Luxury automakers are beginning to seep their way into the consumer’s life in new, exciting and higher-scale ways. The companies are attempting to infuse the brands into aspects of our lives that are well beyond mere driving.
We’ll start with Porsche, who announced the opening of The Porsche Experience Center in Carlson, California. A short drive from downtown Los Angeles (pending traffic, of course), the Center will span 53-acres, providing a world class test track and handling course with special surfaces to imitate rain, ice and snow, and an off-road area with extreme 45 degree declines and ascents. In addition, there’s going to be a fully-equipped personal training fitness program that mimics the programs used to train Porsche racecar drivers. That portion of the Experience Center is called The Porsche Human Performance Center.
Sounds kinda awesome. But…you’ll have to wait to try and sculpt your body like a sports car, since it’s slated to open in the fall of 2013.
BMW is taking its branding in a different direction, choosing to focus on what consumer’s accessorize themselves with (the company already released a BMW hand-sanitizer last year). BMW opened its first BMW Brand Store on the swanky Avenue George V in the most uber of the riche areas of Paris last week. This is part of BMW’s Future Retail strategy, which aims to:
1) Increase the number of possible contact points with customers and prospects (RAWR);
2) Increase the services and benefits offered in its retail channels; and
3) Enhance the retail experience at all touch points (double RAWR).
BMW plans to open more stores soon in the UK, China and the Netherlands. And if one were to surmise a guess, a retail location in the U.S. is probably being discussed in Germany, too. Outside of the hand sanitizer, there’s no clue as to what BMW will sell in these stores, though. (BMW cereal?) The Brand Store will, however, allow customers to inspect new BMWs in a friendlier and more easy-going environment.
I hope these stores are huge, because I can’t imagine comfortably looking at a new BMW in the foyer of an Abercrombie and Fitch.
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