Naming a new Luxury Cruise Line for the China Market

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Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) was launching a US$1 billion cruise ship that was custom designed and built for the China market. Naturally, NCL sought to develop brand positioning for this incredible ship that both delivered on the luxury brand promise of Norwegian Cruise Line and also connected with Chinese consumers.

“First Class at Sea” was born and Norwegian Cruise Line continues to market the cruise ship to China with CLA designed positioning, while concurrently building success in this new and rapidly growing market.

Brand Positioning: Norwegian Cruise Line


Norwegian Cruise Line needed to get their newly designed and built one billion US dollar ship in the direct line of sight of Chinese travelers. This transcendent ship was intended and constructed specifically for the Chinese tourist. They needed to know.


CLA conducted a research study with target Chinese consumers and specific travel trade to identify touch points that would resonate the most with consumers, travel agents and tour operators. CLA created three different brand concepts, storyboards and positioning points, both in Chinese and English, in order to create the optimal balance of aspiration, brand promise and Chinese consumer connection.


NCL chose CLA’s brand positioning of “First Class at Sea” based on positive feedback in the market from Chinese consumers and travel trade. CLA worked with NCL to bring the brand promise to life with positioning videos and marketing materials for launch. CLA also named all of the branded areas on the cruise ship, including restaurants, casinos, clubs and common areas.