Bertram Yachts

Brand Development

The once iconic American sport fishing yacht company became a misunderstood and neglected member of the Ferretti Yacht family. On European yachts, galley’s are below deck, the owner never operates his own yacht, and cup holders have names like Jacques and Giovanni. There was a huge disconnect. The market place began thinking of this bold icon as a faded brand. Indeed, it had been years since Mike Sloan’s famous ads dared to position these rugged vessels as the toughest yachts in the world. It was time for Bertram to fight back and reclaim its heritage and position as the battlewagon of the seas.

Inventory was building up. And no one was interested in the last of an older model being phased out.


The Bertram customer is a self-confident self-made, working millionaire with a focus on power. He demands dependability and performance. He is aggressive in chasing fish like a hunter. He is pragmatic except for the fact that he spends $10,000 in fuel to catch a fish on a $5,000,000 fishing boat. He (the market is almost completely male) works hard and values his leisure time. He doesn’t mind when the weekend is a washout. Storms are “Bertram weather.” He almost always has a wife and family. And he takes pride in showing his son or daughter how to fish. Age demographics are almost irrelevant as he acts exactly the same way at 60 as he did at 20. The yacht and his friends keep him young. He has a captain but enjoys taking the wheel. Speaking of captains, he is a powerful influencer. The captain and his friends talk on the docks and increasingly on social media about performance, engineering and battles with storms and giant fish. The captain is a trusted advisor.

• Revive the Bertam Legend built by Mike Sloan and make it relevant to today.
• Make the vision come alive and add value to the man who lives for his weekend adventures.
• The stronger we make the Bertram brand, the more value we add to the owner and the captain.
• To the owner (who is frequently not American) this needs to be an All-American brand.
• The rugged Jeep-like toughness needs to be merged with a sleekness, agility and power.
• Social, Digital and Traditional media were directed at potential owners and their captain influencers.
• Brand ads made each Bertram model an intrepid hero to sell specific product.
• Create an even more heroic, more gritty ad for the very last of an old model. Make P.O.P. for it.

Focus on what Bertram can do when all others fail. The yacht is an extension of the powerful owner. Let other brands show their yachts in a tranquil turquoise bay. Bertrams should be showcased in storms and rough seas like a near-death thrill ride. Bertrams and their owners can take it. And they wear it like a badge of honor. The tag line is simply OUTPERFORM.

One-on-one dock-talk about the brand changed completely within a few weeks of the first ad hitting the sport-fishing magazines. Web activity spiked. Social media started to buzz about performance. The brand instantly gained new ambassadors.
We sold out available inventory in 6 months and were taking orders from the ads and collateral.

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