Marketing Planning and Strategy (BMW Company)

Executive Summary

BMW is a popular and high value brand with a wide range of diversity in its product portfolio. The company experiences numerous forms of competition, both internal and external, and this has been the major reason for the company’s constant efforts in enhancing its competitiveness and profitability in the market. For instance, the highly competition in the automotive industry means the company had to devise more enduring marketing strategies to overcome the obstacles within the market. Apart from competition, the BMW faces other multiple threats in the market. On the other hand, the company enjoys other opportunities which it has been able to make good use of to make BMW among the most powerful market share holders in the world. In analyzing both the strengths and weaknesses within the marketing strategy of the company, proposals are made on the possible ideal practices that would improve the quality of products and expand the market of the company’s products.

    Introduction

BMW is among the leading producers of cars of premium standards within the automotive industry. The company is distinguished from the rest by its unique design, luxurious and high quality approach of its products (Curnow, 2007). The company has been subjected to a healthy competition from other market actors, especially in the form of low-price substitutes, which is the biggest threat to the company’s products. However, BMW has often demonstrated strength in the financial results hence retaining much of its shares in the market. This paper aims at analyzing the BMW marketing strategy, the strengths and weaknesses of such practices in its quest to maintain relevance in the flooded automotive market (Evans, 2008). In addition to this, the paper proposes the probable changes that could enhance the efficiency of the company as far as adapting to the current market dynamicity is concerned, as evident through the current mix in the market.

    Situation Analysis

BMW is one of the most coveted and strong manufacturers of cars in the world. The company boasts of a strong financial performance as compared to its competitors, which has undoubtedly enhanced the loyalty level among its customers (Papasolomou and Kitchen, 2011). It is on this basis that the company has been often ranked as one of the companies with high customer satisfaction indexes in the world. While many large manufacturers of cars struggle with the unstable market, which has led to fall in the, sales, profit and market shares, BMW continues to enjoy expansion and growth in its motor production (Gabrielsson, Gabrielsson and Seppäl, 2012).

The BMW group is among the ten biggest manufacturers of cars in the world with the possession of very strong motor brands namely, the BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini, with the three considered as among the absolute brands in the world, on the basis of their strength (Kurt and Hulland, 2013). In addition to this, the BMW group commands a strong position in the motorcycle sector on the market, where major focus has been put in the financial service area. Today, BMW produces cars in different types of segments. On the other hand, the company is a renowned larger manufacturer of motorbikes. The unifying factor of all the products from the BMW is the high purchase prices and high quality.

The BMW’s program of cars are among others, coupes, sedans, convertibles as well as the sport wagons, which are one, three, five, six, and seven series. Apart from these, there are other models, the SUVs known as X3 and X5, together with the roadster referred to as Z$ (Tuten, 2009). The company provides M-models in the form of 3, 5, 6, and Z4 series, where M symbolizes Motorsport, the high performance cars equivalent to the race cars.

Competitive Analysis

BMW is currently facing numerous challenges, amongst which is the external competition from other manufacturers, and overcapacity within the company. Generally, manufacturers may be categorized into those that concentrate on exclusiveness and emotional values, and they are referred to as premium brands (Curnow, 2007). In this category lie the Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. On the other hand, certain companies focus on quantity, and they include Ford and Opel.

The problem of overcapacity has been a recurrent phenomenon in many companies, who have managed to handle this in various ways. In the BMW Company, however, this issue has been overlooked as a major concern, and the company has moved to invest in product-driven production and new products as a way of expanding the capacity of production in the company (Evans, 2008). On the other hand, the company’s high pricing has previously resulted in piling up of produced vehicles, and the company has not been forced to initiate strategy changes to reduce the high prices in order to get rid of the stock. In this case, therefore, BMW has retained both its price levels as well as the premium brand (Tuten, 2009). There has been a host of complex corporations and structures of owners within the market of automobiles.

Essentially, BMW brand is very highly valued and very popular in the global market. In this case, therefore, the premium segment market provides the company with an advantage in terms of the prices of its cars. For instance, the prices for their products are significantly high due to the well establishment of the brand, which ultimately develops legitimacy as well as justifying the purchase of the BMW cars by the customers. A better example for this is the BMW 3-series, which falls within the premium middle class segment of cars. Regardless of the prices of the product, the BMW 3-series brand remains the best selling amongst the premium competitors together with the other segment of common cars. BMW has a diverse product portfolio where many car versions are offered in different segments. Additionally, the various cars made available by the company exhibit homogeneity in different markets hence, regardless of where the car is bought, the identity is maintained in terms of after sales services and performances, and this helps in the creation of creditability among the company’s customers.

The other strength for the BMW, which gives it a competitive advantage over other players in the market are the sales it commands on the American market. However, Audi has particularly had very strong sales which have increased all over its markets, and this strength needs to be well observed by the BMW Company. Similarly, it is of great importance that BMW considers the possibility of Audi launching several other new models, which could surpass the abilities of manufacturing exhibited by other premium car manufacturers. In the past, BMW has had high number of sales compared to its competitors, who include Mercedes-Benz, and has equally registered significantly high margin of profit from its car sales, and this is part of the market strength enjoyed by the company.  The company has been shielded from the frequent problems that other rivals like Mercedes-Benz have encountered mostly due to the high quality of the BMW products. It is such quality that has maintained the company’s loyal customers due to the high customer satisfaction index.

Market and customer analysis

The major objective of the company has always been to ensure continuous profit growth process through focusing on segments with high profit markets. It is for this reason that the company uses its brand BMW to pursue more success through exploitation of the global market. The BMW Group productions are aimed at satisfying different types of customers in line with their variable needs, and this is done through providing many model varieties for low, middle, and luxury market segment (Mangram, 2012).  The company is in constant pursuit of more market opportunities through knew decisions that are majorly technology-based, and this significantly improves the productions standards by setting new product standards that comply with the dynamic market for the products.

BMW boasts of having achieved the move to ensure fulfillment of the customer individual requests, and it currently focuses on the ambiguous objective of providing its customers with personalized, individual car on the agreed dates through advanced ordering (Curnow, 2007). In addition to this, BMW Company has set a new benchmark in reduction of maximum production time for its in-demand products to enable prompt deliveries of products as demanded by the customers. In this way, the company enhances convenience in its services, which gives is a competitive advantage over other players in the market.

The company’s plan to develop the engine automobiles based on hydrogen is among the loge-term marketing strategies, and through this, the company is bound to dominate the future market of automotives, considering the natural resources deficit foreseen in the near future (Evans, 2008). The company currently has experimental hydrogen engine automotives in existence. BMW Company relies significantly on the future big project in E-commerce, which has been thought to enhance the employees and customers’ number as the company seeks to expand its production and markets all over the world.

The company additionally seeks to create a platform for use in supporting the whole chain of process from the buying all through the sales for the manufacturing industry. The company has initiated a personnel policy that is well defined, which makes the employees receive treatment of the standard befitting important parties for success as opposed to mere corporate funds (Papasolomou and Kitchen, 2011). With such level of employee motivation, the company is less likely to lose its productive human resource personnel to the competitors and this enables the company operate on a relatively lower cost but with high economic growth.

Opportunities and threats

The BMW Company enjoys numerous opportunities as far as the marketing of the company products is concerned. For instance, the company enjoys relatively low interest rates on most of its raw materials and the finished products as imposed by the government (Palmer, Simmons and Mason, 2014). On the other hand, the company has realized an increasing number of products sale regardless of the economic downturn experienced in the unstable global market. In addition to this, the company has been successful in the exploitation of the technological advancements in maximizing their sales and marketing opportunities in the market.

Technology-based modes of product advertisement have been key to the company’s widespread market and by extension, good product sale. BMW has other marketing opportunities in the majority of the world’s developing countries such as china and India, where the company enjoys popularity advantage over the other manufacturing companies (Papasolomou and Kitchen, 2011). Another opportunity that has favored the company’s prosperity is the flexibility with which it has been able to manufacture and develop its products.

The company faces numerous threats in its operations, among which are the threats of new entrance in the market. In the automobile industry especially, the threat of new entrants in the industry may be comparatively low owing to the high capital required in the setting up of the manufacturing plant together with the assembly liner (Curnow, 2007). However, other multinational companies continue to exploit the market hence exploiting the markets initially dominated by the BMW Company. On the other hand, the company faces the substitute’s threat. BMW is recognized for its luxurious and powerful brand image. However, its position in the in the exclusive range of cars makes it vulnerable to other competing options like the GM, Toyota and Mercedes (Research and Markets, 2013). This makes the substitutes’ threat for BMW significantly high…………