We’ve long felt that in many areas, BMW’s top guns could use a little more starch in the collar. Not that the brand has lost its way – one trip to redline in the M3, or knee dragging experience on the S1000RR will tell you otherwise; but as a complete unit, the company has been struggling with focus of late.
Focus on “Efficient Dynamics,” focus on “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and its performance image, focus on practicality and utility – all of these facets are important, but which one should resonate through the entire lineup to offer one thunderous message in buyers’ heads?
Furthermore, BMW has decided to begin building front-wheel-drive cars (other than MINIs, and wearing the roundel), spawning us to write our strongly messaged opinion piece: “The Oval Roundel” many months ago.
Autoblog gives us their take on the matter, and we must say, it’s an interesting read indeed.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
“Something has gone horribly wrong at BMW. And I think I know what it is. Back in 2006, then- BMW marketing director Jack Pitney (who tragically died in 2010) shared with me a Powerpoint strategy showing how far too many people, in his mind, weren’t considering a BMW because they were intimidated or otherwise put off by the performance image of the brand. It was this finding that led BMW to first do a corporate ad campaign touting BMW’s independent ownership, and then the softer “Joy of Driving” campaign that ran most of last year. It was literally meant to advance a “softer side” of BMW, and attract more people who were not necessarily driving enthusiasts to the brand.”
“Joy of Driving.” “Built in America.” Electric front-drive city cars. BMW is starting to feel a lot like Toyota in how it goes about its business and its brand – what with Toyota advertising its assembly plants and how it is working on a self-powered rollercoaster, while it forgets that it’s interiors have become shockingly bad and shoddy.