After BMW India discovered last year that over one lakh likes from its Facebook fans were from India, it took less than six months for the brand to launch its luxury small car, Mini, in the Indian market. Beetle of Volkswagen is the only competitor of Mini in the Indian market.
Sale of premium segment cars, largely dominated by Mercedes, Audi and BMW in India has been growing at a promising rate of over 50 per cent till the last quarter of 2011. Mini plans to focus on brand building with strong marketing activities in the next two years to cash in on the growing premium cars segment.
“We are focused on a strong, surprising, daring and unexpected marketing strategy for the Indian market,” said Dr Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW Group India.
In the overall marketing spends, the company will spend a large share of money on BTL activities than on classic ATL activities, informed Bejamin Nagel, Head, Mini India.
Mini’s guerilla marketing strategy
The brand’s dummy cars floating on a lake near Delhi and being placed on the roofs of skyscrapers is a new strategy adopted by BMW in India. While it may be a replication of BMW’s global ‘daring’ marketing strategy, as its marketing officials call it, the step appears seems to counter Volkswagen’s out of home strategy for Polo.
The brand is all set to work with multiple creative and events agencies to devise diverse innovative ideas. “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,” asserted Nagel.
Optimistic in 2012
Schaaf said that BMW Group is optimistic about its marketing spends in 2012, despite a significant increase in the excise duty in General Budget provisions and constant hike in fuel prices, especially last year.
BMW India increased its marketing spend by 40 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 and it’s only going to go up in future. “Though there is a sense of uncertainty in the market due to reasons such as regulatory hurdles and fuel price, I am sure optimistic about the auto sector in India. China also went through a similar uncertainty, as did many other markets, but the uncertainty will not affect our optimism. Our media spend will continue to grow,” he added.
Mini opened its first showroom in Mumbai and has received 100 bookings so far.