BMW Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

BMW, the German luxury automobile manufacturer, has been a force to reckon with in the automotive industry since its establishment in 1916. Known for its high-performance vehicles and cutting-edge technology, BMW has successfully positioned itself as a leading brand, captivating the hearts and minds of consumers worldwide. In this case study, we will delve into BMW’s marketing strategy for 2024, exploring its intricate details and the key factors contributing to its success.

Key Takeaways:

  • BMW is a renowned German luxury automobile manufacturer.
  • The company has a rich history and a strong presence worldwide.
  • BMW’s target market comprises affluent professionals, driving enthusiasts, and tech-savvy consumers.
  • The brand focuses on delivering premium quality, performance, and style in its products.
  • BMW positions itself as a premium brand with a comprehensive promotion strategy and a strong digital presence.

BMW, short for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, was founded in 1916 as an aircraft engine manufacturer. However, it quickly shifted its focus to producing automobiles and has since become one of the most renowned luxury car manufacturers in the world. The company’s headquarters are located in Munich, Germany, and it operates production facilities in various countries, including Brazil, China, India, the United States, and Mexico.

What sets BMW apart from its competitors is its commitment to quality and innovation. The brand is known for crafting high-quality, luxurious vehicles that offer a perfect blend of style, performance, and cutting-edge technology.

Over the years, BMW has established a rich history of success. The brand has not only produced exquisite cars but has also achieved remarkable victories in racing championships, solidifying its reputation as a leader in the automotive industry.

In addition to its own brand, BMW also owns and produces other well-known names in the automotive world, such as Mini and Rolls-Royce. This diverse portfolio allows BMW to cater to a broad range of consumers with varying preferences and budgets.

BMW’s Target Market

BMW’s target market encompasses a diverse group of affluent professionals, driving enthusiasts, and tech-savvy consumers. The brand has successfully positioned itself as a go-to choice for individuals who highly value both performance and luxury in their vehicles. BMW understands that its target audience seeks not only powerful engines and exceptional handling, but also refined designs and sophisticated features.

In recent years, BMW has further expanded its market reach by introducing electric and hybrid models, attracting environmentally conscious consumers who still desire an exceptional driving experience. By offering a diverse range of vehicles that cater to different segments within its target market, BMW ensures that its marketing efforts resonate effectively with a wide range of consumers.

Affluent Professionals

One of BMW’s key target segments comprises affluent professionals who seek high-quality vehicles that reflect their status and success. These individuals desire the prestige associated with owning a luxury brand like BMW, combined with the performance and technological advancements that the brand offers.

Driving Enthusiasts

BMW’s driving enthusiasts form another crucial segment of its target market. These individuals have a passion for powerful, sporty cars that deliver an exhilarating driving experience. BMW’s reputation as a manufacturer of high-performance vehicles, coupled with its motorsport heritage, appeals directly to these enthusiasts who prioritize speed, handling, and precise engineering.

Tech-Savvy Consumers

In today’s digital age, tech-savvy consumers value the integration of advanced technology in their vehicles. BMW understands this and has made significant advancements in incorporating cutting-edge features and connectivity options in its cars. By offering features such as advanced infotainment systems, mobile app integration, and driver-assist technologies, BMW attracts tech-savvy consumers who prioritize seamless integration of their digital lifestyle with their driving experience.

With a deep understanding of its target market, BMW continues to develop vehicles that cater to the specific desires and needs of these distinct segments. By combining performance, luxury, and technological innovation, BMW maintains its position as a leader in the luxury automobile market.

BMW’s Product Strategy

BMW offers a diverse range of luxury automobiles designed to meet the sophisticated tastes of its discerning customers. The brand’s product strategy focuses on delivering a seamless blend of premium quality, exceptional performance, and captivating style in every vehicle.

BMW’s commitment to excellence is evident in its meticulous attention to detail and use of high-quality materials. The brand continuously pushes the boundaries of innovation to create automobiles that exceed customer expectations. With cutting-edge technology and advanced engineering, BMW vehicles offer a driving experience that is both exhilarating and refined.

Safety, efficiency, and reliability are paramount in BMW’s product strategy. The brand integrates state-of-the-art safety features and advanced driver assistance systems to ensure the well-being of its customers. With a keen focus on reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency, BMW also offers a wide range of electric and hybrid vehicles, catering to the growing demand for sustainable mobility.

In addition to automobiles, BMW manufactures motorcycles and bicycles for specific markets, catering to niche segments with specialized products. This diverse product portfolio allows BMW to extend its brand reach and cater to the unique preferences of its customers.

The BMW Automobile Lineup

BMW’s product lineup encompasses a wide range of luxurious vehicles, each designed to fulfill specific needs and desires. From elegant sedans and powerful sports cars to versatile SUVs, BMW offers something for every discerning driver.

BMW’s vehicle lineup combines elegance, performance, and advanced technology to provide an unmatched driving experience. Whether it’s the sophistication of the flagship 7 Series or the exhilaration of the M4, BMW vehicles embody the brand’s commitment to exceptional craftsmanship and uncompromising quality.

Through its product strategy, BMW continues to redefine automotive luxury, setting new standards in design, performance, and technology. The brand’s unwavering dedication to innovation ensures that BMW vehicles remain at the forefront of the automotive industry.

BMW’s Price Strategy

BMW is renowned for its position as a premium brand, and its price strategy plays a crucial role in maintaining this image. The prices of BMW cars vary depending on the series and model, allowing customers to choose a vehicle that aligns with their preferences and budget.

The brand’s primary focus is on luxury vehicles, offering a range of high-performance cars that deliver style, comfort, and cutting-edge technology. However, BMW has also recognized the need to broaden its customer base and increase operational reach. To achieve this, the brand has ventured into the realm of budget-friendly automobiles while ensuring they still embody the core BMW values.

By offering a range of price points, BMW aims to cater to a wider audience without compromising the premium image associated with the brand. This strategy allows individuals who appreciate luxury and quality to experience the excellence that BMW stands for, regardless of their budget constraints.

Whether customers opt for a top-of-the-line, high-end BMW or choose a more affordable model, they can expect the same commitment to craftsmanship, performance, and innovation. BMW’s price strategy reinforces its position in the market while providing customers with the freedom to choose a vehicle that suits their needs and aspirations.

Overall, BMW’s price strategy is a testament to its dedication to delivering exceptional quality and value to its customers, regardless of their budget. It is a key component in maintaining the brand’s position as a leading luxury car manufacturer, setting it apart from competitors and ensuring customer satisfaction.

BMW price strategy

BMW’s Place Strategy

BMW has adopted a strategic approach to its place strategy, which encompasses manufacturing facilities and a network of dealerships worldwide. The brand has established manufacturing plants in key countries such as Germany, Brazil, China, India, the United States, and Mexico. This global presence enables BMW to cater to diverse markets and efficiently produce vehicles for both domestic consumption and international distribution.

Unlike other automotive manufacturers, BMW directly appoints showroom dealers instead of relying on distributors. This approach allows BMW to maintain close relationships with its dealers and provide them with higher margins, ensuring that customers receive a superior buying experience. By cutting out intermediaries, BMW streamlines its distribution channel and maintains control over its brand image.

BMW strategically locates its showrooms in urban areas that align with its target market. This targeted placement facilitates accessibility for potential customers and enhances the brand’s visibility. Placing dealerships in bustling city centers and upscale neighborhoods ensures that BMW’s luxury vehicles are showcased in prime locations, attracting the attention of its target audience.

Showrooms Distribution Breakdown

As the table above illustrates, BMW has a strong presence in Germany, the United States, China, India, and Mexico, with a significant number of showrooms in each country. This strategic distribution allows BMW to maximize its reach and cater to the demands of its target market effectively.

In summary, BMW’s place strategy encompasses a global manufacturing footprint and a direct dealership model. By strategically locating its showrooms in urban areas and fostering strong relationships with dealers, BMW ensures a seamless distribution process, enhances customer experience, and maintains its renowned brand image.

BMW’s Promotion Strategy

BMW employs a comprehensive promotion strategy to maximize its reach and engage its target audience. The brand utilizes various marketing channels , including television and radio advertisements, print ads, and online campaigns. By leveraging these channels, BMW effectively communicates its brand messaging and showcases the unique features and capabilities of its vehicles.

One of the key strengths of BMW’s promotion strategy lies in its visually appealing and memorable commercials. These commercials capture the aesthetics, performance, and technology of BMW vehicles, leaving a lasting impression on viewers. The brand’s creative and captivating advertisements serve as powerful tools in building brand recognition and driving customer interest.

BMW also places great emphasis on customer satisfaction throughout the car-buying process. The brand strives to create memorable experiences for customers by offering exceptional service and personalized attention. This focus on customer satisfaction not only enhances the overall buying experience but also strengthens customer loyalty and generates positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Furthermore, BMW’s promotion strategy extends beyond traditional advertising channels. The brand organizes exclusive events to engage its target audience directly. These events allow BMW enthusiasts and potential customers to experience the brand’s vehicles firsthand, further enhancing brand perception and fostering an emotional connection with the brand.

Another aspect of BMW’s promotion strategy is its utilization of social media platforms. The brand leverages social media campaigns to engage with its target audience and share compelling content. By actively interacting with customers, BMW creates a sense of community and strengthens its brand following.

In addition, BMW collaborates with influencers and celebrities to amplify its brand message and extend its reach to a wider audience. These collaborations enable BMW to tap into the influence and credibility of well-known personalities, reinforcing its brand image and attracting new customers.

The effectiveness of BMW’s promotion strategy can be attributed to its integration of various marketing channels, its focus on customer satisfaction, and its ability to create memorable experiences. By incorporating traditional advertising, exclusive events, social media campaigns, and influencer partnerships, BMW ensures that its promotion strategy reaches and resonates with its target audience, ultimately driving brand awareness and customer engagement.

BMW’s Advertising Campaigns – A Look at the Past and Present

BMW’s advertising campaigns have played a pivotal role in shaping the brand’s image and driving its success. Over the years, the brand has developed iconic and award-winning advertisements that have captured the attention of both automotive enthusiasts and the general public.

One notable advertising campaign by BMW is the “Ultimate Driving Machine” campaign. Launched in the 1970s, this campaign positioned BMW as a brand that prioritizes performance and driving pleasure. The “Ultimate Driving Machine” tagline became synonymous with BMW’s commitment to delivering exhilarating driving experiences.

In recent years, BMW has continued to impress with its advertising campaigns. The brand’s “The Road Home” campaign showcased BMW’s dedication to innovation and high-quality craftsmanship. It highlighted the emotional connection between BMW owners and their vehicles, emphasizing the brand’s long-standing reputation for excellence.

Another standout campaign by BMW is the “Designed for Driving Pleasure” campaign. This campaign focused on the brand’s dedication to designing vehicles that provide unparalleled driving pleasure. It highlighted BMW’s advanced technology, luxurious interiors, and dynamic performance, all aimed at elevating the driving experience.

BMW’s advertising campaigns have consistently captivated audiences by effectively showcasing the brand’s values and attributes. Whether through the “Ultimate Driving Machine,” “The Road Home,” or “Designed for Driving Pleasure,” BMW’s advertising campaigns have left a lasting impact on viewers and solidified its position as a leader in the automotive industry.

Table: Comparison of BMW’s Advertising Campaigns

BMW’s Digital Marketing Strategy

In today’s digital age, BMW understands the significance of digital marketing and recognizes the immense value of having a strong online presence. With its commitment to innovation, BMW has developed an effective digital marketing strategy that allows the brand to engage with its target audience and provide a seamless online experience.

Serving as a Central Hub: The BMW Website

The BMW website serves as a central hub for all things BMW. It provides comprehensive information about the brand’s vehicles, including detailed specifications, features, and customizable options. Customers can easily browse through the available models, compare different variants, and even schedule test drives.

Engaging with the Audience: Social Media Platforms

BMW actively engages with its target audience on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. By sharing captivating content, including stunning visuals and engaging videos, BMW showcases its vehicles and captivates the attention of automotive enthusiasts worldwide. The brand also encourages interaction with customers, responding to comments, and even incorporating user-generated content into its social media campaigns.

Utilizing Email Marketing and Mobile Apps

To stay connected with its customers, BMW utilizes email marketing to deliver personalized messages, exclusive offers, and updates on new products and services. Additionally, BMW has developed mobile apps that provide users with a convenient and immersive BMW experience. These apps offer features like vehicle configuration, service scheduling, and even augmented reality experiences that allow customers to interact with BMW models virtually.

Enhancing the Digital Experience: Virtual Showrooms and Augmented Reality

BMW leverages technology to enhance the digital experience for its customers. The brand has created virtual showrooms, enabling customers to explore BMW car models in a dynamic and interactive virtual environment. Moreover, BMW uses augmented reality to provide customers with the opportunity to view and visualize different vehicle models through their smartphones or tablets, allowing for a more immersive and engaging experience.

Reaching a Global Audience: Digital Innovation

BMW’s digital marketing strategy ensures that it reaches a global audience. The brand makes use of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve its online visibility and attract relevant traffic to its website. By employing data analytics and customer insights, BMW continuously adapts its digital strategy to meet changing consumer preferences and demands, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of digital innovation in the automotive industry.

BMW’s Online Presence on Social Media Platforms

BMW’s marketing strategy has played a pivotal role in positioning the brand as a frontrunner in the automotive industry. By focusing on luxury, performance, and innovation, BMW has successfully captured the attention of its target market, which includes affluent professionals, driving enthusiasts, and tech-savvy consumers. The company’s commitment to delivering high-quality products is evident through its emphasis on safety, efficiency, and reliability.

BMW’s pricing strategy, which positions the brand as a premium choice, adds to its desirability and exclusivity. By offering a range of price points, BMW has been able to expand its customer base and maintain its premium brand image. Furthermore, the brand’s distribution strategy, promotion strategy, and digital marketing initiatives have all contributed to enhancing BMW’s brand perception and engaging customers effectively.

Overall, BMW’s marketing strategy serves as a benchmark for excellence in the automotive industry. The brand’s ability to consistently deliver on its promise of luxury, performance, and innovation has solidified its position as a leader in the market. With its strong emphasis on customer satisfaction and its relentless pursuit of technological advancements, BMW continues to set itself apart from its competitors and shape the future of the automotive industry.

What is BMW?

BMW is a German automobile engine manufacturing company that is known for its luxury automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles. It was founded in 1916 as an aircraft engine manufacturer and later transitioned into producing automobiles.

Where is BMW headquartered?

BMW is headquartered in Munich, Germany.

What is BMW’s target market?

BMW’s target market consists of affluent professionals, driving enthusiasts, and tech-savvy consumers who value performance and luxury in their vehicles.

What types of vehicles does BMW offer?

BMW offers a range of luxury automobiles, including sedans, sports cars, and SUVs. The brand also manufactures motorcycles and bicycles for certain markets.

How does BMW position its brand?

BMW positions itself as a premium brand, focusing on delivering premium quality, performance, and style in its products. The brand’s pricing reflects its premium positioning.

Where are BMW’s manufacturing facilities located?

BMW has manufacturing facilities in various countries, including Germany, Brazil, China, India, the United States, and Mexico.

What is BMW’s promotion strategy?

BMW utilizes various channels of marketing such as television ads, print ads, and online advertisements to reach its target audience. The brand also focuses on customer satisfaction and creates memorable experiences for customers during the car-buying process.

How does BMW approach digital marketing?

BMW has a strong online presence and actively engages with its audience on social media platforms. The brand utilizes email marketing, mobile apps, virtual showrooms, and augmented reality experiences to enhance the customer’s digital experience.

What is BMW’s marketing strategy?

BMW’s marketing strategy focuses on luxury, performance, and innovation to resonate with its target market. The company’s product strategy emphasizes safety, efficiency, and reliability, while its price strategy positions the brand as a premium choice. BMW’s distribution strategy, promotion strategy, and digital marketing initiatives further strengthen its brand image and customer engagement.

bmw marketing strategy case study

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BMW: Case Study Essay

Searching for BMW case study essay to get inspired? Look no further! This BMW marketing strategy case study analyses the company’s strategic management and the approach to customer segmentation.


  • Case Summary
  • Defining the Issue

Consumer Segmentation

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Recommendations

BMW is one of the most recognized brands in the world. It is at the echelon of the automobile industry, producing products that are known for a combination of quality, utility, and style. Customer segmentation is a management factor that all companies should consider in their marketing strategy. This case study analysis attempts to examine the BMW brand and its approach to market segmentation to expand its automobile sales.

BMW Case Study Summary

BMW developed into an international automobile company after World War II and achieved tremendous success by the mid-20th century. In 2012, it had international sales exceeding $106 billion (Kotler & Keller, 2016). The BMW is an instantly recognizable symbol, a tribute to the company’s early days as an aircraft manufacturer. Originally, BMW attempted to appeal to baby boomers, producing sports sedans that were luxurious and demonstrated high performance.

This became the 3, 5, and 7 series which were a similar design in different sizes. At the beginning of the 21st century, as consumer needs shifted, BMW began to introduce a wide variety of other vehicles, ranging from premium SUVs to convertibles and roadsters, as well as cheaper compact cars in Series 1. BMW offered options to family-oriented consumers, wealthy conservatives that sought luxury, and those needing bigger cars for outdoor activities, as well as those seeking highly flamboyant vehicles.

BMW Case Study: Defining the Issue

BMW utilizes various advertising tactics and methods but has continued to employ the tagline “The Ultimate Driving Machine” since 1974. It has seen a steady increase in sales in the US and focuses on emphasizing quality rather than status. BMW consumers usually demonstrate loyalty, but the company seeks to attract new customers. The marketing issue for investigation is whether BMW adequately segments the consumer base and how well it employs marketing to each group. BMW’s marketing strategy will be examined, and recommendations provided for potential improvement.

BMW generally uses a mono-segment marketing position that appeals to a single customer segment of relatively wealthy individuals. Most of the automobile lineup which BMW offers consist of luxury vehicles, and even its Series 1 is priced at the higher end of the mid-range sedans. The company simply does not offer budget vehicles that may be appealing to individuals and households with income below the upper-middle class. Despite this, BMW most likely uses a post-hoc segmentation approach which analyzes marketing data after sales to determine its customer clusters and category management. Segmentation is based on consumer preferences, which consists of product evaluation.

In an automobile, this includes aspects such as price, performance, ecological features, and reliability. These help to shape criteria that are used during automobile selection. The preferences are vital in constructing the additive value function which is a major method of determining utility for various customer segments (Liu, Liao, Huang, & Liao, 2018).

As mentioned in the case study, BMW offers a variety of cars that may fulfill the distinct needs of its consumers. Each of the car types it offers such as sedans, SUVs, or roadsters all have several vehicles in the series which gradually increase in price and feature offering. BMW actually segments the premium market by finding a balance between purchasing behavior and marketing mix and responding appropriately to value and consumer trends. However, the brand does not compromise and cater to most segments but adopts a marketing strategy that focuses primarily on a premium target market (Yuying & Qingrun, 2018).

The primary consumers of BMW vehicles are men aged 30-50 with higher levels of income. This segmentation works for BMW as it attempts to maintain its status as a luxury car manufacturer. With BMW combining luxurious superiority with performance and reliability, the company positions itself to appeal to upper-class customers that will appreciate the masterpiece and symbolic nature of its highly technological automobiles. Therefore, BMW establishes a particular value to its product which is reflected in both pricing and marketing strategy.

BMW Marketing Strategy

BMW focuses its marketing efforts primarily on premium segments with the purpose to define luxurious brand identification of its vehicles. The focus on affluent customers in the majority of its marketing for the 3 through 7 series has demonstrated the success of this approach. BMW positions itself as a leader in the industry through innovation. This may range from clean energy engines to complex electronic systems in its cars. The company builds its value and competitive advantage on the innovation concept which is reflected in its global marketing strategy (Dong & Koo, 2018). In other words, the development effort, components, and performance that is input into BMW cars are reflective of its value, justifying such price tags.

The luxury product market continues to demonstrate significant growth year over year, despite any economic downturns in the last decade. Premium vehicles such as BMW base their segmentation and marketing on the concept of scarcity.

Consumers purchasing luxury products are buying into the dream and exceptional quality. BMW takes advantage of this by adopting a “masstige” approach, combining the prestige of its automobiles with mass marketing strategies to achieve a high level of sales. Premium products directly impact the psychological concepts of self-esteem and social recognition. The consumption and possession of premium brands are associated with pleasure and a range of other emotions which consumers pursue as part of increasing or upkeeping their social status (Chandon, Laurent, & Valette-Florence, 2016).

Based on this, BMW began to test a new slogan of “sheer driving pleasure” in limited markets to attempt the transition of marketing focus from performance alone to the emotional appeal of its luxury brand. While the iconic “ultimate driving machine” may be successful, it may be viable for BMW to eventually change its slogan. The current slogan appeals to its primary demographic of wealthy men but fails to capture other market segments such as women, young adults, and those without such great enthusiasm for cars. The emotional marketing approach is closely relatable with individualism, a coveted value for United States consumers.

Emotional paradigms contribute to the cultural entourage and social constructs of a vehicle (Lutz, 2015). By integrating its quality and performance into emotional marketing, BMW can capitalize on its widely known brand and enhance consumer communication. BMW can improve its marketing strategy and adopt new consumer segments by combining emotionally sensual marketing with premium performance. The two concepts are inherently synergistic and would allow for BMW to maintain a leading position in the industry.

BMW Case Study Solution & Recommendations

In addition to using the emotional marketing appeal, BMW should seek to expand its consumer segments. This is particularly important in light of potential economic downturns and expansion into developing countries where average incomes are significantly lower than BMW’s primary markets of North America and Europe. One recommendation would be to expand its lineup to include more budget-oriented cars that maintain a similar level of quality, safety, and performance. This would be in line with BMW transitioning its focus from class to performance as mentioned in the case study.

It would attract a significant market segment from middle-class households who would now be able to afford a BMW automobile which does not sacrifice much in terms of performance, only luxury. However, this decision should be taken into consideration of the long-term commitment of the company since it would dilute the premium status of the BMW brand. Even now, driving one of the cheaper series of BMW is considered far less prestigious than its luxury sedans. Expansion into new segments will present challenges with both advertising and competition.

BMW should keep track of changing consumer trends, diversity, and social opinions, basing its advertisement strategy on appealing to a wide variety of the market, even those that may not be able to afford its cars. The BMW brand image is distinguished and synonymous with prestige, quality, and performance. The company’s further strategy should encompass significant investment into technologies such as clean energy and self-driving cars, and reflect this in their marketing campaigns which position BMW as an innovator in the industry.

BMW is a global automobile brand that produces and sells premium-level vehicles. Its primary consumer segment consists of affluent individuals and the car lineup is designed to meet the demands of this market segment. BMW bases its marketing strategy on innovation and performance, taking advantage of its luxurious brand name to emphasize quality and scarcity. While this marketing strategy has been successful, it may be viable to modify the approach by using emotionally sensible marketing and introducing low-end vehicles with a similar level of quality in order to expand its consumer segments.

Chandon, J.-L., Laurent, G., & Valette-Florence, P. (2016). Pursuing the concept of luxury: Introduction to the JBR special issue on “Luxury marketing from tradition to innovation.” Journal of Business Research, 69 (1), 299-303. Web.

Dong, H. B., & Koo, J. (2018). Conspicuous and inconspicuous luxury consumption: A content analysis of BMW advertisements . Reinvention: An International Journal of Undergraduate Research, 11 (2). Web.

Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing management (15th ed.). London, England: Pearson.

Liu, J., Liao, X., Huang, W., & Liao, X. (2018). Market segmentation: A multiple criteria approach combining preference analysis and segmentation decision. Omega, 83 , 1-13. Web.

Lutz, C. (2015). Marketing car love in an age of fear: An anthropological approach to the emotional life of a world of automobiles. Etnografica, 19 (3), 593-603. Web.

Yuying, A. & Qingrun, R. (2018). Global marketing strategy of BMW . Web.

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BMW’s Marketing Strategies: Unleashing the Power of Performance

Archana Karthikeyan

Archana Karthikeyan , Apoorva Bajj

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or BMW, is a German multinational corporation that produces luxury vehicles, motorcycles, and engines. The company was founded in 1916 as a manufacturer of aircraft engines and later expanded into motorcycle and automobile production.

BMW’s history is one of innovation, design, and performance. The company’s first car, the BMW 3/15, was released in 1929 and set the standard for engineering and design in the automotive industry. BMW continued to innovate, introducing the world’s first turbocharged production car in 1973, and the first full-electric production car, the BMW i3, in 2013.

Over the years, BMW has achieved numerous milestones and accolades. In 1999, BMW acquired the British brands MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, expanding their reach in the global market. In 2001, the BMW Group launched their first diesel engine with a particulate filter, setting a new benchmark for clean diesel technology. In 2016, BMW celebrated its centenary, marking 100 years of innovation and growth.

BMW is a major player in the global automotive industry, consistently ranking as one of the top-selling luxury car brands. In 2021, BMW Group’s global sales volume totaled over 2.5 million vehicles, representing a 9.8% increase compared to the previous year. The company’s market share in the premium segment was 7.7% in 2021, with China being BMW’s largest market, followed by the United States and Germany.

Global revenue of BMW Group from FY 2008 to FY 2022

In recent years, BMW has made significant investments in research and development, particularly in the areas of electric and autonomous vehicles. The BMW iX, the company’s flagship electric SUV, was released in 2021 and features a range of over 300 miles on a single charge. BMW has also partnered with other leading automotive companies to develop self-driving technology and has announced plans to launch Level 3 autonomous vehicles by 2025.

BMW’s commitment to innovation, performance, and sustainability has propelled the company to become a leader in the global automotive industry. With a rich history and a strong focus on the future, BMW continues to shape the way we think about cars and mobility.

BMW - Target Audience BMW - Marketing Mix BMW - Marketing Campaigns BMW - Marketing Strategies

BMW - Target Audience

BMW’s target audience is typically affluent individuals who value luxury, performance, and innovative design in their vehicles. This demographic includes both men and women, although men tend to make up a slightly larger proportion of BMW’s customer base.

Geographically, BMW has a strong presence in Europe, North America, and Asia, with China being the largest market for the brand. However, BMW has also been expanding into emerging markets such as India and Brazil, targeting the growing middle and upper classes in these regions.

In terms of age, BMW’s target audience tends to be middle-aged or older, with a median age of around 50 years old. However, the brand has also been making efforts to attract younger buyers through its sporty and innovative designs, as well as its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles .

In terms of income, BMW’s target audience typically falls into the high-income bracket, with a median income of around $150,000 per year. This group values the prestige and status associated with owning a luxury vehicle and is willing to pay a premium for the quality and performance that BMW offers.

bmw marketing strategy case study

BMW’s target audience is a diverse group of individuals who share a common appreciation for luxury, performance, and innovation in their vehicles. Whether they are located in established markets or emerging regions, BMW aims to meet the needs of this audience by delivering high-quality products and exceptional customer service.

BMW - Marketing Mix

Marketing mix refers to the set of tactics or tools that a company uses to promote its products or services to customers. BMW, being a leading automotive brand, has developed a comprehensive marketing mix that enables the company to maintain its position as a top luxury car manufacturer. The BMW marketing mix includes the four Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.

  • Product: BMW offers a range of luxury vehicles , including cars and SUVs, as well as motorcycles and engines. The company has a reputation for high-quality engineering and innovative design, with features such as efficient engines, advanced safety systems, and cutting-edge infotainment technology . BMW also offers a range of customization options, allowing customers to personalize their vehicles to meet their unique preferences and needs.
  • Price: BMW’s pricing strategy is aimed at positioning the brand as a premium product in the market. The company’s prices are higher than those of many competitors, but this is in line with its focus on quality and innovation . BMW also offers financing options and special promotions to make its vehicles more accessible to a wider range of customers.
  • Place: BMW has an extensive distribution network that includes dealerships in over 140 countries around the world. The company also sells its products online, allowing customers to customize and purchase their vehicles from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, BMW has a strong presence in urban areas, with showrooms and flagship stores in major cities such as New York, London, and Tokyo.
  • Promotion: BMW uses a variety of promotional tactics to reach its target audience, including advertising, events, and sponsorships. The company’s advertising campaigns focus on highlighting the quality and innovation of its products, while events such as the BMW Championship and the BMW International Open showcase the brand’s commitment to excellence in sports. BMW also sponsors high-profile events such as the Olympics and the Formula One World Championship, further strengthening its reputation as a leading brand in the automotive industry.

BMW’s marketing mix is a comprehensive and effective strategy that allows the company to maintain its position as a top luxury car manufacturer. BMW is able to reach and engage its target audience while maintaining a strong brand image .

BMW - Marketing Campaigns

BMW has launched several successful marketing campaigns over the years, each designed to promote the brand and its products in unique and memorable ways.

One of the most iconic campaigns was The “ Ultimate Driving Machine ” campaign, launched in the 1970s, which emphasized BMW’s focus on performance and driving experience. Another notable campaign was the “ Joy ” campaign, which emphasized the emotional connection between drivers and their BMWs, and the sense of joy and freedom that comes with driving a luxury car.

BMW has also launched several innovative campaigns that incorporate technology and social media. The “ Eyes on Gigi ” campaign, for example, used eye-tracking technology to create an interactive driving experience featuring supermodel Gigi Hadid. The “ BMW Art Journey ” campaign, on the other hand, sponsored a series of art exhibitions around the world, showcasing the brand’s commitment to innovation and creativity.

BMW’s marketing campaigns have been successful in promoting the brand’s values and products in memorable and engaging ways. By focusing on the unique qualities that make BMW stand out in the crowded luxury car market, these campaigns have helped to build and maintain the brand’s reputation as a leader in automotive innovation and design.

bmw marketing strategy case study

BMW - Marketing Strategies

BMW is a leading luxury car manufacturer that has managed to maintain its position in a highly competitive market by implementing effective marketing strategies . Here are the top strategies that have helped BMW achieve success:

Focusing on Innovation

BMW has always been a brand that focuses on innovation and cutting-edge technology. The company invests heavily in research and development to stay ahead of the curve and bring new, exciting products to market. One of BMW’s key innovations in recent years has been the development of electric and autonomous vehicles, which is an area that the company is continuing to invest in.

  • Offering Customization

BMW understands that its customers have unique tastes and preferences when it comes to their vehicles. To cater to this demand, the company offers a range of customization options for its vehicles. Customers can choose from a variety of interior and exterior options, as well as optional extras such as upgraded sound systems and advanced safety features. This customization helps BMW stand out in a crowded market and gives customers a sense of ownership over their vehicles.

  • Creating Emotional Connections

BMW has been successful in creating emotional connections with its customers through its marketing campaigns. The company’s “ Joy ” campaign, for example, emphasized the sense of joy and freedom that comes with driving a luxury car. By tapping into the emotional desires of its customers, BMW has built a strong brand identity and loyal customer base.

  • Building Strong Partnerships

BMW has partnered with other leading brands in various industries, such as fashion and sports, to build brand recognition and reach new audiences. By aligning with other brands that share its values, BMW is able to strengthen its brand identity and appeal to a wider range of customers.

  • Emphasizing Performance

One of BMW’s key selling points is its focus on performance and driving experience. The company has always been known for its high-performance vehicles, and it has made this a key part of its marketing strategy. By emphasizing the driving experience, BMW is able to appeal to customers who are looking for more than just a luxurious car.

bmw marketing strategy case study

  • Expanding Into Emerging Markets

BMW has been successful in expanding into emerging markets such as India and Brazil. These markets present new opportunities for growth, particularly as the middle and upper classes in these regions continue to grow. By targeting these markets, BMW is able to expand its customer base and reach new audiences.

  • Leveraging Social Media

BMW has been active on social media, using platforms like Instagram and Twitter to engage with customers and showcase its products. The company’s social media presence is carefully curated to showcase the brand’s values and appeal to its target audience. By using social media to build a strong online presence, BMW is able to reach a wider audience and build brand recognition.

Providing Exceptional Customer Service

BMW has a strong reputation for customer service , offering services such as extended warranties and maintenance plans to ensure that customers have a positive experience with their vehicles. By providing exceptional customer service, BMW is able to build trust and loyalty with its customers, which in turn helps to drive sales and grow the brand.

BMW has established itself as one of the world’s premier luxury car manufacturers through a combination of exceptional engineering and innovative marketing strategies. By placing a strong emphasis on performance, customization, and emotional connections with its customers, BMW has managed to build a loyal fanbase and stay ahead of its competitors. The company’s focus on innovation and expansion into emerging markets has positioned it for continued success in the future.BMW’s commitment to quality and innovation has made it a true icon of the automotive industry.

BMW has shown us that a well-rounded approach is key to success. Apply these strategies to our own businesses. Whether it’s building emotional connections with customers or leveraging social media to reach new audiences, we can all learn from BMW’s approach and drive our businesses to the next level.

What is the full form of BMW?

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is the full form of BMW.

What is the target audience of BMW?

BMW’s target audience is individuals who value luxury, performance, and innovative design in their vehicles. This demographic includes both men and women, although men tend to make up a slightly larger proportion of BMW’s customer base.

What are the top marketing strategies of BMW that helped it to achieve success?

Here are the top marketing strategies of BMW -

  • Focussing on Innovation
  • Providing Exceptional Service

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The new BMW: business model innovation transforms an automotive leader

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN : 0275-6668

Article publication date: 6 July 2020

Issue publication date: 7 July 2021

The car no longer serves simply as a means of transport but is at the core of a new concept of mobility. Car manufacturers are seizing opportunities to change the traditional business model of the auto business. Innovation in this business model has become vital to survival in today’s dynamic market conditions. This paper aims to find out what factors motivate and drive business model change and what the resulting business model innovation is.


This qualitative study is based on a single case, namely, BMW as an illustrative example of an advanced, highly innovative customer-centric service business model (BM). The study adopts a document analysis method to reveal the firm’s BMI process.

First, the study presents a conceptual framework for business model change with the factors –motivators and drivers – that impact on the process of change. BMW’s BMI and its impacting factors are discussed based on this model. The McKinsey 7 s Model framework, the elements of which are strategy, structure, systems, shared values, style, staff and skills is used as an analytical tool to discuss new business model implementation. The study highlights the BM configuration of a traditional car manufacturer, the car as a product and the new car as a service concept.


This study reveals the BMI of BMW’s digital services and its key motivators and drivers. BMW mostly innovates in three key dimensions of the Business model. These are value creation, value delivery and value capture. Most of the elements in these dimensions are innovated.

  • Business model innovation

Kukkamalla, P.K. , Bikfalvi, A. and Arbussa, A. (2021), "The new BMW: business model innovation transforms an automotive leader", Journal of Business Strategy , Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 268-277.

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Prasanna Kumar Kukkamalla, Andrea Bikfalvi and Anna Arbussa.

Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at


Technological innovations, market dynamics and changes in customer preferences have greatly impacted the traditional business model of manufacturing firms. While many firms struggle to generate a substantial profit from product sales, others try to identify opportunities by integrating product-related and value-added services. The days are gone when firms focused solely on product-centric business. A new business strategy known as service integration has evolved in the manufacturing sector. Changes happen at the level of value creation, value delivery and value capture. Any change in these dimensions ultimately results in business model innovation which is defined as an activity or process in which core elements of an enterprise and its business rationale are purposely transformed to achieve operational and strategic advancements.

The innovation in business models is novel and complex in nature, and it connects with various aspects such as corporate strategy, technological capabilities and firms’ innovation processes. Business models are periodically impacted by technological innovations either by creating an opportunity or by taking a risk which will result in competitive advantage or disruption. Business model innovation is often the result of external factors such as competition law, labour market legislation and environmental legislation. The automotive industry has long been applying the traditional model. The value of this kind of model depends on being able to offer more cost-effectiveness, low emission engines and extra safety packs that may include auto-braking and chassis control, among others ( Chrysakis, 2017 ). However, these features no longer create competitive advantages, and they have proved easy to copy. Many car manufacturing firms have lately integrated or are planning to integrate customer services such as mobility services, on-demand services and infotainment services in their core business operations. While practitioners and research communities have paid much attention to business model innovation, an industry-specific model, for example how car manufacturers orchestrate their business model and which elements are impacted by this change, is yet to emerge. To fill this knowledge gap, we narrow down the research on innovation in business models by focusing attention on BMW, considered to be one of the leading industry players for advanced services and a successful business model innovator.

The structure of this article is as follows: first, this study explores the business model literature to outline the factors impacting innovation, and a framework for the business model innovation process is proposed. This framework is then used to discuss each element of the business model related to ConnectedDrive and the corresponding degree of innovation. Last, the paper compares the traditional and service integrated business models, as Figure 1 shows.

The factors behind business model change

A set of factors was synthesised and classified into two groups ( Figure 1 ): motivators (inspire the firm) and drivers (facilitate change).

Change can be triggered by internal factors such as organisational culture, the firm’s aspirations, management support and new revenue channels, or by external factors such as market pressure for innovation and differentiation.

Different factors can facilitate the innovation process, including market-level factors such as information and communication technologies (ICTs), big data, external drivers (globalisation, deregulation), the ability of firms to identify changes, co-development relationships, stakeholder demands, knowledge management infrastructure and management processes.

Dimensions of innovation

Rayna and Striukova (2016) find five dimensions of value in the business model literature: creation, proposition, capture, delivery and communication. This article discusses three of the most relevant values to the case study: creation, delivery and capture.

Value creation

Firms create value for the product and services with their core competencies, key resources, governance, complementary assets and value networks.

Value delivery

This dimension describes how the value created is delivered to customers through distribution channels These elements offer ample opportunity for innovation by addressing the needs of the market segment (for instance, a mobility service that targets short term travel needs), or by introducing a new way to deliver products or services (for instance, Netflix or Amazon Prime).

Value capture

This refers to the firm’s ability to benefit from the value created. It includes the revenue model used to generate cash flow and the cost structure. Value capture also includes profit allocation across the value chain. Innovation may allow a firm to gain market leadership through cost restructuring.

Degree of innovation

Changes in the elements of the business model influence the degree of innovation. Amit and Zott (2012) categorise innovation as radical or incremental. Radical innovation is an innovation with a high degree of novelty, which breaks with what existed previously. John Deere, for example, has revolutionised the farming industry by integrating sensor technology into its tractors. In contrast, incremental innovation has a low degree of novelty, and with less risk and cost than radical innovation. For instance, electric windows, air bags, cup holders and ABS brakes are all examples of the incremental innovations made to cars.

Case background

BMW is one of the leading firms in the automotive industry, not only offering premium vehicles but for many years also providing customer with financial, on-demand and telematics services. The firm's transformation to customer-centric began by introducing telematics services in 1997. For the past 22 years, BMW has not only been offering telematics services, but has become the dominant force in the digital service market. The range of services available for current BMW models includes a personal telephone information service, emergency calls, Google Local Search, traffic information and internet-based services for navigation, communication and infotainment. These services are available in 45 countries, and there are already over 10 million connected BMW vehicles on the world’s roads.


For this research, a single case study method was used. The case study research method as described by ( Yin, 2003 ) is a suitable method for obtaining insights into the innovation approach. This study follows the document analysis technique ( Bowen, 2009 ), a systematic procedure for reviewing and evaluating both printed documents and digital material. It is especially applicable to qualitative case studies, which are intensive analyses that produce rich descriptions of a single phenomenon, event, organisation or programme ( Stake, 2000 ; Yin, 1994 ). The data was gathered from BMW press releases, websites, annual reports, company announcements and collaboration announcements.

Factors behind innovation


Three motivators behind BMW’s decision to change its product-centric model to a service model were identified. These are organisational culture, competitive advantage and additional revenue ( Table 1 ). Regarding organisational culture, as a pioneer in the market, BMW always strives to be innovative in its core business activities. With aspirations of being a pioneer in technology and a first mover in the market, in 1997 BMW launched internet services in the car (telematics service). BMW has kept its commitment to offer more customer-centric solutions, expressing its organisational culture in the following ways: “we committed”, “as promised”, “being a first mover” and “technology pioneer”. The integration of services of this kind prompted the start of change in its business model.

The increase in competition from emerging markets and dynamic market conditions has led car manufacturing firms to focus more on innovations. In 1997, the digital service market was in the expansion stage, and there were not many players in the market. BMW used this opportunity to create a competitive advantage for their fleets. Twenty years in telematics services have proved their strategy to be successful, and BMW has kept its leading position in the digital service market. Creating a competitive advantage is one of the reasons behind innovation.

Light vehicle production on a global basis dropped during the 1998 calendar year, falling nearly two per cent to 51.6 million units. This decline, starting in 1997, stemmed from the collapse of the Asia-Pacific region economies where automotive output declined by 11% to 14.5 million units.

To create additional revenue streams, BMW introduced digital services into the market. In-service integration model firms generate revenue by providing customer solutions and creating new revenue channel sources ( Liang et al. , 2017 ). This could have been one possible motivation for BMW to change to a service-based firm. One vice-president described this movement: “We build digital products and services that are meant to help us differentiate our core product, the car, and generate revenue.” These services have been offered for several years, but the firm does not reveal its exact revenue from these services. Information gleaned from the annual reports and the expansion of third-party services in the digital service platform indicate that BMW receives a substantial amount of revenue from these services. Aspirations of additional revenue is obviously one of the factors behind the change.

Regarding the drivers that facilitated the change, BMW relied on technology integration, collaborations, dynamic capabilities and knowledge process activities. IT (information technology) firms have expanded their business into the automotive industry landscape, offering customer services such as parking payments and in-vehicle services. With their dominant technological knowledge and market power, they disrupt the business model of the automotive industry. In this competitive situation, instead of competing with each other, BMW teamed up with these firms. A board member commented on this move: “We cannot offer clients the perfect experience without help from one of these technology companies. Two worlds are colliding here. Our world focused on hardware and our experience in making complex products, and the world of information technology, which is intruding more and more into our life”.

Given that the telematics service business seemed to be taking off, BMW escalated the service integration process by making collaborative agreements with various stakeholders such as technological firms and telecommunications providers. Instead of developing the technology itself, the company opted for a collaborative strategy to access a partner’s service and to provide an opportunity to integrate services as third-party service suppliers. For example, the firm has developed central engine control units through cooperation with partners such as Bosch and Siemens.

To sum up, the firm’s key motivation behind these collaborations was not simply to integrate the partner's services but to select only innovative technology and widely accepted solutions in the market such as on-demand music and navigation services.

With regard to dynamic capabilities, in an online interview Ian Robertson, member of the Management Board BMW AG, pointed out that “We are one of the world’s, if not the, most successful automotive companies and we are rapidly becoming a technology company”. In line with this vision, BMW has developed new capabilities such as the ability to integrate, build and reconfigure internal and external competencies to address rapidly changing environments. In 2001, the BMW Group Launched VIA 2.0 (The Virtual Innovation Agency), the online platform for people with ideas. All ideas, concepts and patents for new technologies that could be used by the BMW Group in its products and services in the short, medium and long term can be submitted online.

Effective knowledge process activities accelerate the change process. These activities include the capture, transformation and use of knowledge to design new services ( Ansari et al. , 2012 ). BMW generates a huge amount of data about vehicle conditions, drivers’ behaviour, and user service preference through the digital service platform. This data is processed by the firm and/or supply chain partner to design and develop new services. These (data collecting) processing activities serve BMW’s legitimate interest in meeting the high standards placed by customers on existing products and services and being capable of satisfying customers' future wishes through the development of new products and services (Data protection, BMW). BMW has associated with leading technology centres in Europe, Japan and the USA, immediately entering all the knowledge and information gained into a central Intranet system made available to all associates to promote new ideas and networked thinking.

Traditional business model vs service business model

Press notes and media announcements made by BMW were analysed to present the two models. One is the traditional model (Car as a product) and the other is a new model (Car as a service). The first still exists in the company and the new model is being built for ConnectedDrive services ( Table 2 ). Analysis of the business model reveals different views, one traditional and the other new.

In the traditional model, value creation is based on the firm’s resources, capabilities and activities. Sometimes key resources are acquired from the supply chain network, but within the automotive business landscape. Meanwhile, in the new model, value comes from integration technology (established in the market or new to the market), knowledge process activities (customer knowledge) and collaborations (mostly IT firms).

In the traditional model, the firm uses dealer networks and their own distribution channel to deliver the product (car). The customer segment is mostly people who love luxury products, fuel-efficiency and design. However, in the new model, BMW uses its own network (store and online) to deliver services. BMW mainly targets people who love digital services. In the traditional model, BMW generates income through the sale of products and spare parts. Other basic services like maintenance and insurance also contribute a substantial amount of revenue. Most of the cost structure in the traditional model involves R&D, production, sales and marketing and training. In the new model, BMW has created various pricing models to generate revenue such as Freemium and Subscription mode (bundle and flexible). They invest money in activities such as service design, technology acquisition and knowledge management.

Implementation of a new business model

The study explored BMW’s new business model implantation process through McKinsey's 7S Framework ( Waterman et al. , 1980 ). The model is often used as an organisational analysis tool to assess and monitor changes in the internal environment of the firm. The findings are discussed through seven aspects of BMW that align for the successful integration of digital services and expansion of ConnectedDrive services: structure, strategy, systems, skills, style, staff and shared values ( Figure 2 ).

This defines how a firm is organised for transformation. The automobile industry has expanded into a digital service ecosystem. External factors such as the evolution of digital services, customer preferences and market trends have led BMW to focus on digital services. BMW introduced these services in 2008, and they have gradually expanded over the years. The company continually monitors these service adaptabilities in the market and improves them based on customer reviews and feedback. This observation emphasises the fact that for effective transformation a firm needs to focus on external elements such as market trends and customer preferences. Firms also need to focus on customer complaints, reviews and feedback to improve service quality.

Strategy is the way a firm aims to improve its position through better value for its customers. BMW adopted technologies that are well accepted in the market and integrated into their service portfolio. Chesbrough and Schwartz (2007) argue that firms can innovate the business model by establishing co-development relationships with different stakeholders. Along with their own digital services, after collaborations. BMW started third-party services in a digital service network. The reason behind these third-party service integrations was that customers like technologies such as apply play, on-demand music and navigation services while driving. BMW set up its own digital platform to deliver its services to customers who can acquire them through the website and the App Store. The results showed that BMW adopted a collaborative strategy with established IT firms.

Systems are defined as all the procedures, both formal and informal, that make the organisation perform better. BMW’s digital services emerged from the innovation of elements in the business model. Innovation started with changing the key activities of the firm. BMW set up a 24/7 customer service centre to answer all enquiries related to ConnectedDrive services, where customers can interact with the service provider through social media. In March 2019, the firm also introduced an intelligent personal assistant to help drivers with driving-related issues. These kinds of activities lead to generating customer information and related knowledge. In addition, BMW also involves customers in early customer service designing processes. This innovative step enables a more collaborative relationship with customers as a way of meeting customer expectations.

In 2014, BMW appointed Dieter May as senior Vice-President for digital products and services to lead the way in staff. At that time, he had had 23 years’ experience in global high-tech companies, spanning mobile products, large-scale cloud-based consumer services and semiconductor technology. BMW also invited creative ideas for products and services through the “Virtual Innovation Agency”. The company associated with selected people for service development, and with several research units and start-ups for new service developments, for instance offering industrial PhDs where researchers develop products and services for BMW. A general manager of product and channel development at BMW Group UK commented: “BMW opened its doors to external entrepreneurs to partner with them to support our innovation plan. This way we develop new services that tackle the changing customer needs we are seeing, and they help us find new ways to capitalise on new technologies”. This observation showed that for an effective transformation a firm should take advantage of experienced personnel and associate with creative minds.

Style refers to how management acts in achieving the organisation’s mission within the cultural context of the firm. BMW is one of the first movers in the digital services market, striving to be a market leader and pioneer in the digital service business. A general manager of product and channel development at BMW commented: “You need to learn to get from idea to implementation quickly. It’s something we strive to do. And BMW’s commitment to innovation across our business is coming from the very top of the company – our executive team see this as a key part of their strategy for the business”. Another factor observed in this study is that BMW clearly defined its transformation and new image in the market. The vice-president of digital services and business models commented: “The BMW Group is working to shift from a traditional luxury auto manufacturer and service provider to a technology company, with automated driving, digital connectivity, mobility services and electrification as some of the central pillars of our new strategy”. The results show that the firm needs support and cooperation for transformation, and they must have a clear vision of where this transformation is leading.

Skills are the organisation’s dominant attributes, competencies and capabilities. BMW established the capabilities required for digital services, which include sensing, identifying and assessing emerging opportunities. Establishing these capabilities is completely new in the automotive industry. First, the company hired experienced people to lead the digital services business. It then associated with established IT firms and other firms to acquire know-how technology and competences. For instance, BMW acquired analytical capabilities by teaming with IBM. IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix gives developers access to BMW’s entire service catalogue and its ecosystem partners to build and operate innovative new service offerings. The general manager of IBM explained this collaboration: “The concept of a neutral server fosters innovation by establishing a single point of contact for multiple parties to access vehicle data from various manufacturers, thereby reducing integration cost whilst ensuring fair competition”. The results showed that BMW acquired skills and competencies from IT partners. Some competencies are co-developed with partners. To sum up, for effective new business model implementation a firm needs to develop and acquire skills and capabilities.

Shared value

Shared value is defined as the norms and standards that guide a firm’s action, or the core vision of the firm. Creating a digital environment for drivers is the core vision of ConnectedDrive services. The vice President of Digital Products and Services expressed this vision as: “We build digital products and services that are meant to help us differentiate our core product, the car, and generate revenue. These digital services also provide us with channels and touch points that allow us to now have a direct relationship with the customer on the sales side and talk to the customer directly”. BMW’s mission for ConnectedDrive services is to establish better customer relationships and new revenue streams.

The aim of the present study is twofold: first, to examine a business model innovation framework with influencing factors and to contrast it with empirical evidence. This goal was achieved by presenting a conceptual framework and applying it as an analytical tool to describe BMW’s model development. Second, this research showed how BMW innovates each element in the model dimensions, which were then categorised into various degrees of innovation. The study also showed how BMW orchestrates innovation for digital services. To effectively adopt changes in the business model, the firm must first clearly understand what motivates this transformation. The firm should focus on factors such as market dynamics and other external forces that influence business landscapes. However, the firm should be aware that these forces can create an advantage or risk. Motivation alone is not enough to change the model, but the firm should find drivers that facilitate this transformation. The firm must have the support of these drivers to create an efficient model.

Market dynamics have changed dramatically, and the firm needs to develop dynamic capabilities to shape business activities according to demand. Firms cannot create value through their products or services alone but rather need to collaborate with other stakeholders to create a value constellation, as suggested by Haggège et al. (2017) . By adopting the latest technology, constant service-integration and customer knowledge can transform business activities to be more efficient and effective.

This paper has some limitations. The first one is that it develops a conceptual framework with the factors that emerged from the literature and are validated with a signal case study. The second limitation is that the study depends solely on secondary data. Regarding future research directions, this study recommends that research communities validate the proposed framework in a different context and with multiple case studies. The key element category presented in this study should be expanded further through empirical analysis.

The business model literature focuses on the impacts and benefits in general, proposing strategies for innovation. However, context-specific studies are yet to be uncovered. As a result, empirical illustrations of business model innovation in the automotive industry are lacking. This study contributes by highlighting the issue through presenting the business model of BMW for digital services. The results of this study can help managers to understand how innovation in business models may be orchestrated and what elements they need to focus on.


An earlier version of this article has been presented at the 4th International Conference on New Business Models “New Business Models for Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Transformation”, ESCP Europe Berlin, 1-3 July 2019, Berlin, Germany. The corresponding author would like to express his gratitude to the Department of Business Administration and Product Design, University of Girona (Spain) for financial support for the conference. The corresponding author would also like to thank his colleagues in the Centre for Research on Operation, Projects and Services (CROPS), Tampere University, and colleagues in the Department of Business Administration and Product Design, the University of Girona for their thoughtful and valuable comments.

bmw marketing strategy case study

Framework of analysis

bmw marketing strategy case study

Illustration of business model Implementation through McKinsey 7 s model

Factors behind business model innovation

Comparison of business model components – car as a product vs car as a service

Source: Author’s own elaboration

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Corresponding author

About the authors.

Prasanna Kumar Kukkamalla is based at the Department of Organization, Business Management, and Product Design, University of Girona, Girona, Spain. He is a Doctoral Candidate at the Department of Organization, Business Management and Product Design, University of Girona, Spain. His research interests focus on business model, organisational transformation, servitisation and service design.

Andrea Bikfalvi is based at the Department of Business Administration and Product Design, University of Girona, Girona, Spain. She is teaching and a Research Staff, ‘Serra Húnter Fellow’ since 2018 at the University of Girona in Spain. During her trajectory, she conducted several research projects for the regional Government of Catalonia, Spain, as well as a series of EU projects. She visited and actively collaborates with researchers in relevant research centres and Higher Education Institutions in Germany, Finland, Croatia, Portugal, etc. Her main research interest is in holistic approaches of innovation in all types of organisations – mainly, but not limited to – public administration, private enterprises and education. Her expertise is in strategy, organisational innovation and business model configuration.

Anna Arbussa is based at the Department of Business Administration and Product Design, University of Girona, Girona, Spain. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Business Administration and Product Design of the University of Girona. She received her PhD from the same institution in 2001. She has worked on various European projects on electronic payments systems and published articles in the field of technological innovation and technology management. She is currently also working on public health management and on human resources management.

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This Is How BMW's Marketing Strategy Attracted More Customers

BMW is a standout in the highly competitive automotive industry, known not only for its luxurious and iconic vehicles but also for its innovative and successful marketing strategies . BMW has a really interesting history that goes all the way back to 1916. The company's full name is Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, which means Bavarian Motor Works. Over the years, BMW has become really good at marketing itself and is now known worldwide as a brand that represents luxury, high performance, and innovative technology. This article explores BMW's marketing strategy in detail, breaking down its different elements and revealing the reasons behind its long-lasting success.


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Understanding Target Audiences

BMW at an airport

One of the cornerstones of BMW's marketing success is its astute understanding of its target audiences. While the brand appeals to a diverse range of consumers, it primarily targets: ‍

1. Affluent Professionals: BMW's core demographic comprises successful professionals, typically aged 30–50, with higher levels of income. These individuals value both performance and luxury in their vehicles. ‍

2. Driving Enthusiasts: BMW caters to driving enthusiasts who appreciate the brand's commitment to delivering a dynamic and exhilarating driving experience. ‍

3. Tech-Savvy Consumers: BMW recognizes the importance of staying ahead in terms of automotive technology. It appeals to tech-savvy consumers who seek the latest innovations in their vehicles. ‍

4. Environmental Consciousness: In recent years, BMW has also extended its appeal to environmentally conscious consumers by introducing electric and hybrid models. ‍

By understanding and catering to these distinct segments within its target audience, BMW ensures that its marketing efforts resonate effectively.

BMW’s Most Successful Marketing Campaign

bmw marketing strategy case study

The "BMW Films" series, which was launched in the early 2000s, is considered one of BMW's most successful and iconic marketing campaigns. The campaign was truly groundbreaking! It featured a selection of short films, and what made each one even more exciting was that Ridley Scott and Guy Ritchie, two well-known Hollywood directors, directed it. The movies featured top-notch actors such as Clive Owen and told exciting stories with BMW cars in a cinematic way. The campaign not only showed BMW's dedication to performance and innovation but also connected with the emotional side of driving. It was a groundbreaking example of branded content that was way ahead of its time. It received widespread acclaim and attention. "The Hire" series was not just entertaining for viewers, but it also made a lasting impact in the advertising industry. It set new standards for automotive marketing and showed the incredible power of storytelling to promote brands. ‍

Emotional Branding

BMW's marketing strategy goes beyond simply focusing on the technical specifications of their vehicles. They also place a strong emphasis on emotional branding . The brand has done a great job of connecting its vehicles with feelings like excitement, joy, and freedom. BMW's marketing campaigns are designed to strengthen the emotional bond between customers and the brand by highlighting the unique driving experience. Take BMW's "Sheer Driving Pleasure" slogan, for example. It goes beyond just talking about performance numbers and instead focuses on the emotional experience of owning a BMW. The brand's ads frequently show drivers enjoying the excitement of driving on open roads or the pure delight of manoeuvring a BMW through tough terrain.

Multi-Channel Marketing Approach

bmw marketing strategy case study

BMW employs a multi-channel marketing approach to reach its diverse audience effectively. Here are some key components of its multi-channel strategy: ‍

1. Television and Radio Advertisements: BMW invests in long-range and mid-range television and radio advertising to increase brand exposure. Special promotions and events, such as the BMW Road Home Sales Event, create memorable impressions. ‍

2. On-Premise Marketing Material: BMW ensures that its dealerships are adorned with on-premise marketing materials, including banners, fact sheets, and brochures. These materials reflect BMW's sleek and modern design language. ‍

3. Direct Mail and Email: Direct mail and email marketing are integral to BMW's strategy. The brand equips local dealerships with convenient and easy-to-use email marketing templates to announce new models and promotions. ‍

4. Co-Op Programs: BMW offers cooperative advertising programs to its local dealerships, allowing them to extend their advertising presence across print and digital channels. ‍

By diversifying its marketing channels, BMW maximizes its reach and ensures that its message resonates with consumers across various platforms.

Digital Innovation and Online Presence

BMW futuristic

In today's digital age, BMW understands the importance of maintaining a strong online presence. The brand's digital marketing efforts encompass several crucial elements: ‍

1. Official Website: BMW's website serves as a central hub for vehicle information, offering features like vehicle configurators for online customization. ‍

2. Social Media Engagement : BMW actively maintains profiles on major social media platforms, leveraging them for sharing engaging content, showcasing vehicles, and interacting with a global audience. ‍

3. Content Marketing: BMW produces a wide range of digital content, including videos, articles, and blog posts, focusing on automotive technology, design, innovation, and driving experiences. ‍

4. Email Marketing: Personalized email campaigns keep customers engaged and informed about new models, promotions, and events. ‍

5. Virtual Showrooms and Augmented Reality: BMW explores virtual showrooms and augmented reality experiences, allowing potential buyers to visualize BMW models remotely. ‍

6. Online Communities and Forums: BMW fosters online communities and forums where enthusiasts and owners can share experiences and seek advice. ‍

7. Mobile Apps : BMW offers mobile apps that enhance the ownership experience, providing features like remote vehicle control, navigation, and maintenance reminders. ‍

8. Virtual Reality (VR) and 360-Degree Experiences: BMW uses VR and 360-degree videos to provide immersive experiences, including virtual test drives and tours of vehicles and events. ‍

BMW's digital innovation ensures that it reaches a global audience, provides valuable information and services, and adapts to changing consumer preferences in the digital era. ‍

Environmental Initiatives and Sustainability

bmw marketing strategy case study

BMW has recognized the increasing significance of environmental sustainability and has made it a part of its marketing strategy . These initiatives are in line with the brand's dedication to reducing its carbon footprint and creating environmentally friendly vehicles. BMW's environmental and sustainability marketing focuses on several key elements: ‍

1. Electric Mobility: BMW promotes its electric vehicles (EVs), such as the BMW i3 and BMW iX3, as environmentally friendly options that reduce emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. ‍

2. Hybrid Models : BMW offers a range of plug-in hybrid models that combine electric power with traditional internal combustion engines, catering to consumers looking to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. ‍

3. Sustainable Materials: BMW incorporates sustainable and recycled materials into its vehicle design, highlighting these choices to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. ‍

4. Charging Infrastructure: BMW supports the development of EV charging infrastructure, emphasizing the convenience and accessibility of charging solutions. ‍

5. Eco-Friendly Production: BMW emphasizes sustainable manufacturing processes, including energy-efficient production facilities and water conservation measures. ‍

6. Corporate Sustainability : BMW's sustainability initiatives extend beyond products to encompass corporate responsibility and sustainability reporting. ‍

7. Environmental Partnerships: BMW collaborates with environmental organizations and supports projects aimed at conserving natural resources and reducing emissions. ‍

8. Educational Campaigns : BMW engages in educational campaigns to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable driving practices. ‍

By integrating environmental initiatives into its marketing strategy , BMW positions itself as a leader in sustainable mobility and appeals to consumers who prioritize eco-friendly choices.

bmw marketing strategy case study

BMW has an incredible marketing strategy that excels in various areas such as brand positioning , emotional branding , multi-channel marketing , digital innovation, and sustainability. The fact that the brand can connect with different types of people while still keeping its high-quality image shows how skilled its marketing team is. BMW is constantly adapting to the changing automotive industry and using creative marketing strategies to cater to its customers. This approach is expected to contribute to its ongoing success and solidify its position as a top player in the global automotive market.

Updated on November 2nd, 2023

In 2024, the introduction of the BMW i7 will stand as a remarkable addition to the electric luxury car landscape, earning it a distinguished third place among its competitors. Sporting a commendable MotorTrend score of 8.3/10, the i7 promises a luxurious and high-powered driving experience. The model range encompasses the eDrive50 Sedan, xDrive60 Sedan, and the novel M70 Sedan, tailored to cater to performance enthusiasts with enhanced power and features emblematic of BMW's prestigious M performance sub- brand . The entire all-electric i7 lineup astounds with its tech-forward interior, replete with a generous rear-seat TV and proficient hands-free driving assistance. Its poised handling, employment of opulent materials, and well-thought-out cabin layout make it a compelling choice for those in search of a harmonious blend of performance and comfort. While some rivals may lay claim to superior range capabilities, the i7's new Max Range drive mode, particularly in the M70 xDrive model, holds the promise of extending driving distances. Nevertheless, styling critiques, especially pertaining to the front fascia, endure. 

bmw marketing strategy case study

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How BMW’s strategic pivot made it a global automotive giant

Table of contents, here’s what you’ll learn from bmw's strategy study:.

  • How changing industries is not a straightforward endeavor, but staying true to your identity’s core traits will help you achieve it.
  • How clarity of vision guides the transformation process and helps you fit in an evolving industry.

The BMW Group – Bayerische Motoren Werke – is a German manufacturer of automobiles that markets its products through the brands BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce. It’s among the top 10 biggest car manufacturers in the world by revenue.

The Quandt family owns 50% of the company, specifically Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten, while the remaining 50% is publicly traded. Chairman of the Board of Management is Oliver Zipse since 2019.

Oliver Zipse

BMW's market share and key statistics:

  • Brand value of $27.6 billion
  • Net worth of $52.9 billion as of December 22, 2022
  • Annual revenue of $131.6 billion for 2021
  • Total number of employees: 118,909
  • 2,521,514 deliveries in the automotive segment in 2021


Humble beginnings: How did BMW start?

BMW was officially founded on March 7, 1916.

It was the result of a merger between Gustav Otto’s company,  Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik  and  Bayerische Flugzeugwerke.  However, the company was combined with Karl Friedrich Rapp’s company  Rapp Motorenwerke  in 1922 and was named  Bayerische Motoren-Werke AG (BMW AG).

Today, BMW is known for its iconic cars and powerful engines. But its first business was aviation.

Aviation: BMW’s first business had people flying

The early twentieth century was a period of constant technological innovation in aviation.

As such, the demand was high and although there were only a handful of manufacturers, the competition was fierce. In the dawn of highly specialized spaces, the competition between companies is essentially a competition between individual inventors and their teams.

BMW had Franz Joseph Popp and Max Friz on its side, two excellent and experienced inventors. However, what set BMW apart from its competitors was the solid financial footing that enabled it to focus on supreme performance and reliability in the design of its aero engines. Instead of focusing on cost reductions and short-term convenience, the company focused on sophisticated engineering solutions and novel manufacturing techniques.

For example, the six-cylinder Type IIIa engine that Friz developed was performing exceptionally well in higher altitudes. In fact, it was so powerful that it gave the German Fokker D.VII fighter such an edge in World War I that it urged the air ministry to make space for its production in the BMW facilities by giving the production of another BMW engine to Opel, a competitor. In addition, once the war was over, Armistice’s fourth clause required Germany to hand over all D.VIIs to the Allies. It was that powerful.

bmw marketing strategy case study

But the Armistice also forbade the production of aero engines, forcing BMW to a complete restructuring.

It’s important to mention that building aircraft technology imbued BMW’s culture with values of extreme performance and technical sophistication that remain today.

BMW’s strategic pivot: how it moved to car manufacturing

The post-war era was tough for manufacturers in Europe since the end of military contracts meant that manufacturers were left with excess capacity, inflation was increasing, and the only available contracts were small and not very profitable.

Frank Popp, who ascended to General Director at BMW, devised a long-term strategy to develop future stability while keeping the company alive. His  strategic plan  was focused on three main pillars:

  • Taking smaller manufacturing contracts to keep the cash flowing, like producing railway brakes.
  • Modifying BMW’s star Type IIIa engine to a four-cylinder model, which was more appropriate for industrial and agricultural applications. That would allow the further development of the aero engine, despite production restrictions.
  • Entering the motorcycle arena and using it as a stepping stone to move into the car market.

The strategy had a twofold intention.

The first was a bet  on the removal of the aero engine production restrictions. Fritz was developing the next generation of the company’s star engine, so once the restrictions were lifted, BMW could resume its position as a pioneer in aircraft technology.

The second was a pivot  with a simultaneous approach to retaining revenue streams. The modified engine proved to be profitable, and Fritz’s ingenuity gave birth to the famous “boxer” engine configuration – a motorcycle engine with innovations for more effective cooling and a higher power output – that brought BMW great success in motorcycle races. 

The brilliance of the strategy was its clarity and its executable nature. It took advantage of the company’s current strengths in engineering knowledge, technological innovations, and credibility to move to adjacent manufacturing markets. A tactic that proved to be quite profitable.

In 1923, the bet paid off. The restrictions were lifted, commercial flying was on the rise, and demand was increasing. BMW faced some competition, but its engines proved superior, consistently breaking records of distance - and height - traveled and sustained the company until its entering the car market.

BMW’s challenges during World War II as a car manufacturer

In 1928, BMW entered the car market.

It was a long-standing belief that the company had the capabilities to design and manufacture a car, and its leadership believed that BMW’s long-term survival wasn’t aero engines, but cars.

Its approach was calculated and a few years in the making. The company chose to compete in a smaller, less crowded segment of the market: the small-car segment.

BMW acquired the struggling Automobilwerk Eisenach manufacturer and used its factory to produce the first-ever BMW car under the manufacturer’s brand name: the  Dixi DA1 . It was a variation of the British Austin Motor Company‘s model, the Austin 7. BMW’s engineers improved the model and launched the next generation the following year under the company’s brand name marking the first car designed and manufactured by BMW.

However, the company was far from a car manufacturer at the time.

Its main business was motorcycles. At the start of the 1930s, BMW was known for its powerful engines in the aero industry and its innovative motorcycle designs. The successes in the latter funded the company while honing its engineering capabilities. So, BMW continued developing all three of its business segments – aero engines, cars and motorcycles – with the third one keeping it alive.

But Germany’s austerity had driven all but five German car manufacturers out of business.

bmw marketing strategy case study

In 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power, and things changed.

He revived the industry by providing financial security and certainty, reducing taxation, and building the necessary infrastructures to allow the industry to boom, i.e. highways like the  Autobahn  network. Evidently, Hitler’s intentions behind this investment were the development of engineering capabilities for military superiority and an efficient transportation system. They were in line with his long-term plans that resulted in the horrors of WWII, but nobody could predict that.

So, until WWII started, BMW took advantage of the new market conditions to improve its car engines, expand its target market and develop its first signature car:  the sedan . The car achieved moderate success, capturing 6% of the car market share, beating its number 1 competitor, the Daimler-Benz. BMW managed to make a name as a fashionable car manufacturer.

Soon after that, Hitler’s plans created two challenges for BMW.

The first challenge  was the increased demand for aero engines that took most of BMW’s manufacturing capabilities. With only one car-producing factory, the company was leaving money on the table with its decreased output. Popp’s strategic decision at the time unknowingly saved the company from a certain demise. Instead of opening a new factory, Popp decided to upmarket and aim for the high-end of the market spectrum where margins were better, and the demand couldn’t get out of hand. All three of BMW’s business units were booming until 1940.

The second challenge  was a hostile takeover of the company by Berlin’s dictator. The war was just around the corner. There was no room for commercial manufacturing, only military. Whoever tried to oppose was driven out of the company, including the company’s co-founder Frank Popp. BMW was forcefully transformed into an arms manufacturer and a forced-labor employer.

Once the war ended, the scene was not looking good for BMW. It had multiple facilities bombed, was affected by impossible restrictions imposed by the Allies, and its car factory was left on the wrong side of the Wall.

How BMW survived post-WWII

Good connections between the US Forces and senior BMW managers saved the company from total obliteration and allowed it to remain in business making domestic pots, bicycles and agricultural machinery.

However, the company never completely shredded its previous identity. Old employees returned and the design for a new motorcycle was secretly being developed.

By 1952, BMW had resumed motorcycle and car production. However, none of its products achieved sufficient sales, and by the end of the decade, the company escaped from a near Mercedes-Benz acquisition with the investment of the Quandt brothers. Through a few well-timed and well-seized opportunities, BMW got a hold of great talent and found its breakthrough in the steering wheel of the  BMW 1500 .

bmw marketing strategy case study

Since then, the company has had a steady course to the top accumulating successes in engineering innovation and trend-setting designs that helped the company expand its businesses internationally.

Key Takeaway #1: Accept incoming change and take your expertise with you

When the world changes, clinging to the old status quo is suicide. On the contrary, embracing change without shedding the identity of your company is the best way to adapt.

This is how you can do this:

  • Identify what makes your company unique. Do a  SWOT analysis  and a culture inventory (values and accepted behaviors).
  • Have clear answers to the following questions: Which strengths and cultural traits can you transfer? What weaknesses and cultural traits must you shed?
  • Retain high levels of agility with an iterative approach to execution. Treat your approach as a learning process.

BMW’s current corporate strategy: “We see the future as electric, digital and circular.”

BMW is over 100 years old. It wouldn’t be here today, if it hadn’t demonstrated a powerful  strategic instinct  and a strong,  adaptive  corporate  strategy .

And today, it needs these two more than anything. The landscape of the car industry is going through a transitional phase. The survival of legacy carmakers, like BMW, requires massive transformation and a focused strategy tailored to today’s complex and differentiated external conditions. BMW’s leadership recognizes this fact.

Here are the three conditions that outline BMW’s complex and demanding competitive landscape:

  • Increased global competition, including emerging new players in China with potentially global reach.
  • Industry-shaping megatrends that take the focus away from traditional car manufacturing traits. Electromobility, connectivity and digitalization have become the new competitive arenas.
  • Increased prioritization of sustainability and environmental impact from both buyers and regulatory forces. Followed closely by societal impact.

“BMW Group strategy” is a transformational bet on the future of the industry.

We see the future as electric, digital and circular.

BMW separates its operations into three segments:

  • The Automotive segment
  • The Motorcycles segment
  • The Financial Services segment

And manufactures vehicles under three brands:

  • Rolls-Royce

With a quick glance, it’s obvious the company targets the high-end of the market with its offerings ranging from premium to ultra-luxury products. Rolls-Royce is solely ultra-luxury, MINI is premium and BMW products range from premium to ultra-luxury. The company has a unified vision, but each brand will adapt to the company’s vision at a different cadence.

Let’s see how BMW’s corporate strategy tackles the company’s transformation.

Electric Mobility: the competitive landscape and BMW’s strategy

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been a massively trending category in the last few years, driven by two powerful forces: demand and regulatory requirements. And BMW is committed to becoming one of its major players.

Its goals are to:

  • Achieve >30% share of electrified cars in total deliveries by 2025
  • Achieve >50% share of electrified cars in total deliveries by 2030

bmw marketing strategy case study

These are ambitious goals and reveal a significant shift in its business focus that requires a massive internal transformation. Success isn’t guaranteed because the space is already crowded and the competition fierce:

  • TESLA , the category queen of EVs, defends its top place remarkably well by maintaining its edge in battery engineering and chip design with its in-house expertise.
  • Honda partnered with Sony to enter the EV category and Xiaomi announced its plans to build an electric car plant.
  • General Motors and Nissan have set their own ambitious goals and brought strong propositions to the market. Ford saw unexpected demand for its F150 all-electric lightning pickup truck, and Toyota promised to offer 30 EV models by 2030.
  • Mercedes-Benz made an aggressive move to luxury EVs with its Mercedes-EQ range.
  • Alternative, eco-friendly and healthy alternatives are drawing more and more demand.
  • China’s investment in infrastructure lowers the barrier of entry for new players and Chinese brands increase their competitiveness.

Not all of these players are direct threats to BMW, but the combined presence shapes the market and the competitive landscape in ways that cannot be ignored. If BMW is to survive and achieve its ambitious goals, it needs to address all of these points with a cohesive and focused strategy.

And so it does.

The company’s strategy in the Electric Vehicles category is aggressive, structured, and developed early. BMW’s approach to its electromobility transformation has three distinct phases:

In the initial phase,  the BMW Group launched the fully electric BMW i3 in 2013, introducing electrification into standard production. The next year came out the BMW i8 with innovative technology and a futuristic design.

In the second and current phase,  the MINI Cooper SE* and BMW iX3* lead the EV offensive. The company aims to have at least one fully electric model in virtually all key model series by 2023. The transformation is supported by developing its in-house competencies and restructuring all of its factories, especially in Germany, to develop the capability of manufacturing EVs. It also incorporates plans for developing a charging ecosystem.

In the third phase,  BMW will launch its fully electric product line-up, the  Neue Klasse . This new line of EVs will be characterized by a complete technology redesign, including redefined tech stack for autonomous driving, a high-performance electric drivetrain generation, and a New Cluster Architecture (NCAR) geared exclusively towards battery electric vehicles. The Neue Klasse line will focus on the concept of circularity (more on this later). Rolls-Royce and BMW’s motorcycle segment will also evolve in the direction of electromobility.

The company’s transition to electric mobility isn’t developed in silos. It’s tied to its digitalization and sustainability initiatives making it cohesive and interdependent.

Tackling digitalization: BMW’s initiatives and transformation

According to BMW’s view, the future of automobiles is highly digitized with increased connectivity.

bmw marketing strategy case study

The company is moving decisively in that direction by focusing its digital transformation strategy on two pillars:

  • Initiatives that improve its operations.
  • Initiatives for further digitization of its products.

In its operations,  for example, the company implements a  predictive maintenance strategy  to prevent unnecessary production downtimes. It includes the use of sensors, cloud-based data analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assess the condition of its equipment before they present any flaws. It has also developed a complete online sales process and digital tools to aid customer experience inside the stores.

In its products,  the company is developing appropriate software for all of the engineering aspects of its vehicles and for additional services for its customers. It offers, for example, remote software upgrades and “functions of demand.” Since 2020, the company has been offering the  My BMW  and  MINI  apps. BMW also aims to develop technologies for autonomous driving, i.e.  technologies for automated driving beyond level 3 .

The future of driving is autonomous, and it causes premium and luxury brands, like BMW, to take their attention away from designing the perfect driving experience and directing towards designing a cabin for the perfect cruising experience.

Car mobility turns into a pleasant and sustainable cruise.

Circularity: BMW’s sustainability strategy

The introduction of stringent legislation and regulations regarding environmental impact and responsible governance forces corporations to incorporate sustainability and responsibility into their  strategic planning .

The more prudent companies have developed capabilities to address matters or, at the very least, develop the capacity to adapt to immediate additional regulatory changes rapidly.

So, BMW has set up impressive sustainable goals and mobilizes significant resources to accomplish them. Here are the company’s most important sustainability initiatives:

  • Systematic integration of sustainability issues in decision-making. The Board of Management evaluates every topic submitted from the point of view of sustainability.
  • Sustainability is built into individual market strategies. A holistic program is developed with centralized measures but combined with local activities in the markets. Best practices are shared within an established international sustainability network.
  • Decarbonize the BMW Group’s vehicle fleet by an average of 40% over the entire life cycle (Scopes 1-3) by 2030 compared to 2019.
  • Achieve net zero emissions across the entire value chain by 2050.

To achieve these goals, the Group integrates its electric mobility transition with its sustainability strategy. In other words, it changes its entire operational capabilities from product design to product development to product recycling in order to meet its sustainability targets.

But besides demand and regulatory requirements, there is a third force that shapes BMW’s transformation:

The limited availability of high-quality secondary raw materials.

A challenge that heavily impacted the industry in 2021 and is still present. BMW’s answer to that challenge is the concept of  circularity.

The circular economy concept requires a holistic strategic approach and is based on four principles:  Re:think, Re:duce, Re:use and Re:cycle . Its main objective is to create closed material loops that will give the company an alternative source of secondary material. Some highlights of the circularity concept are: 

  • The preference for secondary materials by reducing the use of primary raw materials in the automotive value chain. For example, closing material loops in the production chain.
  • The implementation of the  Secondary First  approach which stipulates specifications for products, materials, and suppliers.
  • Investments in resource-friendly technologies through funding of startups like Lilac Solutions, Boston Metal, and H2 Green Steel that offer materials from total green or eco-friendly production processes.
  • Effective resource management, including the reduction of water used in production processes, the reduction of waste generated in its facilities, and the reduction of its emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC3).

The Group also implements various initiatives to increase its energy efficiency and the amount of energy drawn from renewable sources. However, challenges always occur, and in 2021, the scarcity of semiconductors increased the energy consumption at some of its plants, increasing the YoY absolute consumption of the company.

But the company expects to improve its progress in the following years.

As a testament to its circularity approach, BMW has announced the design of a concept car called  BMW i Vision Circular  that will be made entirely out of recycled material and will be 100% recyclable.

bmw marketing strategy case study

The last part of BMW’s transformation concerns employees and society.

BMW’s employee development, attractiveness, and corporate responsibility

Attracting, retaining and developing talent is crucial for the success of BMW’s transformation.

To become an attractive employer, the company offers the following:

  • Above average remuneration packages.
  • A variable component dependent on the BMW Group’s overall performance.
  • Additional benefits such as Company pension schemes and an attractive range of mobility benefits.
  • A diverse range of options for working conditions like flexible working hours, remote working, sabbaticals and additional holidays (with a corresponding reduction in salary)

Its favorable working conditions have earned the company a number of awards and rankings, claiming the top spot against its fellow car manufacturers in multiple prestigious surveys.

To retain the great talent it attracts, the company:

  • Conducts an internal employee survey every two years to assess the organization’s performance from within. The last one was in 2021 and demonstrated significant progress in all areas surveyed, and, most importantly, it demonstrated employees' support for integrating sustainability with strategy.
  • Encourages employees to submit ideas on matters out of their normal remit and rewards those that generate a positive financial effect for the company with a bonus. In 2021, the company paid € 30.4 million in bonuses.
  • Trains its employees. In 2021, BMW launched the largest training initiative in its history that increases the expertise of its workforce in electrics and electronics, data analysis, innovative production technologies, and new working methods.

To further support its transformation needs, the company has also developed internal processes that promote the desired personalities and skills to management positions.

BMW views diversity as a strength and makes considerable effort to embed it into its culture.

  • It implements group-wide initiatives to raise awareness throughout the organization, like its annual Diversity Week and the internal communications campaign called  Driven by Diversity .
  • It encourages employees to engage and propose their own initiatives while it supports local internal networks and the BMW Group PRIDE group promoting the interests of the LGBT+ community.
  • It takes a holistic approach by developing initiatives on five key diversity dimensions: cultural background, age and experience, sexual orientation and identity, physical and mental ability, and gender.
  • It has set targets to increase the percentage of women in management positions and in the total workforce of the BMW Group.

The company has a set of KPIs to measure its progress on these fronts and is evaluated externally on the effectiveness of its initiatives.

When it comes to its corporate responsibility, BMW aspires to address concrete needs and achieve a long-term impact by means of its corporate citizenship activities. These activities leverage the company’s expertise and include crisis assistance – e.g. funded rescue services during the 2021 flood disaster in Germany – and developing local educational programs for younger people.

Key Takeaway #2: Bet on a clear and educated vision of the future

There are no strategies that are future-proof. At least, not good ones. When your industry evolves, make sure you’re prepared for the new way of things:

  • Increase your sensitivity to market changes and industry trends. Have processes to gather the data, process it and evaluate it.
  • Form a hypothesis for the future state of your industry and write it down as clearly as possible. 
  • What changes in a fundamental way? For example, the transition from a driving to a cruising experience requires prioritizing different principles.
  • Decide who you want to be in that future and what capabilities you need to build today to achieve that.

Why is BMW so successful?

The success of BMW is due to its innovative engineering and design, as well as its demonstrated ability to make sound strategic decisions that help it adapt quickly to market changes.

The company has a long history of innovation that has helped it stand out in the automotive industry, and it is consistently focused on making sure its customers are satisfied with the cars they purchase. Over the years, BMW has evolved into a relationship brand building a loyal – and, dare we say, sometimes hardcore – customer base.

What is BMW’s mission statement?

BMW’s mission statement is “ to become the world's leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility. ”

This vision encompasses the company’s goal of providing the best experience possible in the automotive industry, from the design and engineering of its products to its customer service.

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BMW Sports car.

BMW’s Marketing Strategy Explained

BMW, renowned for its luxury vehicles, adopts a marketing strategy that is a blend of traditional and modern techniques, tailored to its high-end customer base. Here’s a detailed look at the different strands of BMW’s marketing strategy:

Target Audience

A BMW showroom with a sports car in it.

BMW’s marketing strategy meticulously identifies and caters to a unique segment of the automotive market: the affluent consumer who views a vehicle not merely as a means of transportation but as a symbol of personal achievement and status. This target audience is discerning, with a keen eye for quality, design, and technological innovation. They are individuals who see their choice of vehicle as an extension of their lifestyle and personal brand, making the decision to purchase a BMW both a practical and an aspirational one.

The typical BMW customer falls into a higher income bracket and often holds a position of influence or esteem in their professional field. These are individuals who appreciate the finer things in life and are willing to invest in a product that not only meets their high standards for performance and comfort but also resonates with their sense of identity. BMW understands that its customers are looking for more than just luxury in a car; they are seeking a unique driving experience that aligns with their high expectations and life aspirations.

The brand’s marketing efforts are thus centered around understanding and appealing to these sophisticated tastes. BMW’s advertisements, for instance, do more than showcase the technical specifications of the vehicles; they create a narrative around the lifestyle and experiences that owning a BMW can offer. This storytelling approach is crucial in connecting with an audience that values experiences and personal expression as much as the functional aspects of the vehicle.

Furthermore, BMW recognizes that its customers are not a monolithic group. The brand, therefore, tailors its messaging to appeal to various sub-segments within this affluent demographic. From the young, successful entrepreneur to the established business leader, BMW’s marketing communicates a different facet of the brand that resonates with each subgroup. This nuanced understanding of its target audience ensures that BMW’s marketing strategy remains both relevant and appealing across a spectrum of affluent consumers, each with their distinct preferences and aspirations.

In essence, BMW’s marketing strategy is adept at weaving the brand into the aspirational narrative of its target audience. It’s not just about selling cars; it’s about selling a lifestyle and a symbol of success that resonates deeply with the affluent consumer’s identity and aspirations.

Brand Positioning

BMW’s brand positioning is a masterful blend of luxury, performance, and innovation, distinguishing it in the competitive automotive market. The company’s tagline, “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” is not just a slogan but a reflection of its commitment to engineering excellence and superior driving experience. This positioning strategy is deeply rooted in the brand’s history and is consistently communicated through every aspect of its operations, from product design to marketing campaigns.

A BMW logo badge on the hood of a car.

At the heart of BMW’s brand positioning is the promise of a premium experience. Every BMW vehicle is designed with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that both the interior and exterior exude luxury and sophistication. The brand appeals to customers who seek more than just a car – they seek a statement of their personal success and style. This focus on luxury is complemented by a relentless pursuit of innovation. BMW is known for its cutting-edge technology and engineering, continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible in automotive design.

Performance is another cornerstone of BMW’s brand identity. The brand has built a reputation for producing vehicles that offer dynamic handling and powerful engines, delivering an exhilarating driving experience. This emphasis on performance attracts customers who are passionate about driving and appreciate the precision and agility of BMW cars. The brand’s involvement in motorsports further reinforces this aspect of its identity, connecting with an audience that values speed and high performance.

However, BMW’s brand positioning extends beyond the product itself. The company’s customer service and dealership experience are also tailored to align with its luxury and performance image. Customers expect and receive high levels of service, reinforcing the premium nature of the brand at every touchpoint.

BMW’s consistent focus on luxury, innovation, and performance has helped it build a strong brand identity that resonates with its target audience. This strategic positioning not only differentiates BMW from its competitors but also creates a loyal customer base that values the unique combination of qualities that BMW represents. The brand’s ability to maintain this positioning over time, adapting to changing market trends while staying true to its core values, is a testament to its strong marketing acumen.

Product Strategy

BMW’s product strategy is a critical element of its overall marketing approach, showcasing a deep understanding of its market and an unerring commitment to quality. At the core of this strategy is a diverse lineup of vehicles, each embodying the brand’s signature blend of luxury, performance, and technological innovation. From sleek sedans to versatile SUVs, BMW’s range caters to a variety of customer needs and preferences, all while maintaining the high standards the brand is known for.

A close-up shot of the front wheel of a BMW car, showing the logo on its wheel rim.

The company’s approach to product development is heavily customer-centric. BMW conducts extensive research to understand the evolving needs and desires of its target audience. This insight informs the design and features of each model, ensuring that they not only meet but exceed customer expectations. For instance, BMW’s luxury sedans offer a refined driving experience, combining elegance with powerful performance, while their SUVs provide versatility without compromising on style or driving dynamics.

A key aspect of BMW’s product strategy is its focus on technological innovation. The brand is a leader in incorporating cutting-edge technology into its vehicles, ranging from advanced safety features to sophisticated infotainment systems. These technological advancements not only enhance the functionality and safety of BMW cars but also add an element of futuristic luxury, appealing to tech-savvy consumers.

In recent years, BMW has also placed a significant emphasis on sustainability, recognizing the growing consumer interest in environmentally friendly vehicles. The development of electric and hybrid models underlines BMW’s commitment to sustainable mobility. These eco-friendly vehicles, such as the BMW i Series, offer a combination of innovative design, reduced emissions, and the high performance that customers expect from the brand.

By offering a wide range of high-quality vehicles that cater to different preferences and needs, BMW’s product strategy plays a crucial role in its overall marketing success. This strategy not only helps the brand to attract a broad customer base but also strengthens its position as a leader in the luxury automotive segment. BMW’s ability to balance traditional luxury with innovative technology and sustainability demonstrates its agility in adapting to market trends while staying true to its core brand values.

Price Strategy

BMW’s pricing strategy is an essential component of its market positioning, reflecting the brand’s status as a purveyor of luxury and quality. Adopting a premium pricing model, BMW sets its prices higher than the average market rates. This strategy is not merely about placing a higher price tag on its products; it is a deliberate move to reinforce the brand’s luxury status and appeal to a customer base that values exclusivity and prestige as much as the product itself.

The rationale behind this premium pricing is rooted in the perception of value. BMW customers are willing to pay more for a vehicle that symbolizes status, success, and quality. The higher price is seen as a testament to the superior craftsmanship, advanced technology, and exceptional performance that BMW vehicles offer. This pricing approach also creates a sense of exclusivity, making BMW cars more desirable to consumers who seek to distinguish themselves.

BMW’s pricing strategy is also reflective of the brand’s commitment to innovation and quality. The investment in research and development, the use of high-quality materials, and the incorporation of cutting-edge technology justify the premium prices of BMW vehicles. Customers recognize that they are not just paying for the car but also for the years of engineering expertise and innovation that it represents.

An overhead view of a BMW car driving on a road.

This premium pricing strategy extends beyond the initial purchase price. BMW ensures that the ownership experience aligns with the expectations set by its high price point. This includes exceptional customer service, comprehensive warranties, and maintenance packages, all of which add value to the ownership experience and justify the premium pricing.

The effectiveness of BMW’s pricing strategy is evident in its strong brand loyalty and customer retention rates. By maintaining high price points, BMW not only upholds its image as a luxury brand but also attracts a specific segment of the market that values and is willing to invest in a premium automotive experience. This approach has helped BMW maintain its position as a leading luxury car manufacturer and has become a key aspect of its overall marketing success.

Distribution Strategy

BMW’s distribution strategy is a critical facet of its overall marketing approach, carefully crafted to complement its luxury brand image. The company employs a selective distribution model, ensuring its vehicles are sold through exclusive showrooms that reflect the brand’s high-end positioning. This strategy not only controls the environment in which its products are sold but also enhances the overall customer experience, a crucial aspect for a luxury brand like BMW.

The exclusive showrooms are more than just car dealerships; they are designed to provide a premium experience. From the architectural design to the interior layout, every detail is meticulously planned to exude sophistication and elegance. These showrooms serve as the physical embodiment of the brand, creating a space that aligns with the luxury and quality associated with BMW vehicles. The sales staff in these showrooms are highly trained, knowledgeable about the brand’s history, vehicle specifications, and are skilled in catering to the needs of a discerning clientele.

In addition to physical showrooms, BMW has also embraced digital platforms for its distribution strategy. Recognizing the growing importance of online channels, especially among younger, tech-savvy customers, BMW offers extensive online resources. Customers can explore models, customize their vehicle, and even initiate the purchase process online. This digital integration not only broadens BMW’s reach but also provides convenience and flexibility to customers, enhancing their overall experience with the brand.

BMW’s distribution strategy extends beyond the point of sale. The brand places significant emphasis on after-sales service, an integral part of the luxury car ownership experience. BMW offers comprehensive maintenance plans, warranty programs, and customer support services, all designed to maintain the high standards of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. This after-sales service is available through a network of authorized service centers, ensuring that the quality of service is consistent with the brand’s luxury image.

This strategic approach to distribution allows BMW to maintain control over its brand image and customer experience. By combining exclusive physical showrooms with a strong online presence and exceptional after-sales service, BMW has created a distribution network that not only aligns with its luxury positioning but also addresses the evolving needs and preferences of its customers. This thoughtful approach to distribution is a key element in BMW’s sustained success in the luxury automotive market.

Promotion Strategy

BMW’s promotion strategy is a multi-faceted approach designed to reinforce its position as a premium automotive brand and to connect with its diverse customer base. This strategy integrates a variety of promotional tactics, each chosen to reflect the brand’s values of luxury, performance, and innovation, while also engaging with customers at multiple touchpoints.

At the core of BMW’s promotional activities is its advertising campaigns. These campaigns are carefully crafted to capture the essence of the BMW brand – a blend of luxury, sophistication, and technological advancement. BMW’s advertisements often focus more on the experience of owning and driving a BMW rather than just the technical specifications of the cars. This approach resonates with their target audience, who are seeking not just a car, but a lifestyle choice. The ads are visually stunning, often featuring BMW cars in dynamic and aspirational settings, which reinforces the brand’s image as a symbol of success and achievement. BMW utilizes a mix of traditional media like TV and print, as well as digital platforms, to reach a wider audience and to cater to the changing media consumption habits of its customers.

Sponsorships and event partnerships form another critical component of BMW’s promotional strategy. The brand is often associated with high-profile sports events, such as golf and sailing tournaments, which align with the interests and lifestyle of its target demographic. BMW also partners with cultural events like art fairs and fashion shows, which helps to position the brand within a context of sophistication and elegance. These sponsorships are strategic, aiming to associate BMW with experiences that reflect the brand’s core values and resonate with its customers’ lifestyles.

Digital marketing is an increasingly important part of BMW’s promotional mix. The brand leverages social media platforms to engage with a younger, digitally savvy audience. Through platforms like Instagram and Twitter, BMW showcases its latest models, shares brand stories, and interacts directly with customers and fans. This online presence is not just about promotion; it’s about building a community around the brand. BMW also uses online advertising, including search engine marketing and display ads, to reach potential customers actively seeking information about luxury cars.

Influencer marketing is another modern tactic employed by BMW. By partnering with influencers who align with the brand’s image, BMW reaches out to new audiences in a more organic and authentic way. These influencers, often from the fields of fashion, technology, or lifestyle, share their experiences with BMW vehicles with their followers, creating a sense of aspiration and desire.

An often-overlooked aspect of BMW’s promotional strategy is its focus on the customer experience. Every interaction a customer has with the brand, from visiting a showroom to after-sales service, is an opportunity for promotion. BMW ensures that these experiences are in line with its brand values, thereby reinforcing the customer’s decision to choose BMW. The sales staff are trained not just to sell cars, but to provide a luxury buying experience, while the after-sales service is designed to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Public relations also play a significant role in BMW’s promotional strategy. The brand actively manages its public image through press releases, media events, and by maintaining relationships with journalists and industry influencers. These efforts help BMW to control its narrative in the public domain, ensuring that its messages are communicated clearly and effectively.

Lastly, BMW invests in community engagement and corporate social responsibility initiatives. These efforts may not directly promote BMW products, but they contribute significantly to building a positive brand image. By involving itself in community projects and environmental initiatives, BMW demonstrates its commitment to societal values, which resonates with customers who are increasingly conscious of corporate ethics and responsibility.

In conclusion, BMW’s promotion strategy is a comprehensive blend of traditional and modern marketing tactics, all aligned with its brand values of luxury, performance, and innovation. By effectively combining advertising, sponsorships, digital marketing, influencer partnerships, customer experience, public relations , and community engagement, BMW has created a robust promotional framework that not only increases brand visibility but also strengthens customer loyalty and attracts new customers to its luxury automotive experience.

BMW’s Marketing Strategy Summarized

BMW’s marketing strategy is a well-balanced mix of traditional values and modern approaches. By focusing on a specific target audience and maintaining its brand prestige through quality, innovation, and a premium customer experience, BMW continues to strengthen its position as a leading luxury car manufacturer.

  • Target Audience Focus : Concentrates on affluent consumers who view their vehicle as a symbol of status and luxury, valuing quality, performance, and prestige.
  • Brand Positioning : Positioned as a synonym for luxury, performance, and innovation, encapsulated in the tagline “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”
  • Diverse Product Lineup : Offers a range of luxury cars and SUVs, emphasizing superior performance, cutting-edge technology, and premium design, including sustainable mobility options.
  • Premium Pricing Strategy : Adopts a high-end pricing model to reinforce the luxury status and cater to customers who associate price with quality and exclusivity.
  • Selective Distribution Approach : Sells through exclusive showrooms that align with the brand’s luxury image, providing a consistent and premium brand experience.
  • Multifaceted Promotion Strategy : Utilizes a mix of traditional advertising, sponsorships, digital marketing, influencer partnerships, and a focus on premium customer experiences.
  • Emphasis on Innovation and Technology : Invests heavily in R&D to integrate advanced technology in vehicles, maintaining an image as an industry innovator.
  • Sustainability Commitment : Increasing focus on environmentally friendly vehicles and corporate practices, addressing the growing consumer interest in sustainability.
  • Customer-Centric Approach : Tailors product features and marketing messages to meet the diverse preferences within its affluent target demographic.
  • Building Brand Loyalty : Strives for strong brand loyalty and customer retention through high-quality products, exceptional service, and a consistent luxury experience.

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Dissecting BMW’s Marketing Strategies & Success Factors

BMW's Marketing Strategies | The Brand Hopper

Dissecting BMW’s Marketing Strategies & Success Factors 13 min read

BMW, or Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, is a German multinational manufacturer of luxury vehicles and motorcycles headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The company was founded in 1916 as a manufacturer of aircraft engines, which it produced from 1917 to 1918 and again from 1933 to 1945. After World War II, BMW began producing motorcycles and automobiles. In this article, we’ll read about BMW’s Marketing Strategies and Success Factors.

BMW is known for its high-performance cars, motorcycles, and engines. The company’s cars are typically characterized by their sporty handling, luxury features, and elegant design. BMW motorcycles are also known for their performance and handling. BMW engines are used in a variety of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, boats, and airplanes.

BMW is one of the world’s leading premium automotive brands. In 2022, the company sold over 2.2 million vehicles worldwide. BMW has a strong presence in Europe, North America, and Asia. The company also has a number of manufacturing facilities around the world.

BMW is a popular choice for luxury car buyers. The company’s cars are known for their combination of performance, luxury, and style. BMW also offers a variety of models to choose from, including sedans, coupes, SUVs, and convertibles.

If you are looking for a high-performance luxury vehicle, BMW is a great option. The company’s cars are sure to turn heads and provide you with a driving experience that you will never forget.

Table of Contents

What makes BMW so successful? – Success Factors of BMW

BMW’s remarkable success in the automotive industry can be attributed to a combination of factors that have consistently set the brand apart. From its unwavering commitment to engineering excellence to its strong brand identity and customer-centric approach, BMW has established a unique formula for success. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key success factors for BMW:

Product quality and engineering excellence: One of the most critical success factors for BMW has been its commitment to product quality and engineering excellence. The company invests heavily in research and development to ensure that its vehicles meet the highest standards of reliability, durability, and performance. This approach has helped BMW maintain a reputation for manufacturing some of the finest automobiles available today.

Customer satisfaction and loyalty: Another important factor contributing to BMW’s success is its focus on customer satisfaction and loyalty. The company places great importance on understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of its customers through surveys, feedback mechanisms, and other means. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and working closely with dealerships to address any issues that arise, BMW has built a dedicated following of repeat customers who trust the brand and remain loyal over time.

Brand identity and positioning: A third crucial success factor for BMW is its strong brand identity and positioning. The company has developed a distinct image characterized by elegance, refinement, and sportiness. Through effective advertising and marketing campaigns, BMW has established itself as a premier luxury automotive brand that appeals to discerning drivers seeking a unique blend of style, performance, and comfort.

Global presence and distribution network: BMW has also achieved success by expanding its global footprint and establishing a comprehensive distribution network. With operations spanning multiple continents and sales outlets located in major cities worldwide, BMW ensures easy accessibility for customers interested in exploring its range of vehicles. Additionally, the company continues to invest in new markets and regions to further strengthen its international reach.

Innovation and technology leadership: Finally, BMW remains committed to innovation and technology leadership. From pioneering developments in engine design and fuel efficiency to advancing driver assistance systems and electric mobility solutions, BMW continuously pushes the boundaries of automotive technology. By staying ahead of the curve and incorporating cutting-edge features into its products, BMW not only attracts tech-savvy consumers but also positions itself as an industry leader in shaping the future of transportation.

Overall, BMW’s success hinges on several interrelated factors, all of which work together to drive business growth and enhance customer satisfaction. While there may be variations in the relative importance of these elements across different contexts, they collectively contribute significantly to BMW’s long-term viability and prosperity

Marketing Strategies of BMW

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) has established itself as a premier luxury automotive brand with a global reputation for precision engineering, performance, and prestige. Its marketing strategies are a key factor in maintaining and enhancing this reputation. Here’s a detailed overview of BMW’s marketing strategies:

Premium Brand Positioning

Premium brand positioning is a strategy used by companies such as BMW to differentiate themselves from competitors and attract specific target audiences. This approach involves creating an image of exclusivity, luxury, and prestige around the brand through various channels like advertising campaigns, celebrity endorsements, and strategic partnerships. The goal is to establish a strong emotional connection with customers and foster long-term customer loyalty.

BMW uses this strategy effectively by leveraging its rich history, cutting-edge technology, and innovative designs to create a unique identity that resonates with discerning buyers worldwide. From sleek sports cars to powerful SUVs, BMW caters to a broad range of automotive enthusiasts who appreciate top-notch performance and refined elegance.

In essence, premium brand positioning helps BMW maintain its status as a leader in the luxury car industry by emphasizing superior craftsmanship, advanced engineering, and exceptional customer experiences. As a result, BMW remains a preferred choice among drivers who seek excellence on the road.

Emotional Branding

BMW has been known for using emotional branding effectively in their marketing campaigns. For example, one of their most successful ad campaigns was “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” which focused on evoking feelings of excitement, passion, and desire for driving pleasure. By positioning themselves not only as a car manufacturer but also as a provider of experiences and lifestyle choices, they were able to connect with their target audience at a deeper level.

Another example of BMW’s use of emotional branding can be seen in their sponsorship of major sporting events such as Formula 1 racing . Through this partnership, BMW associates itself with speed, precision, and cutting-edge technology – all attributes that align well with their brand identity. This helps to reinforce the idea that owning a BMW is not just about having a reliable mode of transportation but also about experiencing the thrill of high performance driving.

BMW Sauber F1.09 | BMW's Marketing Strategy

Overall, BMW uses emotional branding strategically by leveraging powerful imagery, storytelling, and experiential elements to create lasting impressions and foster meaningful relationships with their customers.

Product Portfolio Differentiation

Product portfolio differentiation is a marketing strategy used by companies like BMW to differentiate their products from those of competitors. Essentially, it involves offering unique combinations of features, benefits, and price points across multiple product lines to appeal to diverse customer segments.

One key aspect of BMW’s product portfolio differentiation strategy is their focus on premium quality and innovative design. They offer a range of vehicles including sedans, SUVs, coupes, and convertibles, each with distinctive styling and advanced technological features. Their cars often feature state-of-the-art engines, suspension systems, and driver assistance technologies that set them apart from other brands.

In addition, BMW offers customization options for many of their models, allowing customers to personalize their vehicle according to their preferences. This includes everything from interior trim colors and materials to exterior paint finishes and wheel designs. These options allow BMW owners to make their vehicles truly unique and reflect their individuality.

Another important factor in BMW’s product portfolio differentiation strategy is their pricing strategy. While some of their entry-level models may compete directly against similar luxury cars from Mercedes-Benz and Audi, their higher end models command significantly higher prices due to their exclusivity and limited availability. This allows BMW to maintain a premium image while still appealing to a broader range of buyers.

Overall, BMW’s product portfolio differentiation strategy enables them to cater to a wide variety of consumer needs and preferences while maintaining a consistent reputation for quality, innovation, and prestige.

Iconic Design and Aesthetics

Iconic design and aesthetics play a crucial role in BMW’s overall marketing strategy. By focusing on creating visually striking and memorable designs, BMW sets itself apart from competitors and builds a loyal following among automobile enthusiasts worldwide.

One of the hallmarks of BMW’s iconic design language is its commitment to clean, modernist forms and minimal ornamentation. From the sleek silhouette of the Z4 roadster to the bold grille and headlight treatment of the X5 SUV, every BMW model exudes confidence and refinement. Even details like the stitch pattern on the seats and the shape of the air vents contribute to the overall sense of elegance and sophistication.

This dedication to form and function extends beyond mere appearances, however. BMW’s attention to detail is evident in the tactile experience of sitting behind the steering wheel or operating the controls. Every surface feels solid and substantial, yet effortlessly responsive to touch. And the sound of the engine roaring to life or shifting gears remains unmistakably BMW, thanks to careful acoustic engineering.

Of course, no discussion of BMW’s iconic design would be complete without mentioning the famous blue and white propeller logo. Simple yet instantly recognizable, it has become synonymous with excellence and performance around the globe. Whether emblazoned on the hood of a M3 racer or displayed discreetly on the key fob of a 7 Series sedan, the propeller symbolizes the promise of pure driving enjoyment that lies within.

Ultimately, BMW’s commitment to iconic design and aesthetics serves both functional and emotional purposes. On the one hand, it ensures that every BMW delivers the highest levels of comfort, convenience, and safety expected of a premium automobile. At the same time, though, it creates a sense of pride and belonging among owners who appreciate the beauty and heritage of these extraordinary machines. As such, BMW’s iconic design continues to inspire new generations of drivers and enthusiasts alike.

Innovative Technology Showcase

One of BMW’s core strengths is its ability to develop and integrate innovative technology into its vehicles. The company regularly showcases its latest advancements through various channels, including auto shows, media events, and even virtual reality experiences.

For example, at major auto shows like Geneva Motor Show or Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW typically displays concept cars or prototypes featuring futuristic designs and groundbreaking tech. These concepts serve as proof of BMW’s technical capabilities and willingness to push boundaries in terms of what an automobile can do.

Moreover, BMW frequently collaborates with external partners like Microsoft or Amazon to bring cutting-edge connectivity solutions to its vehicles. For instance, BMW Connected Drive integrates smartphone apps, voice commands, and real-time traffic updates seamlessly into the car’s infotainment system. Meanwhile, BMW i Ventures invests in startups working on next-generation mobility services like ride sharing or autonomous driving.

Additionally, BMW actively promotes its sustainability efforts via initiatives like BMW Group Future Experience. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits highlighting topics like electric powertrains, lightweight construction, and recycling methods. This approach emphasizes BMW’s commitment to reducing environmental impact while enhancing performance and user experience.

Finally, BMW employs immersive VR experiences like “ The Ultimate Virtual Test Drive ” to let users virtually test drive upcoming models before they hit dealership floors. Participants don VR goggles and sit in a mock cockpit equipped with motion sensors and haptic feedback devices. This engaging format effectively communicates BMW’s passion for innovation while generating buzz and excitement among potential customers.

In summary, BMW leverages innovative technology showcasing as a marketing strategy to demonstrate its leadership in developing advanced automotive solutions. Through creative approaches like concept cars, partner collaborations, sustainability campaigns, and VR experiences, BMW presents a compelling vision of the future of personal transportation that resonates with consumers worldwide.

Lifestyle Marketing

BMW associates its brand with aspirational lifestyles through partnerships with luxury brands, fashion events, art exhibitions, and sports sponsorships.

To achieve this goal, BMW employs a range of tactics designed to connect with its target audience on an emotional level. One way the company does this is by hosting exclusive events and experiences that bring together like-minded individuals who appreciate fine automobiles and premium living. Examples include invitation-only test drives, VIP weekends at racetracks, and private concerts featuring world-renowned artists.

Another important aspect of BMW’s lifestyle marketing strategy is its use of carefully curated content across digital and traditional media channels. This includes everything from glossy print ads in high-end magazines to sleek videos posted on social media platforms like Instagram and Vimeo. Each piece of content is crafted to capture the essence of the BMW brand and convey its unique value proposition to prospective buyers.

Of course, no discussion of BMW’s lifestyle marketing would be complete without mentioning its longstanding relationship with professional athletes and other celebrities. Over the years, the company has worked with countless stars from the worlds of motorsport, Formula 1 racing, golf, tennis, and more. By associating itself with these elite performers, BMW underscores its commitment to excellence and innovation in all areas of life – not just on the track or court.

Ultimately, BMW’s lifestyle marketing strategy seeks to create a compelling narrative around its products and the larger community of drivers who cherish them. Whether through immersive experiences, evocative storytelling, or powerful associations with icons of achievement, the company strives to make clear that owning a BMW isn’t simply about transportation; it represents entry into a distinct club of discerning individuals united by their passion for quality and refinement. And because this ethos resonates so strongly with consumers today, BMW’s lifestyle marketing approach continues to pay dividends for the brand.

This approach allows BMW to align itself with the interests and aspirations of its target audience, creating a deeper connection.

Event Marketing and Experiences

Event marketing and experiential campaigns are essential components of BMW’s marketing efforts. The objective behind such initiatives is to create immersive experiences that engage customers emotionally and intellectually while highlighting the performance capabilities of BMW vehicles. These campaigns typically focus on delivering exceptional customer service and creating memories that encourage participants to return to future events and share their positive experiences with others.

One key element of BMW’s event marketing and experiential campaigns involves partnering with luxury brands and influencers to create exclusive opportunities for customers to experience the best of what both companies have to offer. For instance, BMW might team up with a high-end watchmaker to organize a driving tour along scenic routes where guests can stop at picturesque locations to admire the views while enjoying gourmet meals prepared by celebrity chefs. Such collaborations enable BMW to tap into the cachet of well-known luxury brands and establish strong connections between its own reputation for prestige and exclusivity.

In addition to collaborations with luxury brands, BMW regularly hosts events centered around motorsports and car culture. These activities emphasize the thrill of speed and precision driving while demonstrating the superior handling characteristics of BMW vehicles. Customers can participate in closed-course autocross challenges or attend drifting competitions featuring skilled professionals piloting BMW cars equipped with advanced safety features.

Experiential campaigns also extend online via virtual and augmented reality technologies. Interactive simulations give users the chance to explore different aspects of BMW ownership, including configuring their dream vehicle using state-of-the-art tools and visualizing themselves behind the wheel during exhilarating driving scenarios.

Virtual tours of BMW factories and facilities allow visitors to witness firsthand the meticulous craftsmanship involved in producing each BMW automobile. By offering these digital insights, BMW creates emotional connections with customers who appreciate the attention to detail evident throughout every stage of production.

In conclusion, BMW’s marketing strategies are a blend of emotional storytelling, product differentiation, technological innovation, and lifestyle association. By focusing on creating a strong emotional connection, showcasing cutting-edge technology, and curating a distinct luxury experience, BMW continues to maintain its position as a leader in the luxury automotive market.

Also Read: Mastering the Road: The Iconic Journey of BMW

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BMW Five Forces Analysis & Recommendations (Porter’s Model)

BMW Five Forces analysis, competition, buyers, suppliers, substitutes, new entrants, Porter, automotive motorcycle business case study

The external factors evaluated in this Five Forces analysis of BMW, using Porter’s model, demonstrate a competitive industry. BMW and other automakers and motorcycle manufacturers aggressively innovate to compete in the international market. This Five Forces analysis case accounts for the bargaining power of customers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitution, the threat of new entry, and the degree of competitive rivalry in the automotive and motorcycle industry environment. The fulfillment of business goals based on BMW’s mission statement and vision statement depends on the effects of the factors in this Five Forces analysis and on the company’s response to competitive challenges. Strategies must improve business performance despite the competitive pressure illustrated in this Five Forces analysis of BMW.

BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke/Bavarian Motor Works) has business competencies and competitive advantages for mitigating and managing the effects of the external factors outlined in this Five Forces analysis. The external factors evaluated in this Five Forces analysis relate to issues that BMW needs to include in strategic decision-making processes for growth in the global markets for automobiles and motorcycles.

Summary: Five Forces Analysis of BMW

The external factors relevant to BMW in this Five Forces analysis case indicate a competitive industry where firms and suppliers have considerable leverage. The other three of the five forces are significant but have limited impact on the automotive and motorcycle business. The following are the intensities of the Five Forces affecting BMW:

  • Bargaining power of customers: Weak
  • Bargaining power of suppliers: Moderate to Strong
  • Threat of substitutes: Weak to Moderate
  • Threat of new entrants: Weak
  • Competitive rivalry: Strong

Recommendations. The strong force of competition determined in this Five Forces analysis directs attention to the importance of the core competencies and competitive advantages shown in the SWOT analysis of BMW in supporting the company’s competitiveness. Managing the bargaining power of suppliers may require other approaches, such as a supply-chain diversification strategy for the automotive company. BMW’s competitive strategy and growth strategies need to align with the effects of the external factors considered in this Five Forces analysis. However, competitive rivalry and supplier power in the automotive and motorcycle industries must receive strategic prioritization. The following are recommendations based on this Five Forces analysis of BMW:

  • Further investment in technological innovation for cars and motorcycles, to address competitors’ high rates of innovation.
  • A more innovative marketing strategy to counteract customers’ switching and reduce the impact of competition on BMW.
  • Strategic improvements to diversify the supply chain for managing the bargaining power of BMW’s suppliers.
  • Strategic improvements for vertical integration to manage supplier power in BMW’s automotive and motorcycle manufacturing operations.

Bargaining Power of Customers (Weak)

Buyers’ leverage and bargaining power over the automaker are evaluated in this component of the Five Forces analysis. The following factors influence the bargaining power of BMW’s customers:

  • Low cost of switching between BMW and competitors
  • Moderate substitute availability
  • Small size of individual customers

Customers face low switching costs representing the ease of buying an automobile or motorcycle other than what BMW offers. The moderate availability of substitute transportation options, such as mass transit, has a moderate contribution to customers’ bargaining power in this Five Forces analysis case. Also, target customers’ small size relative to BMW’s business operations limits this bargaining power. These external factors lead to the weak bargaining power of customers in this Five Forces analysis of the automaker. The social, economic, and technological trends enumerated in the PESTLE/PESTEL analysis of BMW determine customers’ tendency to switch to other manufacturers or to use substitutes.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers (Moderate to Strong)

Suppliers’ bargaining power and influence over the automotive company are considered in this component of the Five Forces analysis. The following factors shape the bargaining power of BMW’s suppliers:

  • Low presence of substitute inputs
  • Moderate to high supplier specialization
  • Moderate to high cost of switching between suppliers

The low presence or availability of substitute inputs strengthens supplier power in this Five Forces analysis of BMW. For example, the company cannot readily substitute a car component with a different material or input. On the other hand, BMW relies on suppliers that specialize in car or motorcycle components. In Porter’s Five Forces analysis model, this external factor strengthens the bargaining power of suppliers. This factor also relates to the moderate to high cost of switching between suppliers, which further strengthens supplier power over BMW. This component of the Five Forces analysis determines the moderate to strong bargaining power of suppliers in the automotive and motorcycle industries. Practices for efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity in BMW’s operations management help mitigate supplier power and leverage.

Threat of Substitutes (Weak to Moderate)

The negative effect of substitution is evaluated in this component of the Five Forces analysis of the automotive and motorcycle business. Substitutes’ threat to BMW are based on the following external factors:

  • Low to moderate substitute performance
  • Customers’ low to moderate propensity to substitute

Mass transit, bicycles, and other alternatives to cars and motorcycles are only moderately available substitutes that compete with BMW’s products. Many suburban and rural areas lack public transit. In this Five Forces analysis of BMW, moderate substitute availability has a moderate contribution to the intensity of the threat of substitution. Also, many substitutes’ performance is low or moderate compared to driving a car. For example, mass transit options may come with inconvenient schedules, while bicycles do not offer protection from the elements. This external factor has a limiting effect on the substitution threat to BMW in this Five Forces analysis. These factors relate to the moderate propensity of customers to use substitutes instead of the company’s cars or motorcycles. The combination of these external factors leads to the weak to moderate threat of substitution for BMW vehicles in this Five Forces analysis case.

Threat of New Entrants (Weak)

The competitive impact of new entry on the car and motorcycle company is considered in this component of the Five Forces analysis. New entrants’ threat to BMW are based on the following factors:

  • High cost of entry
  • High cost of vehicle brand development
  • Low cost of switching between BMW and other vehicle manufacturers

The high cost of establishing a vehicle manufacturing business and the high cost of brand development are barriers to entry that limit the threat of new entrants in this Five Forces analysis of BMW. On the other hand, the low switching costs when customers buy from a different manufacturer can strengthen new entrants’ competitiveness. These external factors lead to the weak threat of new entry, which has a limited influence on competitive pressure and the competition considered in this Five Forces analysis of BMW.

Competitive Rivalry (Strong)

The force of competition and its impact are evaluated in this component of the Five Forces analysis of the automotive and motorcycle business. The following factors influence the degree of competitive rivalry with BMW:

  • Low to moderate differentiation among manufacturers
  • High rates of innovation
  • Low cost of switching between vehicle manufacturers

BMW competes with automotive firms, such as Ford , General Motors , Tesla , and Toyota , as well as motorcycle companies, like Harley-Davidson . These competitors’ low to moderate differentiation and their innovation capabilities add to the degree of competitive rivalry in this Five Forces analysis case of BMW’s automotive and motorcycle business. On the other hand, buyers’ low switching cost when shifting from BMW to other brands or manufacturers intensifies competition. In Porter’s Five Forces analysis model, these external factors lead to the strong force of competitive rivalry in the automotive and motorcycle industries. The strategies and tactics included in BMW’s marketing mix (4P) help maintain profitable relations with target buyers and mitigate the effects of the competitive rivalry evaluated in this Five Forces analysis.

  • BMW Group Report .
  • BMW Group Strategy .
  • Fedotov, P. (2022). Critical Analysis of the Electric Vehicle Industry: Five forces and strategic action fields. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10 (1), 43-56.
  • Forsythe, C. R., Gillingham, K. T., Michalek, J. J., & Whitefoot, K. S. (2023). Technology advancement is driving electric vehicle adoption. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120 (23), e2219396120.
  • International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers – Sales Statistics .
  • Muzzio, M. (2023). Imagined futures of the automotive industry stemming from uncertainty. Joule, 7 (6), 1099-1100.
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6 Key Points About The Digital Marketing Strategy Of BMW

To study BMW marketing strategy, we first need to point out that the web presence is not just for selling products. It is also a ‘vehicle’ to position the brand and satisfies their goals with poise.

BMW is considered as one of the leading producers of luxury and state of the art vehicles for many years. According to a noticeable amount of people, the brand is the best car producer worldwide. Munich-based German car manufacturer establishes itself as outstanding in both aesthetic and comfort.

Marketing Mix of BMW

To create a well-organized and successful marketing plan, business managers of the brand should figure out the varying facts of the marketing mix and determine the precise market segmentation in order to understand the of customer purchasing behavior. So, BMW initiated the goal of segmenting the premium market by optimizing the proper fit between the purchasing behavior of customers and the marketing mix to boost sales to the segment.

Social Media Strategy of BMW

Regardless of how big the company is, the social media strategy of the global car manufacturer’s is no different than other brand. BMW uses social platform such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or even TikTok to showcase its latest products, engage with customers, and promote its brand values. One of the key elements of BMW’s social media strategy is visual storytelling. The company highlights its design and engineering prowess by using high-quality images and videos to show off its products in use. This helps to create an emotional connection with its target audience and reinforce its brand image as a luxury car manufacturer.

Another aspect of BMW’s social media strategy is its focus on customer engagement. The brand regularly responds to comments and messages from customer, and encourages them to share their own stories and experiences with BMW vehicles. This helps to build a sense of community around the brand and foster long term loyalty.

In fact, BMW invites people to use the #BMWRepost hashtag for a chance to be featured on the company’s Instagram account which has almost 35M followers.

bmw marketing strategy case study

In addition, BMW has also experimented with newer social media features and platforms, such as Instagram stories and TikTok. For example, the company has created short videos showcasing its latest models and design features on these platform, which has helped to reach younger audiences and stay relevant on a rapidly evolving social media landscape. 

Branding Strategy of BMW

The branding strategy of this premium car manufacturer focuses on providing high-quality products that highlight innovation, excellent engineering, and cutting-edge technology. Here are a few points that BMW has in its marketing mix:

1. Premium Pricing

BMW positions itself as a premium brand manufacturing premium cars which is reflected in its pricing strategy. Its cars are prices higher than those of its competitors, but the brand’s reputation for quality and engineering justifies the premium. 

2. Performance-oriented

The company is known for producing high-performance vehicles, which reinforces the brand’s image as a leader in engineering and innovation. BMW’s focus on performance is also reflected in its advertising. 

Here’s the ad for the first-ever BMW M5 CS Sedan, an excellent example of how the company showcases the performance of its German miracle car:

Advertising Strategy of BMW

As for its advertising strategy, BMW has traditionally focused on creating memorable campaigns that emphasize the brand’s premium positioning and performance-oriented focus. 

The brand’s key elements for its advertising strategy are:

1. Emotional Appeal

BMW’s advertising often seeks to connect with consumers on an emotional level. This includes emphasizing the joy of driving, the thrill of high-performance vehicles, and the sense of freedom and independence that comes with owning a BMW. 

Below, find the ad where the brand used its creative storytelling strategies to engage with its audience:

2. Product-focused

BMW’s advertising campaigns often focus on the features and benefits of specific models. This includes highlighting performance features, technological innovations, and design elements that make BMW cars stand out from the competition. 

BMW iX1 – Electrify Your Dreams

3. Consistent messaging

Just like its branding strategy, BMW’s advertising is characterized by consistent messaging that reinforces the brand’s premium positioning and performance focus. The brand has consistently communicated its brand identity through all its marketing efforts. This includes a consistent visual identity, brand voice and messaging that emphasizes BMW’s engineering excellence and innovative spirit.

“BMW is fortunate-we don’t have too much of a dilemma as to what we’re going to call our cars.”  – Jim McDowell, Vice President of Marketing at BMW

The fact that BMW marketing strategy concentrates on high-end segments on a global scale and consistently defines premium brand identification renders success. Trendsetting and attractive product range deliberately targets affluent customers and demonstrates the success of the automaker’s global marketing strategy. If you want to build a strong marketing strategy for your company just like BMW, make sure to check out automotive marketing agencies to find the suitable agency to partner with. 

Responding sensitively to the unique values and purchasing behavior enabled BMW to transcend intended performance. So to specifically present, below we have listed brilliant examples of BMW commercials released in recent years and their underlying marketing tactics behind them.

6 Outputs from BMW’s Marketing Strategy

1. artistic approaches and creativity is a must.

As the leading brand of Mini-Cooper, creativity and true representation of the brand identity is essential for BMW. Plus, the style accents of the vehicles and the global marketing identity are truly based on art and creativity. That’s why almost in every ad campaign, we see a feature that imposes something different and artsy which connects strongly with high-end technology and an unusual concept of the artistic elements.

In the campaign, BMW Australia, collaborates with creative agency partner Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, and has launched Illuminated Landscapes, promoting the new X5. Illuminated Landscapes features artworks lit only by the X5’s Laserlights. Beaming an impressive 500 metres , the Laserlights are just one of the X5’s innovative technical features.

bmw marketing strategy case study

The jaw-dropping images and the video of the campaign show and explain that BMW is also good and powerful in art when collaborating with Clemenger BBDO and photographing the Australian landscapes.

2. Ambassador and Proud Presenter of the Latest Technologies

Considered as one of the biggest tech-savvy brands among their industry, BMW always follows the latest technologies as well as implementing them on the releasing car models. Combining virtual and augmented reality, BMW Art Car #18 has features from VR and AR, and is designed by Chinese artist, Cao Fei.

BMW M6 GT3 race car appeared on stage, in a matte black color. The augmented -and virtual- reality technology transforms the vehicle, with a sculpture moving and dancing while the car gets in shape.

3. Eager to Follow Content Marketing as a Flagship Marketing Strategy of BMW

BMW is eager to widen their potential audience by creating content that engages consumers beyond cars and “gets to the point”.

The brand sees a mobile-first, content-oriented approach which will help attract a broader audience and claims the recent relaunch of its website has already increased mobile visitors by 27%.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress 2019, the German carmaker’s Global Head of Digital Marketing, Jorg Poggenpohl, explained how  BMW  is extending its content beyond automotive to “enlarge the upper sales funnel”, meaning it is now also creating content around lifestyle, design, innovation and fashion.

bmw marketing strategy case study

Based on data-driven insights we wanted to create relevant and snackable content in helpful and entertaining ways. That way the business hopes to reach both existing customers and those that might be considering BMW but don’t yet own one. We were thinking customer, consumer-first, which means for us mobile-first with speed. We did it by combining two technologies, accelerated mobile pages and progressive web apps, to bring both ends together on one site. It also shows when creative and engineering prioritizes speed from the beginning of the project, before the first line of code is written.  – Jorg Poggenpohl

4. Using Guest Stars in BMW Marketing Campaigns

One of the most traditional and best-known marketing tip for brands to use celebrities as the brand ambassadors. In the automotive industry, this is frequently working for the new features and models of the products to especially identify with the new products as well. This also doubles the connection to customers.

In the campaign of M2 Coupe, BMW released its digital-first campaign and enlisted model Gigi Hadid in an interactive 360 degree film. The film, which debuted on YouTube and Facebook, was directed by Marc Forster, who directed films such as “James Bond – Quantum of Solace” and “World War Z”.

bmw marketing strategy case study

Hadid was immediately impressed: BMW is such an iconic brand. The fact that I get to be the face of this campaign is definitely a career highlight for me. The M2 is such a cool, fun car I had a blast working on this project.

5. Showing off The Competitive Side

As known being famous for its contraversial print ads, the automotive industry is sometimes being quite aggressive with the attributions and we know that this is a 100% working digital marketing strategy.

BMW’s new ad is routing Tesla’s new model for its timeless waiting lists. The question for the users is, “Will you wait, or drive?”

Famous for its sarcastic marketing approaches,  BMW  is caving in Tesla’s Model 3 with its competitor-model 330e plug-in hybrid because of the release problems. The teasing is just because BMW already in-use with its product, while  Tesla  is not, so the fastest aired-one wins this competition.

“You’ll do your taxes twice, maybe more… You’ll ring in the New Year twice, maybe more…” Here, the ad is trying to explain the postponed dates for the Tesla 3 model.

“You can pay deposit and wait, you can put your name on a list, and wait… or you can drive…” We see the Tesla Superchargers in the ad but without the cars on, thus strengthening the BMW’s brand-image.

Tesla’s marketing strategy ; however, is no different than any other car manufacturer, we must say!

dan-institute-digital-marketing-courses-january-2021-banner-2-for -listings

6. Deep Knowledge About Who To Reach and How-To

Heading into 2020, millennial works and marketing techniques are essential to apply and contribute even among the authentic brands, and BMW is known that they effectively use social media and 3rd wave communication platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat when in popularity.

BMW designed a car inside Snapchat’s AR lenses, that almost looks like it’s real and ‘driveable’. The automobile brand is the first to create a 3D augmented reality kind of a product partnering with  Snapchat  to roll out the new advert campaign to launch the  BMW X2 . Last week, the LA based company, Snap Inc, began seeing ads from BMW that link to the AR version of the new car, which lets customers foresee how products look in the real world before buying them.

As part of the project, Snapchat users can customize the augmented-reality version of the car. They can make changes to the colour and move it around to view it from different perspectives. BMW is also running mobile-like video ads within Snapchat, for users to swipe up on them to play with the Lens.

BMW is the first brand to launch Snapchat’s AR ads, yet we’re expecting others to make their moves in soon. BMW’s marketing strategy is not afraid of innovative approaches.

BMW positions itself as a pioneer in using the newest technology and following the biggest updates in the digital marketing industry. If you like to see more BMW’s marketing campaigns , make sure to have a look. There is a bittersweet competition between the well-known car brands so we also recommend you to check out mercedes marketing strategy to get inspired! 

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Repurposing your TV spot as your YouTube campaign? There’s a better way

When running a YouTube video campaign, it’s easy enough to reuse your TV commercial, run it against your core audience, and call it a day. While repurposing your TV commercial online may help upper-funnel metrics like awareness, it may not actually drive action. And what if you thought beyond your brand’s typical demographics? What creative video assets prompt different audiences to take action?

These are the questions BMW Canada set out to answer when it teamed up with Google’s Unskippable Labs on a video ad experiment for the launch of its all-new 8 Series vehicle.

Think with Google

Source: Google/Ipsos, U.S., “How People Shop with YouTube” study, 18- to 64-year olds who go online at least once per month and have purchased a car in the last year (n=400), July 2018.

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Research shows 75% of auto shoppers say online video has influenced their shopping habits or purchases . 1 But how and why can change depending on the viewer. BMW Canada wanted to explore how nontraditional storytelling could drive action with different digital audiences. Using TrueView for action to encourage viewers to visit the BMW 8 Series’ “request a test drive” page, the brand experimented with three different video styles: a traditional television commercial , an ad focused on the car’s interior , and an ad focused on the car’s performance and sleek exterior .

The results of the experiment proved there’s more than one formula for success when it comes to creative assets and audiences. As tempting as it is to stick with your tried-and-true TV creative asset and your core audience, consider testing the waters.

Experimenting with the creative: How the TV commercial fared

Picture a typical car commercial. You’re probably envisioning long, sweeping exterior shots of a car on winding roads or in expansive cityscapes. While those flashy ads can drive upper-funnel metrics like recall and awareness, BMW Canada found that its typical commercial did not drive the required site visits to its “request a test drive” pages.

The brand found that the ad focused on the car’s interior drove 8X more site visits than standard TV ads and 20X more site visits than the ad focused on the car’s exterior.

There’s more to an audience than age and gender

During the experiment, BMW Canada served the three ads to its core audiences, typically working professionals in large cities between the ages of 24 and 50. Using YouTube’s audience solutions , BMW Canada also tested targeting more specific audiences, like luxury travelers, and serving creative based on life event signals, like a job change.

Luxury travelers were 8X more likely to convert.

When the campaign was over, the team found luxury travelers were 8X more likely to convert and learned there were opportunities to invest beyond one defined audience.

The Unskippable Labs experiment has helped BMW Canada shift its perspective, influencing the way the brand thinks about video as part of its 2020 media strategy. It showed the team that, just like customers, video ad campaigns aren’t one size fits all. Embracing multidimensional audiences with a variety of video creative can mean a faster route to the right customers.

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The road to 2025: preparing for tomorrow’s auto industry today, 3 ways youtube is steering the car buyer’s path to purchase, the 5 auto shopping moments every brand must own, why your online video strategy should be more than uploading your tv spot, jenny cheung, sources (1).

1 Google/Ipsos, U.S., “How People Shop with YouTube” study, 18- to 64-year olds who go online at least once per month and have purchased a car in the last year (n=400), July 2018.

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bmw marketing strategy case study

Within three years, BMW went on to become the top luxury car manufacturer in India, surpassing Mercedes-Benz, which had been present in the country for more than a decade. The cases lists the strategies adopted by BMW on its journey to reach this position and also discusses the challenges it is likely to face from existing and new competitors like Mercedes Benz and Audi.

The case will help the students: » Understand the issues and challenges faced by established companies in a new market. » Analyze the strategies that market leaders should follow to counter competition from new entrants into the market (expanding the total market, expanding market share, and defending market share). » Analyze the strategies that the market challengers should follow in attacking the market leaders. » Discuss and debate whether the strategies followed by BMW would let it continue the lead over Mercedes and others.

BMW, BMW India, BMW in India, Passenger car industry in India, Pricing, Campaigns, Distribution, Premium cars, Aspirational brand, Premium dealership, Mercedes Benz India, Joint venture, Complete knocked down kits, Sales subsidiary, Sporty cars, BMW 5 Series, Complete built-up units, BMW 3 Series, BMW X1, BMW X3, Pre-owned cars, BMW Financial Services India, BMW Studio

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Driving a comeback strategy for BMW

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bmw marketing strategy case study

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