If you’ve got any influence over the purchasing of interior supplies for your yacht, you will probably have heard of Superyacht Luxury.
The business, which was founded around five years ago by ex-Chief Stew Ruth Laver-Lueck, has made its name known amongst crew and managers alike. This is owing to both the enthusiasm and energy of its founder, and her online and offline relationship building skills. Indeed, Ruth is one of the few yachting business-people who had been capitalising on the power of social media marketing way before the rest of the industry caught on.
Ruth, the self-described ‘Director of Customer Happiness’ at Superyacht Luxury, caught up with us to chat about how social media and marketing online has been just one part of the core success of her business.
Getting ahead with Social Marketing
“I was a yachtie for around seven years,” Ruth explains to us, who is currently resting at home in England, “my work took me from a junior stew role in Greece to helping specify the interior of a new build yacht, and then Chief Stew and Purser roles onboard high profile boats such as TITAN and PEGASUS. I loved crewing, but now I’m on the business side of the industry I feel much more deeply engaged and passionate about this business, which I love!”
The passion Ruth shows for her work is widespread and infectious. Even if you’ve never crossed paths with her in person, many are already well aware of who she is and of her business due to her exemplary social media presence. In the current age of social media, it’s often possible to build deep relationships for business online before even meeting someone. Superyacht Luxury and Ruth have made use of a huge range of social tools in order to quickly build their brand and get in front of decision makers onboard, wherever they are in the world. Traditional superyacht marketing methods have been very much focused on personal interactions in local areas or on the physical reach of printed publications, which are nearly always limited by distribution networks.
Social media changes that. A single post can be equally viewed by deck crew in Monaco as it can by Engineers in Anguilla, and the options are unlimited in that sense.
Don’t expect to need an enormous budget either; Ruth has proved time and time again with Superyacht Luxury that building deep customer relationships online can come for free.
“It kind of warms thing up, doesn’t it?” laughs Ruth over the phone, “People kind of already know what you’re like and what to expect in advance, especially when they’ve seen one of my Facebook Live videos. When I go onboard a yacht to make a pitch someone nearly always recognises me. It’s the ultimate ice-breaker!”
— Super Yacht Luxury (@Superyachtluxe) September 27, 2016
Another technique Ruth has used to build a buzz around her business is by offering samples to potential buyers. Superyacht Luxury’s “Pamper Packs’ are quite unique in that they give chief stews and their teams a chance to try various products before purchasing them for guests. This gives the interior team the opportunity to be really well informed about what is onboard if ever questioned by their guests.
Again, Ruth uses social media to create demand for these giveaways, which she knows will lead to more sales through effective demonstration and relationship building. She also organises ‘Pamper Party’ events for stewardesses, which bring larger groups together to engage in testing and enjoying her range.
PALMA STEWS: 🙂 Grab your free ticket now! And please tag your friends. 🙂https://t.co/5jOHQ7QxCT
— Super Yacht Luxury (@Superyachtluxe) October 29, 2016
Superyacht Luxury: Bespoke Condoms vs High-Class Toilet roll.
The secret to the success of Superyacht Luxury as with any retailer has been acquiring and effectively marketing only the best products from best-in-class suppliers. That, coupled with constant research into new products and trends, means that Ruth and her team can always be on hand as experts in their field to advise busy chief stews on what the latest and greatest products are for guests. This saves stews their much-valued time and gives chiefs the power to “wow” the owner with their knowledge!
Ruth explained to us that over time she has tried to always stick with well-recognised luxury brands across toiletries and linens. Her range includes Bvlgari, Jo Malone and Molton Brown on the cosmetics side, with the likes of Frette and Pratesi making up the content of her linen cupboard. Superyacht Luxury will be teaming up with a few new suppliers in 2017, including launching a toiletries range with a ‘global top 5 brand’.
Forays into the weird and wonderful have been a case of experimenting over the years for Ruth; recently she’s been looking at a super-luxury toilet paper brand called Josephs of Switzerland; but tells us a previous attempt to develop a line of high-class condoms was ‘a bit of a flop’…
Making use of Ruth & her team
The interior supply market is seriously competitive for those companies vying for a slice of the pie. However, in this case, competition is not necessarily an unhealthy thing. When suppliers pitch against each other for market dominance it leads to a general improvement in the availability of products, reduced lead times and a serious increase in service levels and overall knowledge. If you’re a chief stewardess or purser stocking up your boat with consumables and linens ready for a new season, you will know already that consulting an expert such as Superyacht Luxury is the best and only way to ensure you get exactly what the guests need not only in time, but also at the best price.
You’ll be able to meet with a Superyacht Luxury team member at the MYBA Charter Show in Barcelona this April, which they see as one of their key events pre-Med Season, and also around various ports on the yachting map.
— Super Yacht Luxury (@Superyachtluxe) October 25, 2016