BMW Genius Everywhere Inspired by Apple’s Genius Bars
In a story published today by Advertising Age, the auto manufacturer announced that next year it would be rolling out its BMW Genius Everywhere program nationwide. The program will equip young employees — potentially college students — with iPads and send them to showroom floors to help answer questions and educate consumers about the BMW brand and ways to purchase.
Peter Miles, VP of operations for BMW of North America, said that, “We engineer a lot of things into the car that are difficult to explain, that makes us a special brand… We need to leverage the engineering that goes into the car more effectively so that we are not just selling a car based on price.“
The Geniuses aren’t going to function as sales representatives. They’ll be in place to solely answer questions and better inform customers about BMW products. If a customer would like to buy a vehicle, they’ll be referred to a salesman to finalize the purchase.
Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sale and marketing, said that, “The salesman has a complicated job… He has to understand product, he has to be trained and he has to understand financial services. And honestly, it has probably gotten a little too broad. One of the things we considered very carefully: Can we break the process up into bite-size chunks?“
Unlike Apple’s geniuses, BMW geniuses will provide support and education prior to any purchases being made. Geniuses will not work for commission, instead they’ll be salaried employees.
Miles also said that BMW is reaching toward a “critical mass” of geniuses in preparation for the i3 electric car launch in early 2014.
Companies like Best Buy, Cadillac, and Lexus have all developed their own versions of Apple’s retail model. Best Buy has reorganized its store layout and implemented a help desk with knowledgeable retail associates to answers technical questions that customers might have, and Lexus began implementing delivery and technology specialists at its dealerships last year. Cadillac has done something similar with what they call certified Cadillac User Experience (CUE) professionals.
BMW will be launching a pilot program in the United States later this year to work out smaller details prior to its nationwide launch sometime in 2014.
[Image via Teerapun/Shutterstock]
I want more stuff like this!