Even competitors could benefit from using the new branding division, says BMW
Jimi Beckwith
22 November 2016

BMW is to start up a new division that will advise companies on their branding, according to the company's head of future retail and premium retail experience, Michele Fuhs.

Brands such as Lufthansa and other third parties would benefit from the consultations, and Fuhs said even competitor brands could use the consultation service, although he added that dealings with rivals would be restricted to only those that would be beneficial or neutral to BMW’s strategy.

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Speaking at BMW’s Future of Retail Symposium in Amsterdam, Fuhs made the announcement after a series of presentations from fashion brands and architects.

The subject of the symposium focused on how retail will change in reaction to its decline – automotive retail included – and how it can stay alive in the modern landscape.

Fuhs highlighted the weaknesses in current strategies to boost digital operations. “Digital is not the answer to solve missing customer satisfaction," he said.

The sub-brand, the name of which hasn’t yet been revealed, would work with companies to create stronger brand identities. The idea came about after Fuhs toyed with the idea of a BMW hotel.

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Fuhs did not say whether the division would be an in-house operation akin to the M and i sub-brands, or a more independent set-up. Fuhs also distanced the project from the term ‘consultancy’, although did not give an alternative term as to what the company’s role would be.

A BMW spokesman said it was too early to know exactly what the division's operations would entail.

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22 November 2016
When BMW stops attracting such To***rs to its own brand, maybe, just maybe other companies may seek guidance. Until then, good luck with this idea...

23 November 2016
...could be so astonishingly arrogant.

Unless I am mistaken, isn't this the same brand that has tried to copy Apple's retail model (product genius etc.) and was asleep at the switch when Audi launched the A5 Sportback (witness the 3 Series Gran Coupe, launched c. 3 years later?)

Hardly a "thought leader", then.

If BMW were a "disrupter" a la Tesla they might have some equity to support this. As things stand? Just another car company.

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