In any product caregory, whether it is automobiles, home entertainment systems, clothing, or whatever there are always going to be buyers who understand the products, understand what constitutes a quality product and understand the difference between high quality and lower quality products and make their purchase decisions based on that knowledge.
Originally Posted by mdsbuc
LOL, I love the whole post, but the highlighted area just cracks me up and is so true...
There will also always be unsophisticated consumers who can't tell the difference and buy by the label or by the price tag. From a marketing standpoint this category is not a good consumer base to build a brand on because the "image over quality" crowd is a fickle and unloyal crowd who tend to go for "the flavor of the week".
There will also always be customers who can tell the diffenence but feel that a "lesser" product is sufficient for their needs and that the extra cost of the more expensive product (even if they can easily afford it) is not justified. Not everyone who can afford a Bentley drives a Bentley.
As I have mentioned here I have participated in a number of BMW marketing events and BMW is very aware of what built their brand and what their core market is. They fully understand that they are viewed as a car that combines performance with luxury and if they go to far in either direction they will loose their focus along with their core market.
The 3 Series accounts for a huge portion of BMWs sales and is very sucessful to the success of the company. BMW is very aware that most 3 Series are used as daily drivers and that the owners depend on them for basic transportation and expect a certain level of civility and creature comforts. Even a so called "stripper" 3 Series is reasinably well equipped. BMW is also very aware that a large proportion of their customers feel that they have purchased "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and take great pride in the way their cars drive.
Depending on the model and options chosen a 3er can be geared toward more sport, more luxury or a combination of both, but it is never going to be too extreme in either direction. In other words you are not going to be able to option a 3 Series into either a Lotus Exige or a Lincoln Town Car.
Do many of the BMW models have more performance than can regularly utilized on the street? Certainly, but that describes most cars available today. If you don't believe me try going for a ride around a track with a professional driver in a Honda Accord and you will see how much potential most modern cars have. Does the fact that that potential is there mean the owners of those cars will drive them recklessly? Some will some won't. I have seen reckless drivers in Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas.
Having a 300 horsepower car may not be necessary but it does not mean that the owner will use that power irresponsibly any more than the fact that your next door neighbor has an 800 watt amplifier and 8 speakers means that he is going to be playing it full blast at 3:00AM. Of course playing music full blast won't kill anyone (unless its a Kanye West recording) so maybe that is not a good anaology. But on second thought playing Kanye West at full volume may cause your neighbors to try to kill you so maybe it is a good analogy.
I recently spoke to Lexus executive (he was driving an LF-A). I mentioned how much I had liked my SC300 and he agreed that it was a great car and the fact that Lexus had not continued in that direction and that they had develped a reputaion for building cushy, souless cars had tarnished their reputation and hurt sales. Lexus is now working very hard to release models that are viewed as sporty and fun to drive to try to regain their position as the best selling "luxury" brand which is now BMW.
I remember an incident from a number of years ago when I ran the high end sound room at a stereo store in Boston. A customer wandered into the sound room and saw a pair of very large and very expensive speakers at the back of the room (I can't rememer what they were but the were about $1,800 a pair). He listened for a few minutes and commented on how great they sounded but $1,800 speakers were out of his price range. I explained that the speaker that were playing were actually the EPI 100s that were sitting next to them and sold for about $90 each. He told me that he was not interested in purchasing any cheap $90 speakers and walked out of the room.
Drivers Club at Lime Rock
The Glen Club
International Motor Racing Research Center
Cayman Club Nor'Easters
Madison Ave. Sports Car Driving and Chowder Society (Only a Vice President)
Sports Car Club of America
Polish Racing Drivers of America (PRDA)
American Mural Project
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
Mount Washington Observatory
Society of Automotive Historians
Last edited by captainaudio; 07-28-2012 at 06:23 PM.