BMW is A German automotive manufacturer with sales in Europe, Germany and US Markets. In the late 1980’s, BMW looked for ways to redefine itself to American car buyers, and to ultimately build the well-regarded company into an iconic brand with an increased market share in North America. The answer came through the marketing department in the form of BMW Films, a cutting-edge marketing strategy that redefined the relationship between product advertising and creative media. The Film approach also led to impressive bottom line results and a redefined the company’s brand image. Nearly a decade later, the firm struggles to build on the success established by BMW Films. The company’s ultimate goal is to continue increasing volume of U.S. sales to 300,000 cars sold per year; support new product introductions and cement its brand among its target audience who they identify in the case as “people who tended to be leaders, who worked hard, played hard, and achieved a lot very early in life.” Thanks to the success of BMW Films the company has a great start. However, several problems need to be recognized in order for the company to move forward with an encore strategy to BMW Films: 1.
Consumer audience is elusive and expects to be impressed. BMW needs an outstanding marketing encore to capture the attention of the key audience. 2.
The BMW films campaign changed the marketing from a push to a pull strategy. The next marketing campaign must continue to get shoppers to “drive’ themselves into the brand. The campaign needs to provide easy opportunities for potential customers to learn more about which BMW is right for them. 3.
Needs to continue to build the next generation of BMW buyers, the brand needs to continue to be seen as relevant and cutting edge. Also, the brand must be seen as unique and superior to the competitor brands. 4.
The company has limited marketing dollars and must not be satisfied with diminishing returns. In the Case, the company offered several options to consider for phase two of their marketing strategy: •
Increase distribution of the existing films to a broader audience •
Develop additional short films.
Develop a feature length movie.
Move on to the next good idea.
After a thoughtful review of the case, I recommend the company should continue to build on the success of the BMW Films approach by developing five additional shorts to recapture the momentum of this campaign. This recommendation is further defined below. Rationale
This recommendation capitalizes on the strengths of the company, the opportunities in the market while addressing the weaknesses and threats, which exist in the North American business environment. A brief SWOT analysis provides evidence of their position: Strengths: The company is clearly able to convey its image and values within a “non-traditional” format for marketing with considerable success. •
Few companies are able to hire concept marketing companies and A level staff to fulfill a marketing strategy, without getting involved and mucking up the plan. BMW is great at hiring the best and getting out of the way. •
Phase One of the branding worked, the company is seen as cutting edge and relevant to technologically savvy and innovative buyers. Weaknesses: Based on price point, a limited market exists for BMW in North America. •
The focus of the phase I campaign was to move people into the brand for the first time. The next campaign must move consumers up into more expensive levels of the brand with bigger profit margins for BMW. •
Film takes longer to develop from start to finish than other forms of advertising. The company must have list momentum in between phase I and phase II of the film campaign. •
Copycat projects may dilute the impact of this innovative approach to advertising. Opportunities:
With retention rates good among owners, the company can build on their pool of purchasers to continue to support and...
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