Seeking the next generation of yacht owners
Emerald Pacific Yachts is a Seattle brokerage that helps customers buy and sell vessels that go beyond the standard fishing or ski boat. The Emerald Pacific team features experts with more than 100 years of combined experience in the boating industry—but nearly 25 years after the firm opened, the market has shifted significantly.
The number of “traditional” yacht buyers has been shrinking over the years, largely due to age; many longtime clients of Emerald Pacific simply aren’t purchasing new boats these days. At the same time, our region has seen a massive influx of tech-driven wealth, creating a new generation of potential boaters with the means to pursue this upscale lifestyle.
Emerald Pacific’s branding, which had remained mostly unchanged since the company was founded in 1997, wasn’t speaking to this younger audience—and overall, the level of sophistication and polish seemed lacking for a provider operating in a luxury industry.
The market had already evolved. It was time for the firm’s brand to do the same.
Reaching new audiences, while keeping existing ones
A particular challenge was the need to appeal to today’s Seattle tech workers and other young clientele—who may be entirely new to boating—without making things feel too different to existing clients. Despite the high-end nature of this business, Emerald Pacific is approachable and accessible. Maintaining relationships is a key focus; many clients work with the team not just once, but over and over again.
We talked to the owners and other employees about current and future business goals, and also spent time learning about the yacht market in Seattle and elsewhere. Our competitor research uncovered a few surprises: International yacht brokers had excellent branding, but the brands of many local and national firms appeared outdated, unrefined, or both.
This presented a clear opportunity for Emerald Pacific to stand out visually against local and domestic competition, while sending a strong message that the company is on the same level as international players.
Luxurious and refined, with a bit of ‘a-ha’
Yachts and boats are inspiring for designers because they offer swooping lines and curves, so as we began sketching, those were top of mind. Another powerful visual element warranted serious consideration, however—the “Emerald” in Emerald Pacific Yachts. It’s a jewel that exudes luxury, with vibrant coloring as well.
We arrived at a solution that incorporates both an emerald and a boat, a sleek icon that can be interpreted multiple ways. Viewers might first see a luxury yacht approaching them head-on, only to have an “a-ha” moment when they discover the cut emerald that also is present—or they might see the emerald first and then find the boat. It’s subtle, but once you see each element, they’re unmistakable. And the company name appears in customized type designed to complement the sharp angles and negative space.
This brand identity offers a sense of refinement while remaining accessible. It’s a logo that would feel at home in a yacht magazine or on branded materials; in fact, it wouldn’t be out of place on the back of a high-end yacht itself.
Most important, it speaks to the quality of the Emerald Pacific Yachts experience. Since 1997, expertise, service, and relationships have been key differentiators for the firm—and now its branding is, too.
‘A breath of fresh air’
The Emerald Pacific stakeholders were pleased with the Chalkbox experience, particularly our responsiveness throughout the process. They love the new look: It feels like a breath of fresh air, they say, and longtime clients are impressed as well.
Take your branding—and business—to the next level
Even if you have key advantages over your competition, potential clients might not notice if your branding doesn’t differentiate you. Contact us to see how a new brand identity from Chalkbox can help elevate your business.