esperto di comunicazione e marketing per nautica davanti a uno scafo in costruzione sottovuoto in un cantiere navale

Subcontractors, the Boat and Everything

You know that story where you sell a lot of boats, but no boaters know you as a brand?

Which, when looked at from the other side, is: you build excellent boats, but strangely, you struggle to place them?

In other words, you sell the boats you make for others, but those bearing your name find it hard to find a market?

And make no mistake, they are as beautiful and well-made as the ones you build for others.

Even better, perhaps, because after years of production, you’ve seen how the shipyards you serve have modified their designs over time.

And finally, you don’t have to be careful about all the external impositions, but you can let your creativity flow.

The thought came to me after a particular day at Boot in Düsseldorf where I saw the presentation of two new boats.

First, the Dracan 42, a motor catamaran from the Polish company Dracan Boats.

Then, the W43, a walkaround from Wiszniewski Yachts, another absolute debut.

The names may not mean anything to you, as they have just arrived, but to give you an idea of the magnitude of the shipyards behind them, know that we’re talking about approximately 5000 boats produced each year!!!

Yes, 5000: meaning that these excellent Polish industrialists put more than half of the entire Italian boat fleet between 10 and 12 meters out to sea every year.

To be more precise, Dracan is the offshoot of Model ART, a third-party manufacturer with three production facilities and over 1000 employees

producing boats for Nimbus, Parker, Windy, Askeladden, and even De Antonio Yachts.

The W43, on the other hand, comes from an even larger shipyard: Ślepsk. With 1200 employees and production for XO Boats, Axopar, Yamarin, Bayliner, Sea Ray, and Quicksilver, they produce well over 3000 boats each year.

Wow… I thought, here are two more cases where a third-party manufacturer who knows how to do their job well of producing boats for others at a certain point “goes crazy” and starts wanting to produce their own boats.

So let’s say that the product, at least from a technical and manufacturing point of view, is there.

What do these shipyards need to achieve the success they deserve even when not working for others?

Simple: everything beyond the product.

Presumably, each of these successful companies has already optimized both the selection of people and the production processes.

But as for the third leg that holds up the stool, i.e., marketing, how are they doing?

In other words, how do they plan to turn their brand into a brand?

The product is just one aspect, you know.

Think about how much Red Bull earns, a sign that it sells a lot of cans of the product that gives you wings; in 2022, it closed its accounts with 9.68 billion euros. But how many have you heard say that they “like” Red Bull?

But everyone likes what Red Bull communicates, the world it takes you to, and the wings it gives you.

So even if you are an excellent producer, have you thought about how to sell your boats? In other words, have you thought about why someone should come to you instead of going to your client-competitor?

Four steps to help you become as attractive as possible to your end customers: boaters.

Identify your customer: Who are they? This is the first question to ask yourself. Have you ever wondered why groups maintain many separate brands or even invent new ones (think about what Jeanneau did with Prestige: it was the line of large boats, and they made it a brand of its own…).

Identify who you are: What characterizes you as a brand? To stick with beverages: Red Bull is the drink that gives you wings, Coca Cola is the one you drink in company, Fanta is for the first birthday parties. Who are you?

Decide what boat to present: What do you want boaters to find on each of your boats? What should never be missing in the experience you offer to those who buy one of your boats: how do you give them wings and what kind of wings are they? In other words: why was your product needed that others didn’t provide?

Finally, decide how to make yourself known: print, social media, shows, private events, a network of dealers. If you don’t have the means to cover all possibilities, why not focus on just a few so that people remember you?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you have a lot more clarity to start getting into the heads (and hearts) of your boater customers.


Would you like to get more results from your business, but don’t know how? Are you already busy running your company, and everything related to communication and marketing is extra?

If you believe that marketing and communication can be an asset to your company but haven’t found a partner to help you leverage this asset, talk to US NOW.

Contact us here:

We will analyze your situation to understand together if and how we can help you.

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