Associated Yacht Services

CASE STUDY

The Facelift of a Yacht Agency.

Associated Steamship Agents (AYS) can trace its origins on the Isthmus of Panama back to 1889.

AYS started in 2000 as a division of Associated Steamship Agent which was founded in 1975.

It is AYS' mission to give peace of mind to captains and their crew.

As yacht agents, they support yachts 24/7/365 with all onboard & on-land requests in an efficient, professional and trustworthy way during the Panama Canal Transit or whilst exploring Panama.

Grapholix' mission? To help AYS become the brand they deserve, brand recognition, help to present themselves with a premium look that is in line with their target audience and increase online visibility.

Our approach needed to be comprehensive and impact customer touchpoints from business cards design to online experience.

VISIT SITE > www.ayspanama.com

MISSION

Creating a modern dynamic brand identity to connect better with the premium high-end clientele. Showcase the company activities and services online in a clearer and more attractive way.

OUTCOME & IMPACT

Grapholix helped AYS define precisely their customer profiles and present themselves confidently and concisely in this premium niche. This led to a 10% growth in traffic on the website, a first-page position in Google search after two months and 90% of the staff felt more confident when interacting with potential clients. The company also managed to have a clear differentiation from its competitors. 

PROJECT SCOPE

Brand Strategy

Logo Design

Identity Design

Brand Guidelines

Website Design and Built

The Project Story

EXPOSITION

AYS started over a decade ago under the wings of its mother company Associated Steamship Agents as a specialized division to assist large pleasure yachts that visit Panama or that transit the Panama Canal. 

 

The “real” customer is the yacht captain that acts on behalf of the (super rich) yacht owner. The captain is entitled to decide with which agency he wants to move forward with and the main contact person in all activities.

STRUGGLES

Initially, they tried to recreate the logo and website internally again with DIY online tools. Not only was the process too time-consuming but they were feeling insecure and confused about how to present themselves best. Coming from a traditional industrial shipping company was not very helpful. On top of that, there is only limited yachting scenery in Panama and no design agencies with a good understanding of the yachting industry.

CHALLENGE

Logo, website and other brand assets were internally created and had not been updated since its creation in 2000. They realized that their current brand image looks poorly, is outdated and not in line with their customers.

 

With the growing number of (bigger) visiting superyachts in Panama,  the need to showcase their agency and capabilities in a clearer and more attractive way became urgent.

They want to profile them as a leading ‘yacht agency’ with a trustworthy and bespoke identity, one that is in line with the high-end yachting scene and also stands out from the rising competition.

BREAK THROUGH

Luckily, through the network of their external advisor - a yacht captain based in the Mediterranean - they got in touch with us. Grapholix is specialized in the yachting industry and in the past been we have been directly involved in creating successfully other yachting agencies such as www.oliveryachtservices.com. The fact that we could share real-life industry experience and obtain valuable insights made them decide to raise their budget by three (3) times and move forward with us.

A few impressions from the old logo and some website pages

Brand Strategy

BRAND FRAMEWORK

The Framework helps define their target audience and customer profiles, get a deeper insight into them as a company, set the brand attributes and understand their business goals and needs. These were obtained in an in-depth brand strategy framework with all decision-makers collaborating.

The resume of the framework was not only a real eye-opener, but it made also all future design decisions easier as they were perceived as a logical outcome of their own findings.

BRAND FOUNDATION

Understanding what the brand is and who they are a champion for. Via Simon Sinek's famous golden circle they could fairly easily redefine the purpose, mission, vision and positioning statements. These foundations set the tone for everything created for the brand.

Positioning Statement:
AYS supports yachts with all onboard and on-land requests in an efficient, trustworthy way while giving peace of mind whilst exploring Panama.

BRAND DEFINITION

Through a series of exercises from the brand strategy framework, we were able to extract and refine the Brand Attributes. This defined the brand’s personality, how it should look, sound and impact the target audience.

TARGET AUDIENCE

The “real” customer is the yacht captain that acts on behalf of the (super-rich) owner. He is entitled to decide with which agency he wants to move forward. In the past, he would find these agencies mainly in specialized guides  (e.g. the yachting pages). In the last few years more and more decisions are made through online searches and seeing the company profile on their websites. Bridging the gap between land and sea. Anything, Anytime and anywhere!.

Style Direction

MOODBOARDS

The visual translation of the discovery findings is created on mood boards from which a broad style direction was chosen and used for the logo, stationary and website creation.

This gave the client an early accurate insight into how the brand identity was going to be rolled out without having to compromise on any designs.

The first two proposed style directions were within the client's expectations while the third concept was too progressive and hard to identify with.

 

As a rather traditional company, the end decision on the upper style direction was mainly based on the color scheme that was close to their original color scheme. 

Design Phase

LOGO DESIGN

There was an initial logo presentation with three concepts. The chosen concept was the one with the star as this element forms part of the Panamanian flag, represents premium, and is also a nautical element (sailors used the stars in former times as navigation tool).

Initially, there was no white space between the left and right side of the star but during the first feedback round the president of the company had the brilliant idea that including this might add an extra nautical element to the logo, namely the brass divider.

The logo is a responsive logo. There are different lock-ups for different situations and even the smaller elements of the logo can be used for other graphic elements in pattern or iconography.

COLOR SCHEME

For the color scheme, we based ourselves on colors from traditional nautical elements such as brown seen in wood and copper; gold and silver as seen on uniforms, bells and decorative elements; blue as seen on uniforms, interiors, hulls, and the ocean itself of course. 

The primary colors are ocean blue and golden yellow. The secondary colors are light gray and copper brown which are sparingly used either on backgrounds or icons/decorative elements.