Keynote 2020 Preview: How BMW Puts Brand Authenticity Above All


Meaghan Corzine | February 18, 2020

Ahead of this year's Luxury Society Keynote, Tobias Weber, BMW Head of Brand & Entertainment Cooperations and KOL Relations, discusses how brand continuity helps BMW remain a top player in the ever-dynamic luxury field.

This year's Luxury Society Keynote in Geneva will gather industry experts and leaders alike to address customer experiences in the era of new luxury. This year's theme will highlight the key strategies being implemented by some of the world's largest and most successful luxury brands. 

Among the impressive panel of speakers is Tobias Weber -- Head of Brand & Entertainment Cooperations and Key Opinion Leader Relations at BMW. After working in BMW's design department and overseeing international launch campaigns, Weber is now a key leader behind BMW's approach to brand authenticity, and is responsible for launching the luxury car manufacturer's KOL Relationship Managment. 

In anticipation of this year's event, Luxury Society sat down with Weber to get a sneak peak at BMW's success and it's plan for the year to come.

How does brand authenticity allow for more freedom in the luxury field?

Brand authenticity is central to everything we do. It must be.

Our portfolio of products is vast and incredibly varied, sometimes even opposing each other, but each one of our vehicles all share our core of "Sheer Driving Pleasure." By creating this continuity in our products we are able to talk in a credible tone to each one of our customers.

Once you know who you are and you are true to your brand value and identity, your customer will believe and trust you, allowing you to explore ideas and messages that will resonate with them.

How does BMW commit to its core values while still adapting to meet consumer needs?

It is vital to understand what our customer wants and what he expects from us. At BMW, we constantly study what mobility of the future will look like, how consumers are evolving, what their expectations are from us as a brand and we strive to deliver the best products that respond to these needs.

However, all these new products - from BMW i to BMW M - must always be attached to our core value of delivering "The Ultimate Driving Machine" in everything we do. We endeavor to develop vehicles that respond to different definitions of what that driving experience may be for all our consumers. In the very near future, you will be able to choose your favorite BMW model and then decide on the power-train as a second step: combustion engine, diesel – or fully electric. We call this the “Power of Choice."

What sort of innovative projects has BMW worked on as the spaces of technology evolve? Have they been successful?

BMW technology is not just part of innovative projects, but entrenched in all our products. As technology permiates all of our lives, consumers demand it in their cars. This can be from "head-up displays" technology, the sound of the car, to fully electric cars to autonomous driving. Anticipating technological consumer needs and delivering products that answer to consumer lifestyle evolution is the only way for a company to grow with its existing consumer base, and the future one as well.

I would say that we have proven to be very successful in this domain. Proof of this is when we were bold enough to be the first premium car brand to introduce electric models nearly a decade ago: the BMW i3 and BMW i8. And again, these share the same insights, yet have totally different characters. The i3 being the first premium mega-city vehicle and the BMW i8 being the sportscar of the future as a Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle.

BMW encompasses an impressive number of consumer base segments. From Geneva Motor Show to CES to sports events, how does the brand go about reaching each one in a genuine way?

As you rightfully said, our costumer base is very large and very different-- not only in its purchasing power but in its age range, lifestyle, and need for mobility. A “one message in one place” will not resonate for all.

Knowing who you are as a brand for more than 100 years also means understanding who your customers are. What do they have in common? Where are they different?

At BMW the customer always comes first. So to truly understand your customer, you have to understand where they live digitally, what interests them, and where they are open to want to be talked to by a brand. Only then can you engage with them in the most genuine, authentic and emotional way. As a brand we have to meet them where they naturally are. It is here we found that our consumer becomes our advocate.

Find out more about how brands can better enhance the customer experience in the era of new luxury at the Luxury Society Keynote 2020 in Geneva, in partnership with Facebook and CNN Money Switzerland. Please email us for more information and ticketing enquiries. 

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