. The results were:
- Material possessions/assets: 15%
- Time: 49%
- Privacy: 18%
- Other, please comment: 18%
For the ‘other’ option, some of the comments were:
- “Luxury is a combination of taste, principle, value, and exclusivity. It can be found in products or services. And, even in time and privacy.”
- “Luxury is defined by its ability to create emotion. It’s very individual-specific!”
- “To me, luxury means taking the best that life can give, then it’s probably a mix of material goods, time (otherwise you cannot enjoy them) and privacy.”
- “It is not worth it to drive a supercar if you do not like driving. Or not worth going to a Michelin-starred restaurant if you do not appreciate the fine cuisine. In the end, each person has their own expectations and tastes of good stuff – the things that make you enjoy the experience – may be completely different for you and me. Expectations and personal choices can impact our perception of luxury.”
- “There is no universal ‘luxury’. Luxury is both personal, and relative to expectations. Luxury is turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.”
The Definition Of Luxury
Luxury is multifaceted and has no true definition. It is also shaped by companies that have established themselves globally in the luxury industry. A few high-end brands such as Krug Champagne or Ferrari limit their production purposely to limit the market. However, the luxury sector has evolved from marketing the notion of scarcity to abundant rarity, supporting feelings of exclusivity and uniqueness.
In essence, the definition of luxury is personal and reflected by individual expectations whether that is prestige, privacy, price, or time. Without creating something beyond functional value for yachting clients, there is no inspiration or desire created.