Attention Getter: Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. Psychological Orientation: It’s easy enough to say that by this time in your lives, most of you have probably become licensed to drive. Another majority of you have become car owners, and the rest of you will most likely follow within the years to come. After having worked for BMW for an extensive amount of time, it’s become evident to me on how people put trust in a well known brand, or should I say roundel.
Not only this, but people trust in a company that has a long and successful history.This being said, BMW’s heritage and branding plays a significant role in their success; they have one of the world’s most recognized and revered commercial symbols. Thesis: Today I’d like to share with you some history behind the BMW brand. Logical Orientation: I’m going to share with you a little of BMW’s heritage, and how their brand symbol (the roundel) came to be. 1.
a. BMW’s history stretches out almost a century; it’s important to know some, or at least the beginning of which, to fully understand how their brand symbol came to be. b.Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), literally translated into English means Bavarian Motor Works. BMW entered into existence as a business following the restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft engine manufacturing company in 1917. If everyone remembers their history lessons correctly, this was an excellent time to be in that line of business, given World War 1.
After the end of WW1 in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production. So consequently, BMW shifted into motorcycle production. Not too long after, they easily made the transition into automobile production.
c.Over this expansive period of time, BMW’s branding has gone almost unchanged. The name-change to Bayerische Motoren Werke compelled management to devise a new logo for the company, therefore the famous BMW trademark is designed and patented during this time period, around 1917. Transition: Now that you know how BMW started off, I’d like to delve into what I consider the most important part of their brand, their symbol, the “roundel”. There are two traditions concerning the significance of the BMW company logo and trademark, offering two different interpretations of the blue and white fields in the logo. .
a. The first interpretation of the BMW logo is widely accepted as a throwback to the days when BMW produced airplane engines, but BMW’s roundel actually has nothing to do with the company’s aviation roots. b.
Originally, the circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel is portrayed by BMW as the movement of an aircraft propeller, to signify the white blades cutting through the blue sky; an interpretation that BMW adopted for convenience in 1929, twelve years after the roundel was created, according to Dr.Florian Triebel. c. “The idea that the blue and white had anything to do with spinning propellers comes from a 1929 advertisement, which featured aircraft with the image of the roundel in the rotating propellers. This advertisement came at the beginning of the Great Depression, which coincided with BMW acquiring the license to build Pratt ; Whitney radial aircraft engines. ” (BMW Motorrad UK, 2007) Transition: The second tradition relates to Rapp Motorenwerke, and BMW’s assumption of all their business segments.
3. a.The more valid evolution of the BMW emblem is from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke company logo, from which BMW grew, combined with the blue and white colors of the flag of Bavaria, reversed to produce the BMW roundel.
b. The origin of the logo being based on the movement of a propeller is in dispute, according to an article in 2010 by the New York Times, quoting “At the BMW Museum in Munich, Anne Schmidt-Possiwal, explained that the blue and white company logo did not represent a spinning propeller, but was meant to show the colors of the Free State of Bavaria. c.
As you can see in this example, BMW took the circular ring from the logo of Rapp Motorenwerke and merged it with the reversed blue and white colors of the Bavarian flag; resulting in the logo of BMW. The inner featured quadrants in the Bavarian Free State colors of blue and white, but in the opposed order, because according BMW Motorrad UK, it was illegal to use national symbols in a commercial trademark. ConclusionLogical Closure: In conclusion, today I’ve shared with you a little about the BMW heritage and how the BMW brand symbol came to be. Psychological Closure: Now that you know a little more about this corporate logo and it’s representation of what they say to be the “Ultimate Driving Machine”, when you look behind or in front of you while in your commute, you’ll now know that the BMW brand and roundel came a long way to getting applied to that vehicle. Almost 90 years to be exact.Clincher: I know many of you may not enjoying marketing and branding as much as I do, but I find it truly impressive that one marketing notion can go on for almost 90 years, unchanged and uncorrected.
So next time you’re in a rip roaring game of trivial pursuit, because I know that’s what all of you do in your spare time, you can eloquently tell, or even correct your competition on what the BMW roundel was based off of, not airplanes, but the free state of Bavaria and the companies that founded BMW.