VSA Partners recently completed a comprehensive brand strategy, expression and activation program for the L-Class, a new brand of yacht from Sea Ray. The L-Class is positioned to redefine luxury in decidedly American terms while staying true to Sea Ray’s design heritage and legacy of innovation. The brand and the first boat in the line, the L-650 Fly, were both unveiled in February at this year’s Miami International Boat Show.
VSA began by employing a combination of ethnographic, qualitative and quantitative research techniques to gain insights about an evolving target market: buyers in the 50-70 foot yacht segment. Sea Ray saw an opportunity to innovate and position the brand distinctively against global competitors; the L-Class’ new tagline, “Inspired Luxury,” and eponymous campaign capture the essence of the L-Class ethos and position the brand at the intersection of substance and style. Customer response and demand for the L-650 Fly and its sister boat, the L-650, has been extremely strong since the brand’s launch.
This positioning comes to life in a suite of new materials created by VSA, including brand naming, brand and product logo development, high end brochure, website, print and digital advertising and a brand video. The L-Class brand launch follows on the heels of VSA’s 2012 brand expression program for the Sea Ray parent brand, which overhauled Sea Ray’s print and digital experiences, offline and advertising, direct mail, visual and verbal voice, tagline and photographic style.
“We were very excited to take a deeper dive into the buying journeys of yacht owners and Sea Ray’s brand,” said Stratton Cherouny, Associate Partner at VSA. “From an agency perspective, the upfront strategy was critical; you only get one chance to get it right with a market as idiosyncratic and demanding as this. Our research was essential to forming a solid strategy and getting necessary buy-in from senior leadership. Our final recommendations and the notion of ‘Inspired Luxury’ can be traced directly to the community of like-minded yacht buyers who never stop aspiring and continually expect the best from themselves and their yachts.”
“The result was a distinct brand position marrying style and substance, supported through a completely unique sales process and post-purchase experience,” added Brad Anderson, Vice President, Marketing and Planning for Brunswick Recreational Boats, Sea Ray’s parent company. “The response to the L-Class brand and initial models has been extremely positive. It’s clear L-Class represents more than just a new product line from Sea Ray—VSA was instrumental in the development of the brand, and its branded materials clearly articulate its uniqueness.”
Follow Sea Ray on Twitter, watch the L-Class brand video on Vimeo and download free 2014 Sea Ray augmented reality apps to get interactive tours of the L-650 and L-650 Fly. And if you’re ready to take the plunge, download the specs for both boats and find an authorized Sea Ray dealer around the world (but act quickly—early indicators show the L-Class is in high demand). Be on the lookout for L-Class advertising hitting publications in April and web portals for the L-580 and L-580 Fly coming later in 2014. Additional models will be unveiled at the 55th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November, tickets for which are now on sale.