BMW Harvard Case Studies
What is the strategic significance of the BMW Z3 launch? Firstly, the launch of the BMW Z3 is significant for the company as it helped the company inch closer towards their long term goal in becoming a global brand. Prior to the introduction of BMW Z3, the most common mindset of the general public about BMW is that the superior quality of their products are due to the fact that it was made in Germany. With the Z3 manufactured in Spartanburg USA, BMW can show that they can be a successful global company by manufacturing at strategic locations even when it’s not in Bavaria.
Furthermore, this launch had helped people to associate the quality of BMW’s product to the company itself rather than its manufacturing location. Secondly, the launch of Z3 further supported BMW’s effort to reposition their brand from “Yuppie Status Symbol” to their much preferred “Ultimate Driving Machine”. As shown by the BMW Unit Sales History, this campaign was successful in helping BMW increase their unit sales in the U. S. and Worldwide by 10. 7 thousands and 16. 2 thousands respectively in a year. This is significant as the Z3 helped generate dealer traffic while stimulating interest in other BMW product line.
Lastly, the production of the Z3 model also satisfied the needs of a certain segment in the market while simultaneously enabling them to become the pioneer of the modern roadster category by releasing it before their such as Porsche and Mercedes. The Z3 appealed to the Generation-Xers as it gives them a sense of uniqueness, it appealed the Gen-40s as the Z3 materialized their roadster car they’ve been dreaming of all their lives and lastly, the Z3 reminded the Baby Boomer of the roadsters of yesteryear. 2. How would you measure the overall performance of the launch?
In my opinion, one way to measure the overall performance of the launch is by simply comparing the projected unit sales against the actual unit sales. However, another way of measuring Z3’s launch performance is by analyzing the publicity impact of BMW’s advertising campaign such as: 1 The GoldenEye Product Placement: This was a brilliant decision as it allowed them to, without any monetary fee, add attractiveness to the Z3 and reach foreign customers and younger generation who are generally harder to reach.
In addition, the time gap between the movie’s premier and the Z3’s launch gave BMW the opportunity to build cars to exact customer specification. 2 Neiman Marcus Catalog: By offering a James Bond edition of the Z3 in the catalog, BMW had successfully created a buzz and excitement by requiring over 6000 customers to be on a waitlist to purchase the 100 cars that were available. 3 BMW Internet Site: The “Build Your Own Roadster” module was important as it generated buzz by building excitement, anticipation and awareness towards the Z3 and perhaps other models.
4 Press Launch in Central Park: This particular activity resulted in extensive coverage in both broadcast and print news companies. This was a good decision as it increases the awareness of the product with a higher reach than many traditional advertising methods. 5 Jay Leno & Radio DJ Program: Normally, I would advocate against practicing these methods of advertising as they are a very risky and has a very large reach. However, the amount of word of mouth resulted from these methods suggests that this program was in fact successful.
6 “Go: An American Road Story” Video: In my opinion, this method was unnecessary as the emotional and nostalgic content of the video contradicts with Z3’s new and exciting image. 3 What are your recommendations for the Phase 2 and why? After the success of the first phase, BMW now faces another problem as they must formulate a strategy that can both sustain the public interest and convert those interests into actual order. To preserve the public’s interest, BMW can maintain contacts with their potential customers by disclosing relevant messages through e-mail, mail, or phone.
The content of these messages should be designed in a manner that will stimulate an immediate physical or psychological reaction. For instance, the message can include an information regarding the current state and development of the Z3 or perhaps the message can include an invitation to take the Z3 for a trial during a specific time window. To convert interests to actual order, I would recommend BMW to implement a more informative advertising rather than another awareness building, non-traditional marketing.
For instance, perhaps now BMW can inform its audience about its financing option for the Z3 or the steps that they can take to pre-order the car. Should they implement another non-traditional marketing campaign, they may wane off the charm and effectiveness of their initial advertising, thus slowly turning them into a traditional marketing in the future. As non-traditional marketing was essential to the success of Z3’s introduction, it would be within BMW’s best interest to prevent excessive non-traditional marketing so that they can continue to implement it for their future new product offerings.