29/07/’20 – There are many famous brands that have written history or participated in history, but very few are able to stay on the crest of the wave guaranteeing success and profits and going through the decades in top shape. Among these, the shipyard deserves particular attention “Riva” , historical brand of the most prestigious Italian yachting, immediately became an excellence, then managed as an icon, finally transformed into a lasting success in the orbit of a large industrial group such as “Ferretti Yachts”.
I think it is very interesting for every company to devote attention to the analysis of some excellent cases from which to draw information and inspiration regarding the dynamics and business model that has allowed an important brand to reach heights of success, because from here it is possible to understand some key aspects of managing a business project and a brand.
Riva was born in the mid-1800s and starts from a warehouse-yard like any story of entrepreneurship at the dawn of a market that was still not so structured at the time. C’era talent, there was intuition, wax – mostly – passion, excellent recipe because in a short time the production went beyond mere function, touching the field of tourism first, competitions then, affirming what the company expressed in the first half of the 1900s, classroom, style, elegance, performance.
Riva thus becomes a brand, in an era when people still didn't speak in these terms, bringing to the attention of the public and customers a product they can identify with, immediately symbol of that golden time that is known throughout the world, starting right from Italy, come “Sweet life”. Riva motorboats become a symbol, an icon, frame the most glamorous characters of the moment, and Brigitte Bardot to Anita Ekberg, passing through Ranieri di Monaco, Onassis, Sophia Loren, Hussein of Jordan, Sean Connery fino a George Clooney.
The company was gradually capitalizing on its cultural heritage, which travels in parallel to the production one and which over time has a much longer lasting value, it does not depend on the incessant evolution of technology, it is not subject to higher policies and dynamics that are now increasingly imposed on the production system. In 1962 the prestigious one is presented at the Third International Boat Show in Milan Aquarama, name inspired by the Cinerama, the big cinema screens that were depopulating in America at that time, demonstrating once again the strong link with customs and society desired by the company: owning an Aquarama meant not only having a technologically advanced and valuable object, but be part of a world characterized by style, luxury and worldliness. The Aquarama becomes the Riva icon, the symbol, a brand within the brand that further consolidates the corporate strategy and carries it forward despite the industrial vicissitudes that see Carlo Riva transfer the ownership of the company in 1969 all’americana Whittaker, while always maintaining the positions of president and general manager. The company then passes from the ownership of the British group Vickers, which also included the Rolls-Royce brand, until in 2000 the yard becomes part of theFerretti Group, with three factories currently active, the historical one of Sarnico, that of Ancora and that of La Spezia.
The excellent management of the Ferretti Group brings the Riva brand into the modern social and economic context, maintaining continuity with the strategies of the past and bringing the brand into new contexts that today are represented by the so-called. “Brand Extension”.
This is how the Riva Lounges were born, Private e Deck, places where the magic of the Riva myth can be experienced beyond the nautical dimension: and with this strategy, the Ferretti Group has obtained the prestigious recognition assigned by the Boat Builder Awards 2019, awarded in the "Retail marketing initiative" category with the Riva Destination concept created to offer owners an exclusive experience, in unique locations such as the Montecarlo Yacht Club, The Gritti Palace in Venice, Garage Italia in Milan, l’Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Opatija SPA in Croatia, the Nammos Beach of Mykonos in Greece, the pier 47 Restaurant in Formentera in the Balearics, the Splash Restaurant on the Seine in Paris, and the Riva Lounge in Palm Beach, Florida.
But the strategy doesn't stop, it continues according to an organic and well-structured design in accordance with that heritage of values, contents, historiography and iconography that the company has built over time. Riva enters the houses and gets to dress the lovers of good living, lifestyle and boating, with the Riva Shop that already furnishes the Lounges.
The 1950s style typical of the Dolce Vita and the details, like the chrome, steel and lacquered mahogany, recall at a glance the most iconic hulls and the charm of the shipyard. All personalized furnishing accessories, like the Aquariva lamp or the Aquarama chairs and tables, they have the typical characteristics of boats, so that it becomes possible to touch the materials and essences with which, gives 177 since 100 years, Riva makes the boats chosen and adored by stars and celebrities.
These are unique items and pieces to collect, inspired by philosophy “Riva inside, inside Riva”, to carry the memory of the history of this prestigious entrepreneurial experience anytime and anywhere, approaching new customers to a brand that crosses the decades always with its head held high, as well as offering security and a sense of belonging to historic customers who have recognized that style for a long time or generations and identify with it.
From a commercial point of view this “Strategic Plan” it is successful because it rests on a few key elements of a strategy:
– values and history
– attention to the social context
– attention to the culture of the brand and not just to the product.
We know that managing a company today is very complex, but too often this is done with the idea of running towards a commercial result without carefully weighing and carefully studying what the company is, what it is capable of expressing and in what direction it can actually go.
Riva demonstrates a lot in this sense, even once it entered the orbit of a large industrial group it succeeded (by the hand of those who masterfully conducted it as a brand manager) to become an atelier within a large economic and industrial organization, bringing benefits to the whole group and not just to herself. A further demonstration of how difficult choices are, which can be an acquisition or a merger, should be included in a well-done analysis and are not necessarily a failure or a loss of corporate assets, as often sensational media headlines suggest.
Good brand management is a complex but very important process that allows you to survive the harshest storms of the economy and the market. Especially in this phase that sees many companies shrouded in uncertainty and facing commercial difficulties, it is essential not to lose your temper and to carefully study yourself and the context of reference.
MITO Luxury is available to provide you with useful information and to implement an analysis plan and definition of an operational strategy, starting from your brand. For information and for a dedicated comparison: email@example.com or messenger chat from the site.
Article edited by: Davide Diurisi – management MITO Luxury