Fraser Yachts is celebrating the start of its seventh decade in 2017, and to mark this milestone anniversary, the company has revealed a number of evolutions to the brand and its website.
Looking to remain current and fresh in the ever-growing yachting world, Fraser has streamlined its logo and removed the familiar ship symbol, leaving a clean text-focused logo. The accents of bright pink will be replaced by luxury pastels.
Raphael Sauleau, Frasers CEO, commented in the changes: “The last brand update was carried out nearly 10 years ago, and we felt that it was time to review our brand and look at how we can update it to take the company forward. Following this, the new design is very much an evolution of the existing brand which has always
been very strong and recognisable, but now we feel that it reflects the true nature of the level of service we are offering to our clients and the future direction of the company as a luxury brand.”
Perhaps the most evident changes, and practical improvements, for clients will be in the newly redesigned Fraser website. The aim has been to combine functionality with beauty in the new site, said Global Marketing Manager Lisa Peck, who added that new features will be added over the coming months.
It has already been a good start to its seventies for Fraser, having closed out 2016 with its sixth consecutive year beating the rest of the large yacht brokerage market in terms of volume of deals, as well as booking a record number of charters.
Fraser Yachts was founded in Newport Beach, California in 1947 by David Fraser, who was a passionate sailor and an adept yacht seller. Since that time, the company has expanded to over 150 employees in 12 locations worldwide, and now offers yacht brokerage, charter, management, new construction and crew services.
Five minutes with Fraser CEO Raphael Saleau:
Q. Globally speaking, what has been the biggest change over the last decade, in terms of charter preferences?
A. The main changes that we’ve noticed in charter preferences tend to be more about the locations. There has been an increasing interest in charters that are not in the traditional locations such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. This is partly because regulations are changing, so that these areas are now more accessible, and yachts are get bigger and more technologically advanced, so that they can safely cruise these destinations. But also, clients are wanting to explore more unknown parts of the planet, whether they’re new to yachting or have been chartering for many years.
We have also noticed that since the [global financial crisis] some clients prefer to do last-minute bookings for their charters. However, this can often lead to disappointment when the requested yacht is not available, so it is not something that we advise.
There have also been changes in what the clients require when they’re on board. Many of our clients are now a lot more health conscious and want to have a personal trainer or yoga instructor available, and they will often have much more specific dietary requirements, such as vegan, gluten-free or even raw food. Plus, clients are becoming more discerning about their wines and often request higher-end bottles from distant locations, or may even bring their own stock on board.
Q. Where do you see the greatest potential growth market for Frasers, geographically speaking?
A. While it is currently one of our strongest markets, we believe that there is still opportunity to gain market share in America. We are also seeing growth from former Soviet Union states such as Azerbaijan, and the Russian market is starting to come back again, so there are opportunities for growth there. We still see a lot of potential in Asia, too. However, we need to be patient for this, it will take time; but once China opens up there will be more opportunities.
Q. How has Frasers adapted its strategy for the growing Asian buyers’ market?
A. Our strategy for the Asian market is to partner with local people that know the culture and the potential clients. We work with a number of locally based people in the region and are focused on the promotion of charter as a first step; we’re explaining to them what yachting is all about. In recent years, we have seen a slight increase in Asian buyers for new builds, so there is definitely a source of development for future growth and we’re exploring this further.
Q. Has your experience with the Asian market influenced this?
A. Yes, my experience with yachting in the Asian market indicated that many companies are not taking the time to explain what yachting is, what you can do on board a yacht, where you can go etc.
This is why we’re making sure that our propositions are exciting and enticing to people that are not familiar with yachting and have no idea what they can do on board. We’re explaining to people all the different activities that they can do, the different itineraries they can explore and of course the benefit of waking up in a different location every day without having to unpack your bags. Asians generally like to be busy on holiday rather than just relaxing in the sunshine, so we need to show them all the different opportunities that they can enjoy from on board a yacht.
Q. What are your predictions for the Australasian yacht market in terms of buyers and also for domestic cruising?
A. The current efforts by some governments in the region to reduce regulations concerning charter and private yachts will certainly help to attract more yacht owners to bring their yachts to this region, both for private use and charter. Especially as the opportunities to cruise in other nearby regions also becomes easier.
The more yachts that are here, the more exposure the industry will receive, which will encourage more clients to enter the market for charter initially and eventually potential yacht ownership. There is a strong potential in this region, there is already an existing base of customers which keeps on growing. Yachting, or at least enjoying the water, is very much a part of the culture in Australia, so this will help it to grow more quickly than other regions.
Q. Do you have any plans to further develop your operations within Australasia?
A. We have had an office in Sydney for over three years now, and it is doing very well. They have made several sales and charters over the years and are now actively increasing the yachts available in our fleets in this region, as well as representing local clients for purchases of yachts in Europe or elsewhere. Their success shows that there is a strong and growing interest in large yachting in this region.
Q. Whereabouts can clients expect to see Fraser in Australasia over the coming months?
A. We will be taking part in the Sydney International Boat Show in August, displaying a number of yachts for charter and sale. We will also be participating in a number of other events that we will be confirming throughout the course of the year.