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Sailing in Competitive and Crowded Waters: How Your Nautical Brand Can Stand Out

There are 6,000 shipyards worldwide; 2,500 in Europe, with a staggering 350 in Italy alone!

To put it into perspective, that’s 17.5 shipyards for every Italian region, including Valle d’Aosta. Trentino and Umbria, all of them without a direct contact to the sea.

This data comes from a study conducted by the Apuan Industrial Area Consortium. Given the vast number of small producers, it’s likely that this estimate falls short.

It becomes evident that in the vast sea of nautical marketing, standing out is not just an art; it’s a necessity.

What’s the biggest challenge your nautical brand faces in distinguishing itself in such a competitive market?

In a world where every shipyard, accessory provider, or service supplier is trying to make waves and capture attention, how can your brand create a lasting impact?

Among the strategies you can employ are differentiation strategies, such as developing your unique narrative, offering unique customer experiences, or standing out with innovative design.

Have you already experimented with this strategy in your nautical marketing? What were the results?

Here are four examples of companies that have implemented winning strategies that have made a mark and continue to shape the market.

Axopar is a textbook case, going from non-existence to producing 1,200 boats per year in just 9 years.

They achieved this by positioning themselves as the shipyard that enables you to live your adventures, highlighting how their boats are tools for enjoying your leisure time doing things you love.

In their communication, they emphasize their identity as “The Adventure Company” more than the shipyard’s name.

If you visit their website, it looks more like a travel agency’s site than a boat builder’s.

Pardo Yachts managed to differentiate itself in the world of walkarounds, where it wasn’t the first but among the pioneers, thanks to its legacy in sailboats.

It promised its customers a boat built by a shipyard that had already convinced sailors, who are notoriously considered (not always rightly) better navigators capable of choosing boats.

Furthermore, it effectively communicated its widespread sales and service presence in the most attractive markets: Europe and the USA.

Once the first models were sold, social proof did the rest: “if everyone buys Pardo, then it must be good.”

It’s one of the unconscious mechanisms that drive us to buy things that are “trendy.”

De Antonio Yachts, also a walkaround, was the first to work differently on design, concealing outboard engines under a sunbed.

The result: the aesthetics of an inboard with the internal space advantages of an inboard.

Absolute, with its various Navetta models, broke aesthetic conventions compared to classic flybridges.

The Piacenza-based shipyard offered a different onboard living experience: boats with immense volumes that sacrificed external appearance to provide interiors comparable to home environments.

Do you see any parallels between these successes and your company? How could you apply these lessons to your brand?

And most importantly: what emerging trends do you see in the nautical sector that could influence how brands distinguish themselves?

If you believe an external perspective with knowledge of the nautical market and customers could help your company stand out, discover how LLiquida can assist your nautical brand in navigating towards success. Contact us for a personalized consultation.

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