Villing & Company

BMW Emotional Branding: For Long-Term Customer Loyalty

In today’s world the most successful brands maximize their customer loyalty through emotional branding. Consumers make decisions based on their emotions and create their identity by purchasing the brands that best align with their own values, needs and wants. These companies have developed an emotional branding strategy represented by their logo, which serves as a symbol of trust for their long-term customers. BMW utilizes this technique through their mission and continues to have their brand grow.

A month ago BMW released a spot on YouTube for the occasion of Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche's retirement. They suggested that Zetsche is “ free at last” after 13 years of running the German manufacturer and that he can finally power a BMW i8 roadster now that he is finished. For some years now Mercedes-Benz and BMW have poked fun towards each other and in my opinion this might have been the best poke yet. BMW hired an actor that looks just like the retiring Mercedes- Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche, to depict his final send-off. The video was very respectful and gave a great tribute to the CEO, with a little twist at the end.

This video attracted over 1.6 million views on YouTube in just two days. How does this happen? Well not only are they two of the most inspiring and well-developed luxury car brands in the world, the way that BMW grabbed onto such a wide audience got people chatting. Word of mouth spread throughout and made this spot go viral. Not only did the video have a humorous touch, BMW also showed their sense of creativity and a true brand focus.  BMW dropped the mic on this video and made sure their point got across as intended. They want to share their mission in being “the world’s leading provider of premium products and services for individual mobility”. In this case, what better way is there to show that vision than having the competing CEO who is “ free at last” in complete control of their latest i8 roadster model.

BMW used this video to help differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract a wider audience while doing so. They stressed the six stages of emotional branding: 1) Capture attention, through their humorous appeal in their advertising 2) Encourage purchases, promoting their latest i8 roadster model 3) Develop a relationship, through their logo “sheer driving pleasure” 4) Develop customer loyalty, given through their premium customer service 5) Make your brand part of your customer’s life, by showing individual mobility involving the CEO of Mercedes-Benz socializing into the BMW family 6) Benefit from word of mouth business, by having consumers make the YouTube spot go viral resulting in over 4.1 million views.

Marketers in virtually any industry would be advised to follow these guidelines for building strong brand identity through an emotional connection to their consumers.

Filed Under: general, marketing

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