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BMW’s Simple Message Design Strategy — Branding 101

Luxury Car. Drive Your Message Home |

This car company has a large team and amazing technology under the hood. But it’s the message design strategy that can help you update your personal or professional brand.

The Car and The Tagline

BMW is the #12 Global Brand for 2012. According to Interbrand one factor to their success is “BMW’s handling characteristics.” Said another way, that car is a fun and sassy ride. From the way it takes a curve to how it handles an accident, it’s a little machine built for the road.

To take the words out of BMW’s own mouth,

“we only make one thing, the ultimate driving machine.”

This is their core message and currently they use every marketing opportunity to drive that idea home.

In their 2011 commercial an airplane catches up to a BMW in order to top off the driver’s coffee. That 30 second spot ends with this statement,

“Chances are you’ll need refueling before it will. The BMW 5 Series, the ultimate driving machine.”

The same message shows up at the end a different commercial demonstrating a new feature that allows you to open the trunk with your foot. BMW wants you to remember who they are and what they offer.

What’s Your Message?

If your marketing pieces fail to say something that resonates with your target audience, then it doesn’t matter how cool the commerical, the pictures, the website, the brochure or the business card looks.

Message design is the same for all us, it’s about delivering a consistent and relevant conversation that gets attention from your people. You deliver that message in every platform including the words you choose and the images you share.

BMW is not the only king of the hill, however. They go head to head with Mercedes Benz’s whose core message is class, luxury and prestige. The engineering for both vehicles is amazing AND the message design strategies are effective. Make no mistake, it’s the combination of the two that keeps them at the top as the best selling luxury cars in the US.

A few message design lessons for small business owners.

You can break it down to three basic steps that every successful brand tends to follow.

  1. Figure out who you are and what you do for people.
  2. Decide the best way to explain your primary benefit to your audience.
  3. Share that benefit everywhere you can.

There’s a pattern to effective message design. Work to understand it. And then use it to move your personal or professional brand forward — on any budget.

PHOTO: Luxury Car by ASP Inc via Fotolia

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