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Maintaining the strength of the Alpina Brand
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Charles
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Maintaining the strength of the Alpina Brand Reply with quote

This has been a question going through my mind for a while.

Alpina undoubtedly build some wonderful cars, but they don't make many of them - relative to the competition.

From a marketing point of view, this is a problem because sheer volumes of a car on the roads increases brand awareness. This combined with product strength and ability contributes to what I am referring as Brand Value.

On one hand, the rarity of Alpina sets itself apart from the 20,000 M3's on the raod. On the other hand, everyone knows about M3's and so desirability to own such an icon keeps residuals high.

So, my question to you - as owners - is this:

What would you like Alpina to be doing to promote the brand and protect the residual value of your car?

I was going to run a poll but then realised that there are likely to be many variations on a them - so "open thread" and away you go...
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Myfirstbeemer
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I can tell, Alpina don't seem to have much in the way of PR / marketing presence in the UK. I've never seen an Alpina advert in a the Times motoring section. When they do get in the press, they only ever seem to get compared to the BMW M cars, which are clearly destined for a different market to the 'gentleman's express' of an Alpina. And it's unclear why that targeting has come about since they used to be all about the extreme bi-turbo M5 beating machines of the early nineties - hardly a gentlemans car. In conversations I've had at work about Alpinas, everyone remembers the brash styling they used to have, but no-one had noticed a 1999 B3 before.

So really, Alpina need to tell us who they think they are, because it's not all that clear to me. Then they might have a fighting chance of building some brand awareness and a following.
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sward
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles
In my view, most cars which are sensibly affordable lose money at a quite alarming rate. Bearing that in mind, surely the only thing to do is to to accept that fact, and let Alpina remain a "manufacturer of exclusive automobiles", and produce "fine automobiles for the connoisseur". Any increase in volume to achieve brand awareness would dilute the first of those philosophies, would it not? I think the only way to get the car buying public to believe that Alpinas are something really special, and maintain residual values, would be NOT to base them on BMWs. Then what would they do? Increase the cost, due to the need to develop something unique to Alpina? I say that not because I myself have anything against BMWs (quite the opposite), but because I recognise that most people who don't drive one do have a certain negative view. So it is perhaps the association with BMW that is the problem. That sounds like heresy, and probably is. What do others think?!
Simon
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Charles
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon,

It's a fair point.

However, what I am NOT suggesting is that Alpina make 20,000 cars a year.

Instead, I am exploring what alternative approaches to marketing could they look at to ensure brand value is retained (or even grown).

C
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fluffnik
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps pushing the wine could broaden the appeal...

Getting 20,000 wine drinkers to want the car should not be too difficult.
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Raymondo



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Simon.

A move away from the BMW shell (i.e. creating their own car from scratch),

Using a more reputable dealer than Sytner's who will market the brand in the way that it should (i.e. not flooding the market with cheap cars - B3s 2004, Roadster 2005 and D3 2006 which devalues the brand. Who actually wants a cheap stripped down D3? What drew me to Alpina's in the first was the interior and exterior styling that set it apart from BMW.

To me Sytner and Alpina seem happy with volume rather than "fine automobiles for the connoisseur". Maybe Alpina will just become another BMW division like M?

The sooner that changes the better and then I'll consider getting behind the wheel again of fine automobiles for the connoisseur.
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D4
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffnik wrote:
Perhaps pushing the wine could broaden the appeal...

Getting 20,000 wine drinkers to want the car should not be too difficult.


ALPINA Wine is a wine importing company and although they used to own vineyards etc they now no longer have this (after selling their shares in that business some years ago)

Therefore the wine ALPINA wine sell is not ALPINA branded and in many cases isn't even German. Infact the business was started around a cheeky italian red.
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MikeB3
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont think they should change because the low number of produced cars, is what makes them special.
This little number in the cockpit, its just so nice to see how few of this cars exist. I see tons of M3s every week, but NEVER saw another B3S Coupe on the road here in Switzerland.
I think they took a good path, perhaps they should offer a more sporty setup for some cars to compete with M.

The Diesel way, is not my way. Don t know if the buyers will like it.

For the association with BMW, i agree with you for the bad image it has, but Alpina can not develope their own cars i presume, it requires a very big investment. And Alpina with another carbrand? NEVER
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Advertisments Reply with quote

Hi Charles,

in regard to your question the internet is a great place for telling people how amazing the Alpina's really are I have told everyone at work that I have just baught a B10 V8 and not one of them new what it was! It seems it is only people that are car mad that know about them.

I must admit I was going to buy an M5 before i got my B10 and i'm so pleased I didnt get one because it so mush more special to own a rare car (Alpina) than an M5 it seems anyone that wants the fastest saloon about gets the M5 because they dont know much about or know at all about the Alpina's. It's only becuase of this website I realised how special and how rare our gorgeous Alpina's really are. And I thank This website and this website alone for showing me the path to enlightenment.!!! God Bless you Alpina.

Jon
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L8 ALPINA
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that is what i call a compliment.
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rcshott
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Oz we can only buy new ALPINA's or parts from main BMW dealers...some States don't even have main dealers, so then one has to rely on 'multi-dealers'. Some staff of main dealers don't even know what an ALPINA is!!! There is no such thing as an ALPINA dealer, here.

Sometimes one has to 'educate' the staff for what you want. We (Aussies)cannot import (new or used) left hand drive vehicles for road use...so...no ALPINA twin-turbo's!!!

If we import a second hand (any) vehicle...it must be more that 15 years old to avoid import taxes...HOW STUPID IS THAT...GIVE US YOU OLD S***! UNLESS THE PURCHASER LIVES IN THE COUNTRY OF PURCHASE FOR 3 YEARS...anyone wanna put me up for a while??? Ha, ha, ha! Rolling Eyes

If we try to sell an ALPINA here you get a stupid look from the salesman & an offer of a standard book price (less commission) of a standard BMW. Same same for insurance...

I think we ALPINA owners deserve better deals from main dealers...ok...main BMW dealers may resist selling "another brand"...BUT ONE HAS TO GO TO A MAIN DEALER (ONLY) TO PURCHASE EITHER A NEW ALPINA, OR PARTS! They do not advertise or promote ALPINA. If you don't know who to ask & what to ask, there is little hope.

Youse guys (read Europe & America) have good prices, good selection, and good back-up... Crying or Very sad

Idea So...I would like to see Buchloe educate our dealers. Not necessarily to sell more cars...but, just get better service!
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hythe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think you could buy a new Alpina down under?

On this whole question of brand/heritage, is it only me who finds the EVO comment about how the B5 "lacks cachet" relative to the M5 offensive? Surely the point is that it lacks cachet only among the car-ignorant...
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Chas
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hythe wrote:
Surely the point is that it lacks cachet only among the car-ignorant...


But the point is that 90% of the population are car-ignorant. Even the majority of BMW drivers have never heard of Alpina. It's easy for us to forget this because we think of ourselves as a representative cross-section of BMW enthusiasts.

In my experience, it's only the more enthusiastic or //M brigade who know something about Alpina and, judging from some comments on BMW boards about the B8 or BT, it's not the majority of them either. Confused

Personally, that's the way I like it Cool
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hythe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, quite. What's ridiculous is that EVO magazine, whose Editor drives a Pagani Zonda, identifies more closely with the chav community than with the cognoscenti!

The cachet comment is to suggest that Alpina is somehow more "downmarket" than M...
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Charles
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hythe wrote:
Well, quite. What's ridiculous is that EVO magazine, whose Editor drives a Pagani Zonda, identifies more closely with the chav community than with the cognoscenti!


Perhaps that's who he believes make up the majority of his readers

Quote:
The cachet comment is to suggest that Alpina is somehow more "downmarket" than M...


Then logic suggests that the chavs will choose M's rather than ALPINAs - no problem there in my book...
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Charles
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