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Jan Feb 2015 Marina World

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MARKETING The comforts of club class In our modern world, belonging often prevails over possession. This is the basis of many marketing strategies and, more than ever before, is adopted when promoting recreational boating. Donatella Zucca investigates the benefits of being part of ‘the club’. “People’s first thoughts are not about things to buy but about things that unite us,” says marketing expert Pam Moore. “The will to connect, to be accepted and be part of a group that makes us feel good is human nature and it is from these groups that people buy products.” Nothing could be truer. Just look at Apple whose products epitomise the feeling of belonging to a world. I challenge anyone who claims to be indifferent to Steve Jobs’s comment “stay hungry, stay foolish” when turning on a computer! Achieving this kind of awareness is the prerogative of brands backed by a huge marketing arsenal but is also successfully transmitted by social networks, associations, foundations and clubs. These are excellent platforms if, as Simon Sinek says, the real goal of doing business today is to The Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg has a large, active youth fleet. Vladimir Lyubomirov (inset), club commodore and skipper of Russian yacht Bronenosec, with one of many sailing trophies. do business with people who believe what we believe. In the marina sector, industry groups are plentiful. The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), the International Marine Recreational Association (IMRA), regional groups such as BoatUS and the Italian Assomarinas, are all good representatives of collectives that work to fulfil the needs of like-minded people. The same goes for organised groups of marinas that offer complementary services, bringing marinas that are either under the same or different ownership under one family umbrella. This concept has been taken to the next level by Camper & Nicholsons Marinas with its 1782 Club initiative, launched last year. In the nautical world, ‘club’ is a magic password. Sports clubs enliven marinas yearround and yacht clubs offer prestige. Both generate economic returns and enhance visibility. The first yacht club in the world – Flotilla of the Neva – was founded by Peter the Great in Russia in 1712. In the 19 th century this became The Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg; an ambassador of a past grandeur that is gradually being regained through sporting activity. Other clubs evoke different styles and are often twinned with clubs of similar rank that are sometimes related to different leisure pursuits. Cortina d’Ampezzo, the famous skiing resort in the Italian Alps, for example, twins with a nautical base in Marina del Cavallino. Style here is all smart blazers and intense sailing programmes but elsewhere the atmosphere can be family-oriented or even quiet and relatively rural according to the customer base. The Club Nautico Mugello in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, for example, is converting farmers, hunters and passionate motorcyclists to yachting. “The highest goals must be pursued collectively,” says Roberto Perocchio, chairman of the ICOMIA Marinas Group, councillor of UCINA, president - January/February 2015 29

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