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MSc

International Automotive Engineering






Report:


Marketing
Market Segmentation and Positioning

Core Module 3
Management in International Companies

Group 2: Ferry Stevens
Koldobika Mardaraz
Matthias Heiser
Tutor: Prof. Dr. H. Seider
Hand in date: 26.01.2004


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Core - Module 3, Management in International Companies
Executive Summary

The base of every marketing policy is the segmentation of the market. Segmentation is
to divide a market which exists of heterogeneous products into homogeneous parts. The
advantages of segmentation for a company are to be more efficient, to be able to find a
niche market and to have a more simplified marketing policy.

The segmentation process starts with defining the total market. After dividing the market
in segments a profitable market segment should be chosen. The last two steps are the
positioning of the product in the market and adjusting the right marketing mix. According
Kotler, the next criteria are applicable to segment a market:

1. Geographical criteria
2. Demographical criteria
3. Psycho graphical criteria
4. Behaviour criteria

Positioning refers to the place a product occupies in consumers minds regarding
important attributes relative to competitive products. To position a product a company
needs to be well informed about the competitors, target group and the own company.
When there is enough knowledge acquired, a positioning matrix can be made.

The BMW 3 series is situated in the medium-size car middle class. Looking at the
geographical segmentation criteria, the 3 series is focused on the United States and the
European Market. Demographically, the customers are mainly male, in an age between
30-39 years, living in a small household with an income a bit over average. Considering
the Psycho Graphical segmentation criteria the customers of the 3 series are ambitious
hard working, successful people who wants to distinguish themselves. The behaviour of
the customers is described with loyal, determined and passionate.

The segment where the BMW 3 series is located is going to change. The middle income
class will become smaller so that should change the strategy decisions for the 3 series in
the future. BMW is situated between the middle and upper middle class so it is important
to move away up out of this middle class. This can be done by showing more exclusivity,
reliability and other car preferences.

The positioning of the BMW 3 series is related to express emotion and social affirmation
in consumers minds but it took a lot of effort to move away from the Audi A4. In these
aspects BMW should try to improve even more its image, positioning itself more away
from the competitors. Furthermore it is important to answer the wants and needs of
female potential customers because female are getting more and more important in the
purchase process of a vehicle.




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Table of Content

1. INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................... 3
2. DEFINITION OF SEGMENTATION AND POSITIONING (THEORY) .......................... 3
2.1 WHAT IS SEGMENTATION AND HOW TO SEGMENT?......................................................................... 3
2.2 WHY MARKET SEGMENTATION............................................................................................................ 3
2.3 SEGMENTATION CRITERIA.................................................................................................................. 4
2.4 POSITIONING....................................................................................................................................... 6
2.5 SEGMENT STRATEGIES........................................................................................................................ 6
3. SEGMENTATION OF A MEDIUM-SIZE CAR............................................................................ 8
3.1 SEGMENTATION IN AN EXAMPLE ........................................................................................................ 8
3.1.1 The BMW 3 series..................................................................................................................... 8
3.1.2 The market segmentation of BMW 3 series.................................................................... 8
3.1.3 Comparison BMW 3 series to its Competitors ............................................................... 9
3.2 FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDSIZE-CAR SEGMENT................................................................ 9
4. POSITIONING OF A MEDIUM-SIZE CAR .............................................................................. 11
4.1 MARKET POSITIONING BMW 3 SERIES.......................................................................................... 11
4.1.1 Clarity.......................................................................................................................................... 13
4.1.2 Consistency............................................................................................................................... 13
4.1.3 Competitiveness...................................................................................................................... 13
4.1.4 Credibility................................................................................................................................... 13
5. CONCLUSIONS.................................................................................................................................... 15
6. REFERENCES........................................................................................................................................ 16





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1. Introduction

The Marketing lectures of the fourth module of the MSc course International Automotive
Engineering are about the marketing concept for the introduction of a passenger car
realized by a German car producer. The marketing topics are about marketing research,
marketing segmentation & positioning, launching new products and managing products
through their product life cycle, pricing strategies and price decisions and the designing
of a communication strategy. This report will deal with segmentation and positioning. The
assumption is made that the topics refer to a passenger car producer which offers a
medium size car to a broad consumer market. Within this report the brand is
Bayersche Motor Werke (BMW). To be more specific; the BMW 318 series.

In the first chapter the theory of segmentation and positioning is explained. The second
chapter is reserved for the segmentation of the BMW 318 series in the medium size
vehicle market. The last part of this report is about the positioning of the BMW 3 series,
and if it is recommendable to change the positioning of the BMW 3 series. As usual, this
report will end with conclusions.


2. Definition of segmentation and Positioning (Theory)
2.1 What is Segmentation and how to segment?

Most Car manufactures operates in a broad market normally cannot serve all the
customers with one product. The customers are too numerous, dispersed, and varied in
their buying requirements. The OEM (original Equipment Manufacturer) should, instead of
competing everywhere with one product, identify the most attractive market segments to
serve it effectively.
Segmentation is to divide a market which exists of heterogeneous products into
homogeneous parts. Segmentation is the base of the marketing policy of a company. The
segmentation process (figure 1) starts with defining the market. After dividing the
customers over the homogenate segments, the OEM can choose one or more target
group and position his product. Because there is competition is most of the segments de
OEM has to give his vehicle certain features to differentiate from the other vehicles. The
positioning follows out of the characteristics of the product and the other marketing
instruments.





Figure 1: The Segmentation Process

2.2 Why market segmentation

The primary reasons for dividing the market into smaller segments are:

1. Easier marketing: It is easier to address the needs of smaller groups of
customers, particularly if they have many characteristics in common.

2. To find niches: When under-served or un-served markets are identified,
segmentation can allow a new company or new product to target less contested
buyers and seek new buyers.

Divide in
Segments
Choose a (profitable)
target segment
Position the product
in the segment
Adjust the
Marketing Mix
Define Total
Market

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3. Be more efficient: More efficient use of marketing resources by focusing on the
best segments for your offering product, price, promotion, and place
(distribution). Segmentation can help you avoid sending the wrong message or
sending your message to the wrong people.

2.3 Segmentation Criteria

The consumers can be divided in many ways. Within this report there is chosen for the
classification of Kotler, namely:

1. Geographical criteria
2. Demographical criteria
3. Psycho graphical criteria
4. Behaviour criteria

Geographical criteria
Geographic segmentation calls for dividing the market into different geographical units
such as nations, states, regions, counties or neighbourhoods. The company can decide to
operate in one or a few areas or operate in all but pay attention at to local variations in
geographical needs and preference.

Demographical criteria
Demographical segmentation consists of dividing the market into groups on the basis of
demographical variables such as age, gender, family size, family life cycle, income,
occupation, education, religion, race and nationality. Demographical variables are the
most popular bases for distinguish customer groups. One reason is that consumers
wants, preferences, and usage rates are often highly associated with demographical
variables. Another is that demographic variables are easier to measure than most other
type of variables and the data is easy to acquire at certain agencies and give a concrete
indication of the size of the segment and the position were the segment is located.
The demographical and the geographical criteria are most of the time used in
combination with the other two criteria.

Psycho graphical criteria
In psychographic segmentation buyers are divided into different groups on the basis of
social class, life style and personality. People within the same demographic group can
exhibit very different psychographic profiles.

Behaviour criteria
In behaviour segmentation, buyers are divided into groups on the basis of their
knowledge, attitude towards the product, the user status, the usage rate, the loyalty
status or response to a product.
In the table below shows the major segmentation variables for consumer markets. It also
shows a typical breakdown.









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Variable Typical Breakdown

Geographical

Region
Pacific, Mountain, West, North, Central, South, East, South
Atlantic, Middle Atlantic
City or Metro size Under 5000, 5000-20000, 20000-50000, 50000-100000 etc.
Density Urban, Suburban, Rural
Climate Northern, Southern

Demographical

Age Under 6, 6-11, 12-19, 20-34, 35-49, 50-64, 65+
Gender Male, Female
Family Size 1-2, 3-4, 5+
Family life cycle
Young, single; young, married, no children; young, married,
youngest child under 6; older married, with children; older,
married, no children under 18; older, single; other
Income
Under 10000, 10000-15000, 15000-20000, 20000-
30000, 50000-100000, 100000 and over.
Occupation
Manager, officials, craftspeople, foremen, farmers, students,
retired, housewife, unemployed.
Education
Grade school or less, some high school, high school graduate,
college graduate.
Religion Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, other.
Race White, black, Asian
Nationality American, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Japanese.

Psychographic

Social class
Lower lowers, upper lowers, working class, middle class, upper
middles, upper uppers.
Lifestyle Straight, swingers, longhairs.
Personality Compulsive, gregarious, authoritarian, ambitious.

Behavioural
Occasions Regular occasion, special occasion.
Benefits Quality, service, economy, speed.
User status Non user, ex-user, potential user, first time user, regular user.
Usage rate Light user, medium user, heavy user.
Loyalty status None, medium, strong, absolute.
Readiness stage Unaware, aware, informed, interested, desirous, intending to buy.
Attitude towards
product
Enthusiastic, positive, indifferent, negative, hostile.



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2.4 Positioning

Positioning is the technique in which marketers try to create an image or identity for a
product, brand, or company. It is the 'place' a product occupies in a given market as
perceived by the target market. Positioning is something that is done in the minds of the
target market. A product's position is how potential buyers see the product and is
expressed relative to the position of competitors.
To position a product a company needs a lot of knowledge about the competitors, target
group, competition and the strength and weakness of the own company. When there is
enough knowledge acquired, a positioning matrix can be made shown in chapter 3.1.3.

2.5 Segment strategies

When the market is segmented, the company has to develop a segmentation strategy
how to approach the different segments. The most extreme form is the individual
approach. That means that every segment consists out of one customer. The other
extreme form is the mass approach, were the market is not segmented and all the
consumers are treated with the same marketing policy. In between is the group-
approach where the market is segmented in different consumer groups with the same
recognizable wants and needs. In practise the three strategies are:

1. Undifferentiated marketing













2. Differentiated marketing




















The company will approach the
total market with one
marketing mix. The undifferen-
tiated marketing is the mass
approach where the product is
adjusted to the average taste of
the consumers.

The company will treat some or
all segments in the total market
with for each segment his own
marketing policy. The customer
is served better so the market
penetration will be better and
the revenues higher than with
the undifferentiated marketing
policy however the costs of this
strategy are higher.

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3. Concentrated marketing













Concentrated marketing means
that a company the marketing
policy concentrates on one or some
carefully chosen segments. This is
most of the time used by small or
new entering companies. It is an
efficient way to achieve a lasting
position in the market but the risks
are higher than with the other
segment strategies.


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3. Segmentation of a medium-size car
3.1 Segmentation in an example

A task for this report is to show the segmentation and positioning process for a car
producer which offers a medium-size car to a broad consumer market. Therefore BMW
and its BMW 3 series were chosen. It is a medium-size car which fits to the given
requirements. How it matches will be shown in the following chapters.

3.1.1 The BMW 3 series

The chosen BMW 3 series model is just an economy model which is sufficient for the
executed investigations. This car is about 4,5 meter long, costs about 26.000,- and
offers enough space for five adult persons. As already mentioned it is medium-size car
which is situated in the middle class. Its competitors are:

Audi A4
Volkswagen Passat
Mercedes Benz C-Class
Opel Vectra
Volvo V40
Ford Mondeo
Mazda 6
Renault Laguna etc.

3.1.2 The market segmentation of BMW 3 series

Geographical Segmentation
The geographical segmentation is for the BMW 3 series an important factor. The main
markets are the United States and Europe. Namely it doesnt matter where a car
producer sell its cars, the important thing is to sell cars at all. Limitations are mostly
given by the legislation. Laws differ from country to country, especially between
countries from different continents. Once adapted to the according laws, factors like city
size or living density are very important to reach the broadest customer shift as possible.
The more potential customers can be found in a certain area the more cars can be sold.
In the globalisation manner nowadays the assimilation of laws moves forward. This
disadvantage could be negated in a few decades.

Demographical Segmentation

The typical customer or also the target group of the BMW 3 series are mainly male
people in an age about 30-49 years. They live in households of two persons (not very
often they have children) and have an average income of ca. 40.000 - 70.000 a year.
They have mostly a good education with a college graduation, are academics working up
to a middle management position and search for a company car or just a car to feel with.
The religion, nationality or even the race doesnt matter; their way of life is their impulse
to force for such a car.

Psycho graphical Segmentation

BMW 3 series customers distinguish themselves from the mass by their personal
distinction. They are ambitious, hard working and successful and meet their common
needs of sportive and dynamical driving for example in a BMW 3 series. They want to be
as sporty as their car. Therefore they live very healthy, go to gymnastics and do a lot

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activity for keeping fit. Socially they fit to the etiquette of the middle, middle upper and
the upper class.

Behavioural Segmentation

BMW 3 series customers are regular buyers. They estimate the presence of a new car.
The benefits are easy to define: quality, dynamic, passion and speed are only a few to be
mentioned here. BMW customers or potential customers know what they want. They are
very loyal. Once decided for a BMW 3 series, most of them buy the successor, too. They
know about the quality and the advantages of such a car. As mainly heavy users they
enjoy the comfort provided by these cars, thats why their attitude towards the product is
mostly enthusiastic and positive.

3.1.3 Comparison BMW 3 series to its Competitors

The following positioning matrix shows the current situation in the midsize-car market.
The x-axis exposes the social behaviour of the target customers, the y-axis the way of
how they react and live their emotions. It can be seen, that customers of a BMW 3 series
try to express their emotions by buying such a car. They want a car which fits most to
their way of behaviour. But that is not the only important factor. These customers want
to show their social affirmation. It is significant to show the society their status.


Figure 2: Positioning matrix of BMW 3 series to its main competitors

3.2 Future Developments in the midsize-car segment

The development of life-style and society are for car producers very important factors in
the meaning of how to segment and position their products. Changing nowadays will
influence the strategy decisions for the future cars. This is why marketing analysis and
researches have to be taken very serious.

BMW
3
1
2
3
4
6
7
5
8
Sportive cars Functional/
Expressive cars
Functional cars
express
emotions
social
affirmation
social
integration
control
emotions
1. Audi A4
2. Volkswagen Passat
3. Mercedes Benz C-Class
4. Opel Vectra
5. Volvo V40
6. Ford Mondeo
7. Mazda 6
8. Renault Laguna
Class/Status
cars

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In our throwaway and fun society, life-style becomes more and more important.
Unfortunately results this in a growing gap between the rich and poor society shift,
shown in the figure below.


Figure 3: Future changes in income classes (Source: Volkswagen)

In a few years the middle income class will become smaller. To reach as much customers
as possible the car producers have to align their strategies and to define their new
targets. BMW is situated between the middle and upper middle class. Not to be put aside,
BMW has to move more into the upper middle income class. This can be done by showing
more exclusivity, reliability and other car preferences. Each OEM has to define its new
segment to sell its cars. Skda for example will move its Oktavia more to lower middle
income class, the Audi A4 thereagainst will, because of its generally better image, try to
move into the upper middle income class as well.


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4. Positioning of a medium-size car
4.1 Market Positioning BMW 3 series

As told before Positioning refers to the place an offering occupies in consumers minds on
important attributes relative to competitive offerings. Furthermore, the market
positioning constitutes the last step in the marketing process:
















Figure 4: Process of market segmentation, targeting and positioning.

After the segmentation of the market and the selection of the target segment, in this
case the target segment is the medium-size car segment, the question is:

How can we convince consumers in this segment to choose our offering?

In general the consumers have to be convinced that the products, in this case the BMW 3
series:

1. Meets, or even exceeds, their expectations.
2. Does it better than competitive offerings.

The segment of medium-size cars is a wide segment with different consumer shift. Many
different brands are involved in this segment, as well as, many different kind of needs
take part in it. As already been seen before BMW 3 series is a car related to express
emotion and social affirmation in consumers minds.

However, in the last years BMW has been focused on environmental issues. Consistently,
at the moment, the BMW 3 series sets the standards for recycling-optimised vehicles in
the future. This car can be virtually 100% recycled in compliance with economic and
environmental guidelines. The recycling concept is integrated into the design of many of
the cars components and assemblies. This way, the positioning strategy of the BMW 3
series is not changing; the company is adding a new message for the consumers not only
from the BMW 3 series but also from the BMW Group, BMW Group recycling.

In the following picture all the recyclable plastics of the BMW 3 series can be seen:

Market Segmentation
1. Identify bases for
segmenting the market
2. Develop segment
profiles
Market Targeting
3. Develop measure of
segment attractiveness
4. Select target segments
Market Positioning
5. Develop positioning for
target segments
6. Develop a marketing
mix for each segment

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Figure 5: BMW 3 series recyclable plastics.

The main reason why BMW made a big effort in reasserting the BMW 3 series as an
expressing emotions car suitable for social affirmation is that the team wanted to
make sure that the new 3 series would surpass the Audi A4 and compete head-on with
the Mercedes C-class in buyer satisfaction.

At this point, it can be important to mention that when BMWs new 3 series prototype
was about to be completed, Audi, one of its major competitors, introduced its new
benchmark model for 1996, the Audi A4. Car and Driver magazine named the A4 one of
the Ten Best 1996 cars. In fact, Car and Driver gave the new A4 a one-point higher
rating than BMWs 3 series of 1996, which continued to set the benchmark for styling in
its class. This model was central to Audis strategy of directly attacking BMWs product
line. Having hired away several of BMWs marketing executives, Audi was now
introducing series with numbering systems similar to BMW but always symbolically one
number higher. The Audi A4 was targeting the BMW 3 series, the Audi A6 was targeting
the BMW 5 series and the A8 was doing the same with the BMW 7 series.

The Audi A4s design was very competitive with the BMW 3 series. So when the new 3
series was 24 months from launch, BMW group saw a new competitor, the A4 that was a
well-developed car, apart from its original benchmarks Mercedes C-class and Lexus
CS300.

Because of these reasons BMW Group made an extra effort when positioning the third
generation 3 series trying to differentiate itself from Audi, which was trying to overlap
BMWs position in the market.

The ABCs of the BMW 3 series positioning strategy have been, first, understanding the
attributes of the product (Attributes); secondly, strong differentiation from its
competitors (Benefits); and finally, developing effective advertising message, channels of
distribution, etc. (Communication of Value). The main attributes, benefits and
perceptions of the BMW 3 series are identified by the consumers because of its
positioning strategy.

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Figure 6: Attributes, Benefits and Perceptions of BMW 3 series.

When developing a positioning strategy for a new product/service, there are always some
important points to fulfil for every kind of market or segment. These concepts compose
the key to a successful positioning: Clarity, Consistency, Competitiveness and Credibility.

BMWs success in the medium-size car segment can be explained by studying these four
points:
4.1.1 Clarity

The message must be clear and understandable. Concerning the BMW 3 series, it is a
medium-size car that is directly linked to social affirmation by everybody. In addition,
the relation between the BMW 3 series and the emotions is also very close. So it can be
defined as a high level medium-size car for those who are fascinated in driving.
4.1.2 Consistency

The company must be coherent in all its decisions and strategies. The BMW 3 series
models are all perfectly coherent with BMWs brand image, as well as the positioning
strategy and marketing strategy always appealing to the sporty spirited performance.
4.1.3 Competitiveness

The product must be competitive in its segment. This is one of the best strength of BMW.
BMW cars are always competitive in the way that they provide best quality, excellent
reliability and safety.
4.1.4 Credibility

The message must be credible. In this point a brand like BMW always have the
competitive advantage of its brand image, and the consequent strong position of the
brand in the market and in consumers minds.




Suspension
Engine Capacity
Rear Wheel Drive
Technology
Wheelbase
Headroom
Recyclability
Sportiness
Roominess
Environmentally
friendly
EXPRESS
EMOTION
SOCIAL
AFFIRMATION
ATTRIBUTES BENEFITS PERCEPTIONS

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Changes for the Future

Finally, some ideas looking forward, the future positioning strategy of the BMW 3 series
will be studied. Furthermore, the necessity of some changes in BMW 3 series current
positioning strategy will be discussed. About the current positioning strategy, BMW
principal objective is identifying the 3 series with express emotions and social
affirmation. In these aspects BMW should try improve even more its image, positioning
itself further away from cars like for instance Mazda-6.


Figure 7: Future positioning of BMW 3 series

On the other hand, the typical BMW 3 series buyers are not women. This results in one of
the most important weaknesses of its positioning strategy. Women dont usually base
their needs in purposes like social affirmation as much as men do; they are usually more
interested in the design, safety, reliability and utility.

In the recent years, women are becoming an important car buyers group and their needs
also have to be met. The modern and fashionable car designs are at the moment one of
the principal interests of young women when buying a car; designs such as the Renault
Twingo and the new Megane are fulfilling women needs. About this topic, BMW 3 series
should try to improve its conservative design not only with the Compact model as theyve
done but also with the Convertible, Touring, Coup and especially with the Sedan. The
BMW 3 series Sedan has a quite conservative design. In the future, BMW should remodel
it like theyve already done with the 5 series and 7 series; this way, trying to identify the
3 series into a more fashionable design in their future positioning strategy.

Another important concept that BMW should try to emphasise more in its positioning
strategy is the environmental issue. Although in the last years BMW has been focused on
the environment when developing new models, unfortunately it is not really clearly
explained in its positioning strategy. At the moment even if BMW cars, in this case the
BMW 3 series, are provided with ecological equipment, the consumers do not identify this
car as an environmentally friendly car.

BMW
3
1
2
3
4
6
7
5
8
Sportive cars Functional/
Expressive cars
Functional cars
express
emotions
social
affirmation
social
integration
control
emotions
Class/Status
cars
1. Audi A4
2. Volkswagen Passat
3. Mercedes Benz C-Class
4. Opel Vectra
5. Volvo V40
6. Ford Mondeo
7. Mazda 6
8. Renault Laguna etc.

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Therefore, one important objective for the future positioning strategy of the BMW 3
series should be to identify it as an environmentally friendly car in consumers minds.

Finally, for concluding this section it is important to underline the overall achievement of
its objectives by the BMW 3 series positioning strategy. For the future, some additions to
the strategy (the ones mentioned in the previous paragraphs) should be enough to
maintain BMW 3 series strong position in the medium-size car market.


5. Conclusions

A successful launching of a new product into a market needs to give the product its own
identity in this market. For this, first the segmentation of the market has to be done,
then chosing the target segment and finally developing the positioning strategy of the
product.

Refering to the BMW 3 series, it is situated in the medium-size car market. Its
segmentation has to be covered in several different criterias. The customers of the 3
series are ambitious, hard working and successful, and mainly between 30-49 year old
men with an income a bit over average. The reason for this is the positioning strategy of
the BMW 3 series, which has been focused on giving the car the identity of expressing
emotion and social affirmation. This message has been clear, consistent, competitive and
credible; which compose the key for a successful positioning.

However, some important social changes are going on in the near future, due to this fact
BMW 3 series should try to adapt its positioning strategy for the future needs. The most
important topics that the BMW Group should cover when developing a positioning
strategy for the future are:

BMW should emphasize even more the 3 series identity as expressing emotions
and social affirmation.

BMW should try to fulfil women needs with its BMW 3 series.

BMW should improve its conservative design and try to turn it into a modern and
fashionable design.

The last important objective for BMW 3 series future positioning strategy should
be to try to identify this car as an environmentally friendly car.

















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6. References

[1] Wolters Noordhoff Groningen, Basisboek Marketing, p65,66; 2000

[2] TV America Inc., Excecutive Overview ISO 9000
<http://www.autosteel.org/technical_info/index.htm>, 08.12.2003

[3] Francisco Veloso, MSL Materials Systems Laboratory., MSL Steering Committee

[4] Wallentowitz, Univ.- Prof. Dr. -Ing. H., Automotive Technology in 2010
Potentials for passenger car applications, 1./2. July 2003, Wolfsburg

[5] Homepage of Volkswagen, Volkswagen
<http://www.volkswagen.de/home/index_.htm> (8.12..2003)

[6] American Iron and Steel Institute, Automotive Steel Works
<http://www.autosteel.org/ulsab_avc/ttd6_sec2_0.htm> (8.12.2003)

[7] U.S. Steel Automotive Site Map
<http://ussautomotive.com/auto/index.htm>, 8.12.2003

[8] Prentice Hall International, Inc, Marketing Management, Analysis, Planning,
Implementation, Control, Philip Kotler, p 306-313; 1994

[9] Homepage of BMW http://www.bmwgroup.com