1,2,3 Gone! Celebrity To Shift Strategy

Cruise Week

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo

Celebrity will replace its 1,2,3 Go! value-add strategy with a new pricing strategy on 06JUL.

President & CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo says the long-running promotion did a lot for the brand. “I wasn't on the brand when it launched, but it was really brilliant. First and foremost, it was catchy. It was monosyllabic. It also got us into the added-value game vs. the discounting game."

She says its success was proven in 2 ways. “First, the agency community rallied around '1,2,3, Go!' They liked what it did for commissions. Secondly, the competitors loved it too because they copied it, and some even threw in 4 things."

That's why Celebrity is ready for a change. “It's time to step away and come up with something new," says Lutoff-Perlo. “Regardless of what side of the business you're on, you need to keep refreshing, keep evolving. '1,2,3, Go!' taught us a lot, but it's 2 years old."

As '1,2,3 Go!' winds down, Celebrity has launched a different type of promotional campaign, called 'Grass Is Greener', aimed to appeal to both trade and consumers. In short, the promotion lists the top 10 reasons why the grass is greener on Celebrity Cruises, focusing on brand pillars such as the Lawn Club aboard Solstice ships.

“Grass is Greener is the 1 st step in a broader, bolder activation campaign for Celebrity," says Lutoff-Perlo. “The thing I love about Grass is Greener is that it's not just about the consumer; it's about our employees; it's about our crew; it's about our guests aboard the ship; it's about travel agents."

“For the agency community, the grass is greener with Celebrity because agents truly support Celebrity. Not only were we the 1 st to step up on the added value, but being out in the field this week, meeting with agents and agent leaders, has really hit home for me how well respected our sales organization is within the agent community."

In contrast to '1,2,3 Go!', Celebrity product is going to be front and centre all of the time. “We won't forget about the destination, but it is going to be a more balanced message and our brand is going to be the hero. Grass is Greener has been developed in conjunction with that fundamental shift in strategy."

Also look for Celebrity to be appealing more to 1 st time cruisers. To date, their business has come primarily from people converting over from other brands.

“I've never been of the view that the length of the cruise determines if we get 1 st time cruisers or not," says Lutoff-Perlo. “I believe that vacationers in general choose where they want to go 1 st, and then where they want to stay relative to where they want to go. I believe that cruising should be as viable an option as any hotel. All of my colleagues across the industry are talking about 1 st to cruise because we have not done a good job over the last few years of bringing new cruisers into the category."

“I've got a lot of things in mind as to how we're going to convince 1 st timers to take us," she says. “Showing people who have done it and loved it is the way to convince people to try it. So we're putting together a strategy around that."

Lutoff-Perlo is looking for the trade to help out. “We have to get new-to-cruise, so we really want to work with travel partners who can help us get more 1 st-to-cruise."

She points to one example: “We were visiting Expedia CruiseShipCenters this week: their whole model is built around first-to-cruise. They're bringing new people into this business, some of whom have never taken a cruise before, to sell travel to their network of friends. And that brings people into the category, so it's a really great strategy."

Another way in which Lutoff-Perlo is changing the strategy involves Celebrity's Designated Marketing Areas (DMAs). For the past couple of years the strategy has focused on event marketing, with face-to-face activities involving consumers residing in zip codes where the people who are likely to take Celebrity are known to live.

Travel agents are going to be a bigger part of capturing those guests. “We're going to be partnering more with travel agents and with national accounts with our DMA strategy. We're intensifying those [joint] efforts."

Leave a Comment...

(will not be published)