WindPath Sailing, Inc.
For millions of Americans, the leisure sport of boating/sailing is considered a sport for the rich, and with the price of new yachts often close to that of a new home, it’s no wonder that many potential enthusiasts see sailing their own yacht as an unattainable dream. WindPath, a startup, set out to change that by pioneering “fractional yachting”, a new business that allows many people to share one boat using a proprietary scheduling technology and providing a new system for yacht ownership and maintenance.
While WindPath’s system was revolutionary and allowed virtually anyone to have a share in a sail or power yacht, virtually no one was aware of the company, or the fractional yachting system, and WindPath had no material or strategy to explain the concept to customers. WindPath chose Jibe to help them develop their brand and come up with a communication strategy to create awareness and educate their target audience. WindPath also had another challenge — how to entice franchisees into the system, and thus offer more locations for members to join.
Jibe determined that the target audience for WindPath’s service — current and aspiring sailors/boaters — needed to be narrowed down to cost-effectively manage the number of leads any print ad campaign would generate. Once the prospects were “qualified”, they could then be lead through a program of education — either through the website, or through brochures. In addition, Jibe determined that an online system to standardize franchisee marketing efforts was essential to the future success of WindPath.
How we did it:
We went “in deep” to understand the mechanics of the Windpath system, and developed a two-tiered communication strategy:
1. A print awareness campaign using the concept: “Get out on the water. (Not in over your head)” to communicate the affordability of the fractional system, and provide enough information to generate interest/inquiries to the company via phone and website.
2. A compelling website and set of collateral material to explain, in detail, the fractional yachting system, and invite potential franchisees as well.
Jibe developed a full, 1-year media plan in all of the major and regional sailing publications, using aggressive negotiations resulting in an average of 60% off published rates. Jibe also developed display material for boat show participation in all of the major sail shows in the US. Finally, the website was augmented with an extranet system for franchisees, so their presentation was the same as the corporate presentation.
WindPath has grown to be a leader in what is now the industry of shared yacht sailing/boating. With 10 base locations nationwide, WindPath has continued to grow their revenue, despite difficult economic conditions. WindPath continues to use the collateral, website, and advertising that Jibe developed, and we continue to serve as WindPath’s agency of record after 5 years of working together.
Client: WindPath Sailing, Inc. – www.windpath.com
Agency: Jibe Advertising + Design
Creative Director: Tim Bush
Copywriter: Geoff Fiala
Account Management: Geoff Fiala
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