BMW's "Company of Ideas" Campaign:
Targeting the "Creative Class"

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG137
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2004-2006
Organization : BMW of North America LLC
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Auto & Ancillaries

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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For long BMW had been associated with the words "driving" and "performance". The company's taglines in English were "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and "Sheer Driving Pleasure". The original German slogan was "Freude am Fahren," which translated to "Joy in Driving" in English. BMW's association with "driving" was so strong that Ries believed that BMW became a synonym for "driving" in the mind of the consumer. "What comes to the mind when you think about BMW?" said Ries. "A car that's fun to drive. The ultimate driving machine. BMW owns the word "driving" in the mind.

In fact, according to Ries, it was the consistency of the communication and logo over decades that led to the success of BMW. He said, "BMW has been the ultimate driving machine for twenty-five years. What's even more remarkable is the fact that BMW retained its strategy even though the brand was driven through three separate advertising agencies. A change in agencies usually signals the end of the brand's consistency."...

Going Beyond the "Yuppies"

In 2005, BMW branded automobile sales in the US were 266,200 units when compared to 260,079 units in 2004.

In fact, over the last five years BMW's sales in the US had increased by 62 percent far more than any competitor.

The company's new products were also well received. However, an inhouse research study, in 2005, revealed that a large percentage (75 percent) of luxury car buyers in the US did not consider any BMW vehicle at the time of purchase...

Targeting the "Creative Class"

According to the company, the dynamic campaign was aimed at the creative class -consumers who shared many of BMW's principles -an independent spirit, a drive to challenge conventional wisdom, and an appreciation for a brand's ability to offer both substance and style.

The economic role of this 38 million strong class in the US included creating new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. According to Richard Florida (Florida), a Carnegie-Mellon University professor, the people of this class were distinct from other classes through the nature of their work...

Excerpts Contd...>>


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