A unique experience to communicate brand values
In this strategy, we use unique experiences to communicate the company’s core brand values and positioning, staying ahead of market trends.
RESEARCH & INSIGHT
MSC Cruises, the world’s third-largest cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, turned to APPLE TREE in 2017 at a pivotal moment for the cruise line. With an investment plan aimed at doubling the capacity of its fleet, the company needed to boost its communication in Spain and demonstrate its leading position in the national market.
According to the company’s internal research, potential customers had already defined the MSC Cruises experience as elegant, professional and trustworthy in their brand perception. It was therefore necessary to find new differentiating elements in brand communication.
STRATEGY & CREATIVITY
In order to move the MSC brand forward, the communication strategy focused on the ability of MSC Cruises to provide cruise guests with new experiences and unforgettable memories. In addition, different lines of communication were created to reinforce the positioning of the company as the undisputed leader in Spain, such as the expansion of its operations in local and international ports, the attractiveness of its itineraries, efforts in the commercial network, the application of cutting-edge technology both for guests and for sustainability, and the presentation of new ships.
The APPLE TREE team’s close relationship and in-depth knowledge of the tourism sector was crucial for engaging with the key opinion leaders in the sector. We drew on this relationship to create different stories and offer unique experiences on board MSC’s cruise ships, which were the main assets for conveying the brand’s values to its consumers. In addition, we offered the media the opportunity to interview the company’s managers to obtain an intimate, personal perspective of the company. We achieved more than 88 interviews with national and regional media with MSC executives.
As part of the PR strategy, we worked at a local level on the expansion of MSC in the different national ports, informing local journalists on the company’s plans, providing proximity and commitment to the cities where MSC is present.
Finally, the communication of the shipping company’s commitment to sustainability has been key in this strategy. This plan focuses on six areas, all with measurable targets: transition to net zero emissions; reviewing the use of resources and waste; support for people; investment in sustainable tourism; construction of more environmentally friendly terminals; and sustainable purchasing.
Over the past six years, the APPLE TREE team has not only exponentially increased the number of media reports on the company, doubling the number of media mentions, but we have also ensured that these reports include its key messages in terms of product, brand and market leadership. This undisputed leadership has resulted in almost 50% of cruise passengers in this country choosing MSC Cruises.