“At Northrop & Johnson we have a dedicated strategic partnership team, Ottaviano Iacono is our strategic partnership director and Marisa Ronchi is our strategic partnership manager,” starts Ziriakus. “When I started with Northrop & Johnson we reorganised the company and started focussing on marketing and other luxury brands.”
Until the conception of the partnership with Aston Martin, Northrop & Johnson had a single long-standing global partner, Arnold & Son luxury timepieces. “Over the next six to eight months we hope to add four or five new partnerships – all category exclusive,” continues Ziriakus. This exclusivity will, in theory, peak the interest of a varied clientele and ensure there is no conflict of interest.
“All our partnerships – and proposed partnerships – are long-term.” Taking Aston Martin as his example Ziriakus explains that, “We give Aston Martin access to our clients at the shows, they will work alongside us and provide car transportation for clients; they are also a part of some of our evening events.” In return Northrop & Johnson’s clients will have access to a number of high-profile events which Aston Martin take part in, such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed or Pebble Beach.
The partnership is all about access and lifestyle. “For Aston Martin it is interesting to expose their client base to the yachting world: what it means, how it works and what the lifestyle is all about,” says Ziriakus, emphasising that partnerships are not a direct sales tool. “It is an integrated luxury partnership built around the client experience, it is an extra level of service and sophistication that we as brands are able to provide.”
The new partnership and ethos will be in full swing at the Monaco Yacht Show 2015, a show that has traditionally been a commercial success for Northrop & Johnson. “The goal for the show is the same as last year and the year before. Every year we have sold a boat out of the Monaco show and this year we hope to do the same – or at least get the process started. For us this boat show is purely focussed on saes, charter and welcoming our guests,” concludes Ziriakus.