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BMW's Ultimate Driving Machine Dream
By: Cindy Wendland
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BWM’s tagline is the Ultimate Driving Machine. It has also been used as their slogan. The latest slogan they developed is Sheer Driving Pleasure. In the economic downturn, BMW recognized that a different approach to luxury car marketing was necessary to attract customers. It seemed to work as 2012 was BMW’s most successful year as it led the luxury auto market. Sales figures are due soon for 2013 and BMW is expected to be the popular leader again. What is BMW doing right?

From a 2012 New York Times article, these excerpts define BWM’s marketing strengths and challenges.
  • BMW is viewed as the Apple of the automotive industry — delivering an exceptional experience across all vehicles.
  • If you sell a product that commands a premium price, you need to tug on the heartstrings of consumers.
  • A consistent brand image is powerful, but luxury consumers seek distinction even within the brand.
The marketing challenge BMW overcomes is maintaining a consistent brand image while distinguishing their individual products all through an emotional appeal.

It turns out not to be a challenge but rather a brilliantly executed advertising dream. The BMW lineup is first laid out as an exceptional (ultimate) driving machine. So, all of their models get that notation. Then, appealing to emotion and love of driving a performance vehicle, BMWs are tagged with the experience of driving pleasure. Finally, each model offers a slightly different appeal, whether it is the hybrid, full size sedan, or hard-top convertible. BMW has laid the groundwork for all their models, tweaked the message to appeal to each model segment, and then topped it off with emotion. It’s simply a matter of the consumer choosing which one is just right.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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