Following Dr Mohammed Al Barwani acquiring a majority stake at the end of 2014, Turquoise Yachts (formerly Proteksan Turquoise) has begun an evolution of identity. SuperyachtNews talks exclusively with CEO Mehmet Karabeyoğlu on board 55m M/Y Turquoise at the Dubois Cup about rebranding, synergies with Oceanco and moving forward.

“We wanted the new logo to be very fresh,” says Mehmet Karabeyoğlu, CEO of newly rebranded Turquoise Yachts, the Turkish shipyard formerly known as Proteksan Turquoise. The rebrand was revealed in April this year and the modern, minimalist white and turquoise logo is a marked change from the more corporate blue and white Proteksan Turquoise logo of yore.

Since Oceanco’s owner Mohammed Al Barwani purchased a 63 per cent stake in the company in December 2014, Karabeyoğlu has been keen to stress that it would be business as usual for the Turkish yard, but the rebrand certainly signifies a shifting brand message.

Credit: Justin Ratcliffe

“Mohammed is an influential man so we are hoping the brand will be all the stronger and our brand message will get wider,” says Karabeyoğlu. Aligning itself with a yard of the reputational strength of Oceanco will no doubt link the quality of two yards in the client consciousness. “The two brands will still remain completely separate and we will continue building the same range of yachts as before,” he emphasises. “We don’t want to overlap with the range that Oceanco builds but we want to continue to build the same quality as all the Northern European yards, without any compromise.”

Turquoise Yachts is working with brand super strategist Peter Economides, who has worked with everyone from Nescafé to Google, and was responsible for the global
management structuring and roll out of the “Think Different” campaign after Steve Jobs’ return to Apple. Karabeyoğlu explains that while there is no organic connection between Oceanco and Turquoise Yachts, the yard and Economides want to stress that the same values of quality and craftsmanship are at the heart of the companies unite them. “The Volkswagen Group owns Audi, owns Bentley and owns Bugatti,” he says. “The brands are aimed at very different clientele, but they are all high quality cars with excellent reputations. Oceanco and Turquoise both build high quality yachts for different markets.”

View from M/Y Turquoise at the Dubois Cup 2015

In previous comments following his acquisition, Al Barwani said that he would “fully respect the differences between these two brands” adding that each has its own “distinct strength”, which is why he has invested in them both. “Different owner segments have different needs,” he said. “The best way to meet these needs is through differentiated strategies.”

The yard is currently working on two yachts for Al Barwani himself, an 81m Andrew Winch design and a 47m yacht being restyled by H2 Yacht Design, which he will use until a buyer is found. “The 47m will be ready next year,” says Karabeyoğlu, who reveals that the exterior and interior styling on both yachts have been chosen by Al Barwani. “He has great knowledge having built a great many boats. It is important that we make use of his expertise to help build the Turquoise Yachts brand even more.”

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