BMW Group, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is one of the most successful multi brand premium automobile
manufacturers in the world. The company manufactures, distributes and sells passenger cars (including Sedans,
Coupes, and Convertibles etc) and motorcycles. BMW operates three business segments namely: Automobiles,
Motorcycles and Financial Services. BMW is the parent company of the Mini and Rolls-Royce car brands, and, formerly,
Rover (car)/Rover. The company's slogans in English are quot;The Ultimate Driving Machinequot; and quot;Sheer Driving Pleasurequot;.
The company produces, and markets, a varied range of a higher end sporty cars and motorcycles. BMW has also
manufactured the first passenger car running on hydrogen ready for common use, although the production figures are
limited by the lack of a respective filling station net. In addition to cars and motorcycles, BMW operates an aircraft
engine division under the brand name of Rolls Royce. The company has worldwide subsidiaries and manufacturing
plants in Germany, Austria, the UK, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the
Philippines and Vietnam. BMW Group comprises of many segments within its vast portfolio, but I would be only
concentrating on Automobiles. BMW group is focused on fabricating a variety of tangible products, and also the group
has many intangible financial services. The BMW Group’s automotive which I am more interested in this easy is
portioning of their portfolio consists of the three premium brands: BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce of which I would be
more only looking at BMW and would also demonstrate their marketing. BMW is supported by 11 different model
series which are: BMW C1, BMW 1 series, BMW 3 series, BMW 5 series, BMW 6 series, and BMW 7 series, BMW X 3,
BMW X 5, BMW X 6 and the BMW Z4, BMW M5, BMW M6, and BMW Z4 M.
Well I agree with the below statement which is being provided by BMW group which states that the BMW offers
emotional product to the customers this could be seen or felt with their current marketing strategies also with their
SWOT analysis, PLC and as well as Research and Development.quot;We offer our customers emotional products, which
through the strength of the brand and the substance of the product fulfil the customer’s wish for individualisation and
differentiations”. (Reference- Case, Page 741).
BMW’s mission statement is clearly defined as “To be the most successful premium manufacturer in the industry”,
(Reference- www.bmw.co.uk)..bmw.co.uk)..bmw.co.uk). The main reason of BMW’s success is recognized by the
development of a steady marketing policy. The company has built its brand and continues to focus on the following
core values which is shown in the below figure.
BMW has always maintained this core values since the company’s inception. In addition to the message of these
values, we can see it in advertising campaigns on television, press, magazine, trade fairs, motor shows, etc. We can also
find company explicitly expresses one or more of these values in all BMW advertisements. However, we can also point
out that BMW also bank’s on the sensitively to the environment, which we can see with the current advertising
strategies of the company.
BMW has always used a differentiated strategy, this means that they aim on specific automobile markets. This markets
suit different people within the specific segmentation. The markets that BMW would normally or likes to target are
Sports Convertibles (Z3, 3 series, and new Z4), Executive (3 series, 5 series), Super Executive (7 series), Touring / Estate
(3 series, 5 series), Super sports (M series), and 4X4 (X5). Let have a look at BMW competitor analysis where we can
find BMW is a provider of premium cars and primarily serves for customer as if life time experience for them. BMW
ensures to have full satisfaction to their customers. Moreover, also we can find out the competitors as their segmented
List of few BMW Group’s series lines and brand names has to market specific competitors.
1 Series: Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf, Alfa Romeo 147, 3 Series: Audi A4, Jaguar X-Type, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS200, 5
Series: Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, Saab 9-5, Jaguar S-Type, Volvo S80, 6 Series: Jaguar XK, Maserati 4200, Porsche 911,
7 Series: Audi A8 and S8, Jaguar XJ series, Lexus LS400, Mercedes S-Class, X3: Land Rover Freelander, X5: Range Rover,
Mercedes M-Class, Volvo XC90, Porshe Cayenne, VW Touareg, Acura MDX, Lexus GX 470, Z4: Porsche Boxster, Audi TT,
Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Toyota Camry Solara, M Range: M3 Coupe - Mercedes C55, Audi RS4, M5 - Mercedes E55,
Audi RS6, MINI: Mercedes A Class, Peugeot 206 H/B, Volkswagen Polo, GTI, Golf, Renault Clio, Ford Focus RS, Vauxhall
Corsa and Toyota Yaris, Rolls-Royce Phantom: Mercedes Maybach, Bentley Arnage.
BMW still remains the world’s most successful premium car brand with 11, 85,088 units sold in 2006 which beat the
record of 2005 by 5.2% level increase in the sales. Major Key markets for BMW group have approx. 68% sales in Italy,
USA and Germany these three countries as in comparison to other countries. Furthermore, below in figures it shows to
break down of sales figure for different segment in BMW cars.
(Source- Annual report of BMW 2006)
This philosophy, which runs through every BMW car, has been communicated through a number of TV and print ads.
The brand image has been built up by press advertisements, and more recently through different television
commercials. Throughout this campaign, BMW has remained consistent to its beliefs of focusing on the substance of
the cars themselves.
BMW uses three steps to targeting which are market segmentation, target choice; product positioning. Let’s see how
BMW uses segmentation to identify specific buying characteristics. To find more information BMW looks at the
geographic, demographic, behavioural, socioeconomic, and beneficial characteristics of society which helps them to
target the market more effective. Geographically, the main markets for BMW where they are doing more than 65% of
sales are Europe & North America as these areas are both heavily industrialised locations which results into residents
are financially positioned to buy upper market cars as they capita income is more. The demographics of people who
are able to purchase a BMW are men and women aged 30 – 50 years old. Behaviourally these people have a successful
image in their mind before buying the car; they also like to want a clean modern look or sports look, and the feel good
factor of an established dealer network. The benefits required by these people are superiority, performance, reliability
The image that BMW has managed achieved over the years is to position its self on the customers mind is superiority,
performance, technologically advanced, quality automobile producer. The market where BMW is position them is
highly competitive. Reason being for the competitive is the number of other automobile manufacturers that produce
cars of a similar quality, price, and image. The main manufacturers that BMW compete with are as discussed before to
name a few are Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi, Ford, Range Rover, Porsche, and etc. Most of these are blue chip
manufacturers use differentiated strategies to produce large ranges of cars and has similar product life cycle which
BMW follows. The difference is that each of these companies relies on different brand images to sell their cars. E.g.
Jaguar is seen as a luxury, reliable and quality producer that BMW does but on the other hand Alfa Romeo is renowned
for being stylish and performance breed but unreliable car as per the research. The positioning of these companies and
their brands has been built up over many years but BMW has impressed their mark upon the public in a positive way
with the help of good public relation and innovative advertising campaigning. This has lead to continuing sales growth
throughout the international car markets.
When we talk about Brand Recognition BMW is an instantly recognized brand name that has a reputation for its age-
old tradition of quality. Also many of us identify its logo from a distance during travelling in cities, highways, etc. Unlike
other lesser known luxury car manufacturers, this brand recognition allows BMW to redirect its resources from
expensive advertising campaigns in a highly competitive market. The market in which BMW operates has being seen as
good and loyal customers.
Before moving to marketing mix lets first see at the SWOT analysis for BMW these information would provide us how
the company is good where they need to focus in near future.
Lets considered within the marketing mix can be put under four headings, often referred to as the 4 'P's: Products;
Promotions; Price; Place. 'Mix' is an important term because each element of a plan cannot be considered in isolation.
There is limited time and resources and decisions in one area will likely have an impact elsewhere.
The most important element in the marketing mix is the company’s product because this provides the useful
requirements required by customers. For example: a car that does not start in the morning will not be liked by
consumers. Marketing managers develop their products into brands that help to create a single position in the minds
of customers. The present models are:
BMW 3 Series – Sedan, Coupe, Convertible, Touring, Compact
BMW 5 Series – Sedan, Touring
BMW 6 Series – Coupe, Convertible
BMW 7 Series – Sedan
BMW Z4 – Roadster
BMW X3 – SUV
BMW X5 – SUV
BMW M –Convertible, Coupe
Each product goes through what is known as a life cycle process. When exploring what mix is best suited to the
product, we need to consider where in the life-cycle your products lie which is shown in the below figure and then
depending decide if there is need to make changes in the product and re-launch.
Although it is attractive to have all the products within a portfolio at the peak of their sales at the same time, this does
create problems. BMW knows the importance of making sure that not all of its products are at maturity at once, as this
might result in the products beginning to decline at the same time normally the life cycle has a particular year when
the car lunches and after certain years it on matured level where the company has to get something new in that series
to lunch where customers can enjoy the product to the fullest and with few new features in the car. For example BMW
X5 lunched at 2000 and then company lunched the higher or new version of X5 in 2006, for 3 series its 7 years lifecycle
and for 7 series is 7-years only for the 1’st model life cycle was for 9years. It is clear that BMW has spread over a period
of time the lifecycles of three products. These are the 3, 5, and 7 Series saloons. This PLC system not only helps to
ensure a more constant income, but also allows for the development of replacement products on a consistent
basis.BMW has also been expanding its portfolio recently and this can be seen by the presence of some new product
launches in the last few years. The above products are all fairly settled. Many of them have been being manufactured
for many years now with several re-designs and re-launches.
BMW price ranges are from approximately £16,000 to £60,000 plus. There are many factors that can affect their car
prices such as engine size, motor sport versions, etc. Let’s take an example of the pricing strategy that has been used
by BMW for the 3-series is competition-orientated pricing. Most of the Research shows that all other competitor such
as VW, Audi, Alfa Romeo and etc. in the 3-series market is based around the same price. This is because the car
industry is large and production costs are not so important and creating the largest profit is not as necessary as it
would be for a smaller company.
3 Series Price
Sedan Priced from: £21,035
Couple Priced from: £25,955
Convertible Priced from: £30,915
Touring Priced from: £22,215
BMW use superior market Dealerships & Imports for non-dealer networked countries they have four car
manufacturing plants in the UK. There are more than 156 dealers in the UK who are franchised to sell BMW cars,
additionally 148 dealers are franchised to sell Minis. Worldwide BMW operate in more than 100 different countries
with approximately 4,000 plus dealers which are authorised to sell both new and used cars, parts and after sales
Pattern of distribution for BMW is shown below in the diagram which is followed by the company: -
Manufacturer Dealers Consumers
BMW has always focused entirely on their cars with same advertising company, WCRS being the used since 1979.
A broad range of advertising is used by this agency such as television for branding campaigns and new car launches, the
press with Tabloid weekend colour supplements, regional publications and magazines, Outdoor campaigns, Sales
literature, brochures, etc.
Advertising Campaigns/Slogans used by the company in the past
Slogans Used Time Frame
1. Positioned itself as the brand with the 1. Established itself over time from its
unique benefit of ‘a luxury car that introduction in the US market in 1974
provides an exhilarating driving (the First Great Opportunity)
experience with advertising. 2. Ran for 15 years – Overall brand – focus
2. The Ultimate Driving Machine on prestige
3. The New 7 Series: Designed for Peace 3. Focus on the 7 Series
of Mind, Not Just Peace and Quiet 4. Focus on the 3 Series
4. BMW core values at more attainable 5. New strategy with a focus on brand &
price product, franchise, and organization.
5. BMW – The Smart Choice
BMW association is the ‘James Bond’ films from 1983, 1994, 1997 and 1999. E.g. In ‘The World in not Enough’ James
Bond drove the new Z8 before the car had been launched and in ‘Austin Powers 3 – Goldmember’ the Mini Cooper was
used. This kind of move has helped BMW to position its Car and the brand in front of vast audience across global also
this also indicated that the car was fast, more technologically advanced and had created an image in mind of future
customers that have best quality, safety, they are different from others. With BMW viral Marketing started developing
BMW Films was the driving force of BMW's successful interactive marketing campaign, the quot;Ultimate Driving Machinequot;
(ref- Hespos, 2002). In 2001, BMW released film called quot;The Hirequot;, a series few feature-quality short films for the
Internet to support the release of new vehicles during launch. Each short film featured a central character called The
Driver who quot;helped people through difficult circumstances using deft driving skills-in a prominent BMWquot; (ref- Hespos,
2002). BMW Films series the promotional campaign consisted of TV spots that which showed trailers, and print and
online advertising. quot;BMW Films was a non-traditional concept to show consumers what makes a BMW a BMWquot; (Ref-
Hespos, 2002). But it was much successful concept it increased the BMW sales in 2001 by 12.5% as compared to 2000.
quot;During the 1’st four month of the promotion, the films were viewed more than 11 million times, initially drawing more
visits than the site could handlequot; (Ref -http://www.pmalink.org/awards/reggie/2002reggiewinners3.asp, 3 October
2005). The short films were recommended by 94%. It proved to be so immensely popular that BMW produced a free
DVD of the series, which included extra features (ref -Hespos, 2002). With this kind of massive promotional activities
BMW was able to achieve in mind of costumers wish of for individualisation and emotional product as these
promotional activities somewhere or other make costumers feel like that.
Most of the people argue that there is always a chance to learn new thing or no matter. How big is the company and
how successful they are companies needed to think about the future and make few plans for them? For the future
marketing strategies, I would like to recommend few points. The BMW cars are considered to be as the luxury cars, of
which most products are applied to rich people but not the poor people. Can enter the market with Small ‘Lifestyle’ Car
which can apply to the middle-class people, its market share can be expanded. On the other hand, its accessories and
parts of cars are expensive for maintenance, which can reduce the desire of people purchasing its cars. In addition, for
this can get few new models in BMW Mini this could help then to target few different segments and also can target
females, Middle-class or upper middle class people. BMW can also create good relationship with female buyers they
need to do more of promotional strategies to attract more of female consumers with like of limited edition specially for
females in their existing models or for new models in this edition just by giving few simples thing which females like in
the car for example- pink colour, soft-toys, trendy seat covers, etc. Furthermore, The Asia Pacific region is becoming
increasingly crucial to global automotive sales. Although it has been overshadowed by China's rapid growth in recent
years, emerging markets is set for steady growth where BMW is already there but needs to concentrate more and
needs to adaptive marketing strategies to get success out there. These markets are going to be huge as there is more
population in these countries as in comparison to US and UK market. In addition, BMW needs to come with few more
BMW Films interactive marketing campaigns, the quot;Ultimate Driving Machinequot;. As it is had very successful and showed
good promise in it for the selling point. These kinds of advertising are creating very good brand value for the company
and company portrayed itself how they want to be in front of customers.
To conclude this essay I would like to say If BMW wants to double its sales in next 3-5 years then company need to
continue its investment in R&D and innovate as that’s the strength of the company it enjoys competitive edge over the
Hespos, T. (2002) “BMW Films: The Ultimate Marketing Scheme, retrieved October 3, 2005, from
Giardina, C. and Lehane, S. (2002) quot;The Driver Returns,quot; retrieved October 3, 2005, from
(2002) quot;BMW Films,quot; retrieved October 3, 2005, from
Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G., (1989) Principles of Marketing, Prentice-Hall International Edition.
David Jobber, Principles and Practice of Marketing 5’th Edition