Voice of the Sea: Social Media and Super Luxury Yacht Brands
The ultra-premium luxury yacht brands Feadship, Lürssen and Heesen are some of the world’s’ most expensive luxury items. Their presence while at sea or at port engage attention and the awe of land lovers and sea lovers alike. In 2013, 355 superyachts sold with the most expensive yacht being US$79 million. In 2014, 412 sold with the most expensive being US$150 million.In 2015, 392 sold with the most expensive being over US$200 million. The appetite of consumers for bigger and bigger and more luxurious yachts has grown in each of those years. As the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom reported in 2015, the sales of superyachts were on steroids, with over £2.4 billion spent in the year, approximately US$3.5 billion.
Their design, attention to detail, and luxurious finishes, entertain the rich and famous from all parts of the globe. These ultra-premium yacht brands have taken boating to the next level. There is no such thing as “roughing” it on these decadent vessels. Every and anything you’ll ever need is right at your fingertips. Their target market is very specific as affording one of these beauties is no easy task, from millions to hundreds of millions. Their unique and personal designs offers comfort, enjoyment and entertainment at levels unimaginable to many and enjoyed by a few.
Although equipped with the most sophisticated telecommunication and entertainment centres that are available in the market which provide owners and guests worldwide communications, movies, music and the ability to use social media from anywhere on these yachts and anywhere at sea.
I ask myself the question, is their impressive presence at sea equaled by their social media presence? And is social media an essential tool for the promotion and sale of ultra-luxury vessels?
How great an audience do you need to market a limited product? Does the number of followers in any way relate to sales? And how many followers can actually afford a superyacht? The ultra-premium luxury yacht brands Feadship, Lürssen and Heesen have a presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Feadship has the largest social audience with 125,864 followers but its total sales in 2016 were six, in 2015 were five, three in 2014 and four in 2013.
Lürssen with 207,000 followers has an active engagement percentage of 4.21% which is greater than Feadship. Despite the increased followers, it built four vessels in 2015, six in 2014 and three in 2013.
Heesen with an audience of 233,000 only built three vessels in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The statistics indicate that followers have very little relevance on the production of superyachts. It is one luxury item which everyone appears to have a great appreciation for their unique designs and wow factor. However, social media, unlike some other luxury goods items, does not appear to have a great influence on potential purchasers.
Sales of superyachts where one can enjoy the ocean and the luxury of social media beamed from the clouds does not correlate to followers on social media. It may be one of the industries which has little or no reliance on social media for the marketing and promotion of its products.
Enjoy the scenery of the sea and superyachts, and enjoy your social media encounters but don’t depend on social media to market this super luxury product.
This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Poole School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own.