Launching the BMW Z3 Roadster. An HBS Case

Essay by meenalbhatUniversity, Master's January 2004

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BMW Z3 is the first BMW car which is being manufactured in North America which has not been a very big market [roughly around 16%] for BMW because of the inability of the American customer to associate with a foreign brand. Therefore the sales and marketing approach of BMW Z3 will lay the foundations of the future of BMW brand in America. Their phase I was a success, and they had two months between the launch and the product availability to further ingrain their brand image in the hearts of the Americans. So how to strengthen their brand campaign for the coming two months was their main concern.

Brand symbol is an important aspect in the automobile industry as it is the brand image that drives the person to buy the automobile and defines the target market and therefore the revenues. This could be supported from the past: their shift in positioning from "yuppie status" to "Ultimate Driving Vehicle" led to a 18% increase in sales in one year.

For BMW Z3 brand they wanted to preserve their reputation for driving performance but reposition their cars as stylish and fun to drive so that they settle into the minds and hearts of the American public and the vehicle becomes a cultural icon.

With the plan of leveraging the excitement and enthusiasm of the customer base in a way that it will draw maximum attention and interest to the brand "non-traditional" marketing methods were chosen. These methods were more cost efficient because of the psychographic segmentation and delivered to a broader base which was the major intention of BMW. It was also different and unconventional which was what BMW wanted to associate with their unique brand.

All their various marketing campaigns which included release of "Golden Eye", in which their car...