Monday, August 28, 2006

Ries on BMW

In his latest Advertising Age column, Al Ries aims his "marketing focus" gun at BMW. Apparently, BMW isn't satisfied being the top-selling European car, so they are broadening their message.

Rather than just being about "performance", BMW is now touting its cars' fuel efficiency and safety. Not only does this new strategy lack focus, it isn't particularly credible.

Ries summarizes:

Any successful brand got to be successful by standing for something in the mind. Changing what you stand for is almost impossible unless you don't stand for anything at all. In other words, a brand that is nowhere in the mind is a brand that can be changed. A brand that stands for something in the mind is a brand that is forever locked into its position.
"BMW" means nothing if it doesn't mean "performance".

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