Q&A with BRP Evinrude’s Olivier Pierini

In January, Olivier Pierini joined BRP as director of global marketing & strategic planning for the Marine Propulsion Systems Division.

His responsibilities will include setting the marketing strategy that includes reinvigorating the Evinrude brand and strengthening the brand’s position.

Before joining BRP, Pierini worked for Nissan-Europe where he held both the positions of head of sponsorship & partnership and general manager of marketing communications. He has also worked with Ford, Volvo and BMW in a number of positions.

Boating Industry spent a few minutes with Pierini talking about his outlook for the brand and what he hopes to accomplish in the new role.

Boating Industry: How do you think your experience in the auto industry will help you at BRP?

Pierini: I wouldn’t say BRP, I would say Evinrude, because my vision is to work on the brand Evinrude.

The auto industry is a big competitive business as a whole and I think we can apply some of the learnings from the automotive business … whether it’s on branding or advertising products. At the same time, boating is very specific to the environment, I’m discovering this – just discovering how people speak about this business. That’s what I’m learning.

Some of the things in the car business, which is very consumer driven, we tried to make changes and explain what are the customer benefits. We need to do that here. Make sure that, yes, technically we are there, but we need to explain improvements in human terms, not technical terms.

Boating Industry: So you want to focus on talking about the customer experience?

Pierini: Exactly. The first thing is what is our purpose? What is the brand about? What is our DNA? How do we talk about our story? Our history? How do we talk about our products, our brands?

Then, once we’re done with that, we pretty much transfer it into everything we do. Everything will be simple because we know who we are and what we want to say, to tell a story.

Boating Industry: What do you see as some of those key advantages?

Pierini: We feel the first one is that we have to own our heritage. That creates a pretty neat story. We invented the outboard engine. Period. The rest, they just copied us, decades later. Now, we just want to bring a little swagger back in the company. We are very humble, too humble. We need to make sure we have the pride of being the first.

We want to talk about reliability. That we have an engine that is used by the Navy Seals. That’s a statement in itself. We want to talk about innovation.

These things are tangible, they are there; we don’t have to invent them. They have probably been put aside for many reasons, but as a story, they are just fabulous for a marketer like me.

Boating Industry: With innovation in mind, what new developments can we expect to see from Evinrude?

Pierini: Yes, we have something. We like to call it our iPod, revolutionary concept … that will be around spring, summer.

Right now, for us as a company, the point I was making about how we talk about our technology and features in human terms, we are finding the right name for this product. Once we do, we can tell a story behind it that is very strong.

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