BMW: AN EXERCISE IN ALIGNING IDENTITY, BRAND AND REPUTATION*
BMW, the German car manufacturer, has been strategically focused on premium segments in the international car market. With its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, the company has become one of the leading premium car companies in the world. BMW's strong identity and marketing campaigns are often credited as the building blocks of the company's continuing success. There are four values that define the BMW identity inside the organization (organizational identity) and its corporate brand and communication to external stakeholders: dynamism, aesthetics, exclusivity and innovation. These values have been central to BMW's success in terms of the company's leadership in design and are consistently communicated across all its corporate communication, corporate design, consumer advertising as well as through the behaviour of managers, designers, and retail staff. The brand consultancy Interbrand argues that these four brand values align customers' images and associations with the vision and culture of BMW.
BMW has long focused on innovation but made it the driving force for its product development process and its philosophy at the end of the 1990s. Since then, the company has put a lot of emphasis on its research and development (R&D), making it a core element of its corporate strategy. BMW's success has been its ability to nurture new ideas, short-list the potential ones and process them till the end stage through an integrated innovation process. The innovation process within BMW is aimed at systematically channelling potential innovations to the actual product development stage. The process focuses on three major areas: unique selling propositions for each car to be launched, breakthrough innovations, and concept cars to convey BMW's brand image at automobile shows. For this purpose, the company has implemented systems to search for and filter innovative ideas from across the world (within and outside of...
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