«Carpe diem» journey
Cristina Borges de Carvalho
The extremes join forces
José Manuel Fernandes
Luxury has a purpose
Communications Director of BMW Portugal
Traditionally, customer service was exclusively for luxury brands, offering unique, superior quality products, exceptional finishes and meticulous attention to detail – in the case of the BMW Group, the highest expression of this concept is Rolls-Royce, the most exclusive luxury car manufacturer in the world. There still is, and there will always be, a market for the consumer who is looking for the best version of everything he consumes, and for whom it is imperative that brands invest in exclusive, distinctive services of unparalleled refinement.
But, if twenty years ago, a luxury vehicle stood out for its ability to deliver an experience based on comfort with state-of-the-art equipment, and a high perception of quality and performance – coupled with safety –, today expectations go beyond these factors and now the emphasis is on sustainability, innovation and technology.
In the car industry in particular, if on the one hand increasing disposable income in consumers has driven demand for luxury vehicles around the world, on the other hand technological development has brought brands closer to one another, thus blurring criteria, such as innovation, performance and design that previously set brands apart.
Additionally, new generations have a different perception of consuming, and have new values and expectations with regard to luxury brands. For younger consumers, there are ethical and moral values that become a priority and which strongly influence their purchasing decisions. There is a growing demand for brands that, rather than offering unique experiences, products and services, are developed around a cause, which have a purpose.
How can luxury brands respond to these challenges while still holding on to top spot in offering unique services and products? Brands have to respond to these changes by investing in just what sets their products and services apart. At BMW we have made a huge investment in research and development of future mobility. The concept of ‘luxury vehicle’ is not just about comfort, performance, safety or quality – these are basic values that have always been with us –, rather it stems from the premise that the future has a purpose, of us looking at the world with our sights set on tomorrow, anticipating how people will continue to consume luxury products, based on the relationship they establish with brands.