Shedding the negative impact of location with BMW.
Five years ago Mark Endras, then, the newest franchisee in Canada approached us with a unique challenge: steal market share from other Toronto-based BMW dealers. Durham BMW is located approximately 30 minutes east of Toronto. At the time, there were about ten other locations within close proximity to the city all offering the same vehicles, the same service and the same retail experience. On top of that, BMW Canada had imposed very stringent advertising guidelines which allowed dealers to select from pre-approved advertising creative and only run media within their allotted geographic territory.
The first challenge was the name. Durham BMW suggested to potential consumers that you needed to live in Durham region to consider a visit. Why would anyone from Toronto trek 30 minutes east (even if you were a driving enthusiast?). The second challenge was creating a unique point of differentiation in a stringent, parity environment.
Once we got immersed in the business, we noticed that the team at Durham BMW were doing some interesting things. First off, I must say that they really lived and loved the BMW brand. So much so that they would organize Sunday morning breakfasts at the dealership to watch the BMW F1 team compete. They held track days and invited guests to learn to race with their BMWs and encouraged non-owners to bring their high-performance vehicles and test them against other Beemers. They had a small, but passionate following. We used this as our jumping off point. We decided to reposition their dealership as the home of BMW performance. Over the course of the next six months, we shed the name “Durham BMW” and renamed it “Endras BMW” after the owner’s namesake. The tagline “Obsessed with Performance” was introduced. The dealership forged partnerships with aftermarket performance parts providers and enthusiasts throughout the Toronto area quickly learned that Endras was the place to go for those who were serious about their BMWs.
To launch the rebrand, Endras BMW brought 14 of their performance obsessed clients on a trip of a lifetime to BMW worldwide headquarters in Germany. There, they would pick up a fleet of all new M-series vehicles and take them on an exhilarating drive through the streets and highways of Germany and Austria. They would even receive race training at the world famous Nurburgring. A camera crew was sent with them to document the trip and the short 7-minute film received 50,000 views in the first week on BMW.tv
These 14 influencers quickly spread the word about their experience and Endras soon after became the leading retailer of M-Series vehicles in Ontario.
Shortly thereafter, we launched The Ultimate Blogger contest: a worldwide search for a community manager for Endras BMW. The campaign went viral.
Not bad for a little dealership in Durham.