Heesen Yachts Case Study

Although perceived as building some of the best mid size yachts, the brand lacked personality. In spite of many technical advantages, Heesen was only thought of as nearly, rather than really, one of the world’s elite custom yacht shipbuilders.

Brand Marketing Strategy

The Company urgently needed a sense of self-belief. Taylor adopted overlapping corporate and brand strategies. In a crowded market where so many rivals use similar colours and imagery, we decided to create an identity based on patterns – kinetic patterns to imply movement – and to link them to the art of Bridget Riley. We then combined the Company’s complex scientific expertise with their reputation for excellent quality to present a world-class brand. Heesen is a shipyard that now competes with the very best.

Some people claim that space is the ultimate luxury. Heesen yachts have outstanding volume due to their technical advantages. They often also have more speed and better fuel consumption – a big issue when it takes more than 100,000 litres to fill up the tank. Complex science made into fascinating facts underpins how Heesen is one of the most advanced shipbuilders in the world. Building bigger and better was something the brand never believed they could claim. They are now accepted on those terms. Heesen used to be inward looking. Taylor changed their course 180 degrees.

Exhibition Space Design

Heesen attends yachts shows all over the world. The challenge is to create an environment that works globally, adapts locally and appeals to clients from the UK, Europe, US, Russia, the Middle East, China and Asia. At this level, clients fly in to see what they want, when they want to. The Heesen brand always needs to greet them consistently. From Monte Carlo to Shanghai, our show stands stood out while creating a cool oasis for viewings and negotiations.


Taylor writes, designs and produces brochures for completed yachts and speculative projects. The challenge was to create a format that allowed the maximum freedom to design brochures for individual yachts while maintaining a clear link to the brand identity. We developed our pattern concept and balanced dramatic photography, easy to read technical advantages and evidence of the quality of construction. Case-bound brochures were then produced using litho and digital printing for the short runs that were required. These brochures were only relevant to a very small number of clients able to spend €20-40million.

Corporate Communications

Heesen needed a corporate capability book to send and give to a very wide audience including potential clients, brokers, bankers and people of influence both locally and globally. While this is a specialised subject, Taylor decided to create a book out of fascinating facts that were of interest to anyone. For example, we discovered that one of their yachts was exactly the same size and built of the same material as a Jumbo Jet.


Taylor created tactical and strategic advertising campaigns in English, Russian and Chinese. Concepts ranged from the launch of a new yacht to marketing a speculative project under construction with an overall brand campaign used to maintain a Heesen high profile. We also targeted yacht designers concerned as to whether their extreme ideas could be built. Using the Mission Impossible theme, we demonstrated how previous challenges were overcome. Such is the price tag and exclusivity of a custom yacht, that advertising’s most important role is brand acceptance. Taylor advertising gave Heesen the confident style of an industry leader.

Renderings and Films

Selling what is probably the most expensive purchase on earth before it has been built requires sophisticated CGI renderings from engineering models and 2D plans. Taylor has considerable expertise combining yacht renderings into seascapes both for use in collateral and promotional films. Taylor worked with the renowned designer Espen Oeino’s studio in the production of a series of CGI images for the virtual launch of Heesen’s largest yacht – 75metre Kometra. For Heesen’s corporate book, Taylor produced an overhead view of the entire shipyard with cutaways that enabled a full explanation of the shipyard’s resources.

Digital Marketing

One of the turning points of the new Heesen strategy was a concept launch at the Monaco Yacht Show. ‘The Future is Now’ promotion included an iOS app, film (used on the website and YouTube channel), digital advertising on several specialist media sites and a printed brochure.

Taylor viewed upcoming launches and concept and created a ‘new’ Heesen that focused on technology instead of heritage. The intention was to firmly position the brand as the ‘go-to’ shipyard for technically advanced yachts.

3 iPads