Retail Refugees

The Ultimate Consumer Experience…
September 15, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Art/Design, Stores

I just returned from Munich and Austria and I am finding myself literally gushing over BMW Welt.  In case anybody has not yet been there, stop reading immediately and book a flight to Munich!

BMW Welt is a multi-functional customer experience and exhibition facility of the BMW Group. In direct proximity to the BMW Headquarters, it is designed to: present the current products of BMW; be a distribution center for BMW cars; and offer an event forum and a conference center.

Designed by architects Coop Himmelb for BMW Group, the facility was constructed from August 2003 through Summer 2007. Originally conceived to be open and ready for the 2006 World Cup, it eventually opened on October 17, 2007 . Designed with an 800 KWatt solar plant on its roof, “the building does not have the boredom of a hall, it is not only a temple, but also a market place and a communication center and meeting place for knowledge transfer”, said architect Prix at the opening ceremony. BMW Welt focuses on strengthening the dialogue with customers and visitors by showing the complete range of BMW vehicles, and providing vehicle distribution, particularly the creation of a special experience with regards customer collection of an ordered vehicle. BMW Welt also offers shops with BMW auxiliary products, as well as a fully serviced gastronomic restaurant. In the meeting forum, BMW Welt offers conference rooms and the opportunity to stage media events.

On a personal note, I have to say that I have been a lifelong tepid fan of BMW; however, after having visited the BMW Welt, I can say that BMW will definitely be at the top of my list of new cars. The building itself is beautiful, the staff is extremely informative and helpful, and the exhibitions and interactive areas are addictive and educational. Not only do they build confidence and interest in the brand, but they really engage visitors and everybody I saw around me had smiles on their faces.

The features range from a build-your-own-vehicle (as your are sitting in the driver seat!), a test drive showcasing BMWs 4Wheel drive system, a fantastic bookstore featuring car, design, and architecture books, and a laundry list of other cool sights. There is even a gallery where visitors can watch customers picking up their new BMWs (talk about jealousy, although I think I heard another visitor actually applauding the owner of a new Monaco Blue X6…).

If anybody, whether they are a hotelier, restaurateur, gallerist, designer, or shop owner has intentions to create a customer experience, big or small, there are infinite lessons to be learned from BMW Welt about engaging your customer and the power of imagination.

Below is a picture of two dreamy eyed and envious visitors to the New Owner Gallery along with some other images of the building…



The Double Cone...

The Double Cone...


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

Comment by Dan Waldron

Thanks Dan! Let me know if you have any suggestions for articles about customer service. -JS

Comment by blogretailrefugees

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