Case: Bmw Launch of the Z3 Roadster

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  • Topic: James Bond, Marketing, GoldenEye
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  • Published : January 31, 2010
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Launching the BMW Z3 Roadster
Case Write-Up
Executive Summary:
BMW wanted to shape a new corporate image and planned to use the introduction of a sporty new roadster, the Z3, to set this in motion. In this process, they wanted to position themselves as a global brand, appealing to broader market segments. Due to their significant financial investment in a new manufacturing plant in South Carolina, they were highly motivated to make the launch of their first American-made car, the Z3, as successful as possible. Phase I of the marketing plan, which involved strategic product placement and cross-promotional activities with the new James Bond film, Goldeneye, proved to be a triumph, replacing previous traditional advertising methods with an "emotional fantasy", out-of-the-box image-based promotional campaign. The time gap between the height of Phase I publicity and the actual availability of the product requires a highly strategic Phase II plan. Another issue is the concern about maintaining BMW's well-known reputation as a German automotive company dedicated to quality and performance. Given this information, we determined that the three alternatives BMW could chose to implement in their Phase II design are either nontraditional marketing, traditional marketing or a well thought-out combination of both. We recommend that BMW continue into Phase II with a combination of both strategies. Having fulfilled their stated goals for Phase I, we believe this approach will continue to benefit the company throughout Phase II. Now that the hype from the James Bond movie has subsided, BMW must find a way to sustain the cachet built around the car until it's dealership arrival in March 1996. They want to continue promoting the car and the company through their sponsorship of the Summer Olympics while also reminding the public of BMW's traditional reputation. By emphasizing the previous success of Phase I using nontraditional concepts with an increase in more traditional methods both to compensate for the inability to maintain the highs of the movie premier and to re-emphasize BMW's commitment to excellence, this dual marketing system will solidify the successful launch of the Z3 in March and continue enhancing BMW's brand image in the eyes of the global market. Problem Statement:

BMW, a highly regarded, strong performing, German automobile manufacturer has decided to produce a roadster to appeal to consumers who desire driving excitement and the experience of the BMW brand. Phase I of their marketing plan has proven to be wildly successful through its product placement and co-launch with the James Bond movie, Goldeneye. As Goldeneye's release date as come and passed, BMW must establish an effective marketing plan for Phase II of their Z3 launch. This marketing plan must maintain the excitement and high demand generated by Phase I, as there is a four month discrepancy between promotion and the actual arrival of the cars. This plan must also help position BMW squarely into American culture and develop their image as a global brand. One of the challenges to these goals is their stodgy, solid reputation that may deter BMW from developing the new brand image they desire. As they strive to establish a broader, improved product line, they need to take into consideration their dealer network, a very costly new manufacturing facility in the United States instead of Germany, and of course, operating at peak efficiency. They want to update their corporate image but maintain their fine reputation for reliability and luxury. Situation Analysis:

BMW has successfully created a strong public interest in their new car, the Z3, by using non-traditional marketing methods before it's launch in March 1996. The challenge for BMW is to maintain the hype created by promotions involving James Bond's Goldeneye, which was released in November of 1995 until the Z3's dealership arrival four months later. They also must deal with...
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