BMW to adopt aggressive marketing strategies to promote MINI in India

Monday 09 April 2012, 12:15 PM by

BMW India will make full use of strong marketing techniques over the next two years as part of brand building measures for its MINI marquee. Regarding this, Dr. Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW Group India, “We are focused on a strong, surprising, daring and unexpected marketing strategy for the Indian market.” In India, Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW are the leaders of the premium car segment of the auto industry; the segment itself has grown steadily at the rate of 50 per cent till Q4 of 2011. MINI aims to capitalise on the growing market with a line up of iconic products that will appeal to a niche class of buyers.

The company rushed towards bringing its iconic MINI marquee to the country when it found out that Indian fans accounted for more than 'Likes' on Facebook, the world's largest social networking website. It took the company on 6 months to launch the marquee in the country, where its sole competitor is Volkswagen Beetle.

In order to enhance the presence of MINI brand in India, BMW chose to place dummy models of the cars in its portfolio on a lake located in the vicinity of New Delhi and on the rooftops of skyscrapers. It is an all new marketing technique for the domestic market, though this has earlier been used internationally as part of its 'daring' marketing strategy. This move is a fitting reply to Volkswagen's 'out of home' marketing initiatives for its Polo hatchback model. Apart from this, MINI will join hands with several creative and events agencies in order to come up with unique ideas to promote the brand.

Bejamin Nagel, Head, MINI India, stated, “It is a premium brand, not a mass product; therefore mass media will not be the key focus of our marketing strategy for the brand. Guerilla and experiential marketing is at the centre of our plan for Mini in India, as it is in other markets.” He also commented that the company plans to invest a large sum on BTL activities rather than the conventional ATL activities in order to market MINI.

According to Schaaf, BMW India is positive about the marketing investments for this year. This is in spite of a notable rise in taxes in the 2012 Union Budget as well as continual rise in prices of petrol. It has raised its budget for marketing by 40 per cent in Q1 of 2012, which is expected to rise in the future. Since its showcasing at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, 100 MINIs have been booked, while the first exclusive MINI showroom was opened in Mumbai last week.

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