As a design agency that specialises in branding, we’re always on the lookout for how global brands look to engage with their target audience. Having recently purchased a BMW i3 electric car for the DC fleet, we thought we’d share our experience. Our BMW experience started online with a look at the i3 website https://www.bmw.co.uk/en_GB/new-vehicles/bmw-i/i3/2015/introduction.html where the design and development of the site made it easy to arrange a test drive.
Soon after, we received an email from our local BMW showroom in Newcastle upon Tyne, confirming our booking. It also included a personalised video introduction to the i3 showing a walk around of the actual electric car we which would be test driving.
After viewing the vehicle we were offered refreshments at their Continental Café, The Isetta Bar, before we had the test drive. This was a relaxing break, without any pressure from the sales team, giving us the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of the car and to look through the large amount of information provided by BMW. The in-house cafe gave the BMW experience a strong unique selling point, as the traditional image of pushy car salesman is still much of the buying public’s perception.
Excellent service and a warm welcome made the experience memorable, something which did have a genuine effect on our buying decision. That this was all complimentary and included as part of the visit, made us want to leave a tip.
After a well-paced wait, we were invited to begin our test drive. Before the test drive our salesman expanded on some of the points he’d highlighted during his personalised video introduction along with all of the other design features of the i3. The car lived up to the experience we’d encountered so far; it was a pleasure to drive and we were astonished by the acceleration which is as fast, from 0-30mph, as a BMW M3.
On the day we went to collect our new car we were given a complimentary bottle of wine; a seemingly small token for a large brand like BMW, but from the customers point of view, something which felt over-and-above. We were then escorted to our personal “Departure Lounge” where our new BMW i3 was waiting for us. The handover talk was conducted by one of the technical team who took us through all of the additional features of the car and off we drove delighted with the car along with the courteous and efficient service we had received (and also the bottle of wine of course?).
We received a phone call from the dealership a few days later asking if everything was satisfactory which made us feel that BMW really value their customers. This was followed up with a letter giving us details of their after care contact information.
One week later another call from BMW to ask if everything was still satisfactory and a complimentary pack which included a keys cover and note book. The design and finish of the pack tied in well with the experience we’d had in the lead up to buying the car.
This goes to show that to provide a top customer experience, the brand needs to be consistent in all aspects no matter at which point a customer can interact with your business. The tone of voice in the initial email; the experience in the cafe; the level of finish in the showroom; the salesman’s language and communication skills are all part of a modern brand. In an age when we have so much information to process, a business’ brand marketing needs to be considered and strategised in order for it to have appeal amongst the clutter.