It’s remarkable the degree to which cruise lines are currently rebranding themselves, and at Seatrade Cruise Global 2016, attendees were able to glean additional insight as to why. Marketing remains a very important factor in appealing to new demographics, and executives from MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises chatted all about it at the annual conference.
Gordon Ho, SVP, Global Marketing & North America Sales for Princess Cruises focused in on the need to expand globally and target those who are new to cruising, all while maintaining brand differentiation. China is clearly one such market, and the line’s clever “Princess Cruises Makes You Feel Like a Princess” commercial screened at the panel appeals more directly to the international crowd. Of course, as part of the expansive Carnival Corporation of cruise lines, Princess must also stand out from its sister brands even prior to other competitors.
For them and for many, that means partnerships. Partnerships bring recognizability to cruise brands in a strategic fashion. In the case of Princess, people who might not otherwise have cruising on their radar might be drawn to celebrity chef Curtis Stone or the musical talents of Stephen Schwartz and be intrigued to discover their latest creations onboard. It’s known as brand association, and as it’s prevalently employed throughout the industry, it clearly resounds with guests.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is an example of a company that is simultaneously holding on to its core values and refreshening its image. Its freestyle cruising is well established, but its new “Feel Free” campaign brings it to life as a call-to-action that also relies on partnerships, particularly in song form from Pitbull. Norwegian’s VP Field Sales & National Accounts, Nathan Hickman, presents the company’s Partners First program, emphasizing that travel agents also remain vital collaborators.
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