BMW is launching a new club for company car drivers with BMW and Mini vehicles, called Inside Edge.
It will be free-to-join and promises to deliver a more engaging brand experience, more akin to that of a retail customer.
“We are mindful that as an industry, regardless of brand, we are not very good at engaging with end user company car drivers. People choose a car and they expect the full brand experience, but they don’t always get that,” explained Rob East, general manager corporate sales, at BMW Group.
“There have been limitations about how we get to talk to drivers as our customers are the leasing company – who is the owner of the vehicle – or the fleet manager, who is the decision maker. We see that as a real shortfall because we are under-delivering on what customer expect from us,” he said.
Inside Edge will provide company car drivers with brand updates and content, but also rewards.
BMW is working with a number of partners to provide frictionless payment for goods and services, such as parking or coffee, using ANPR technology.
East said: “If someone spends a lot of time in their car and that car is an extension of their workspace, having these services can make their life a bit easier through the use of technology.”
The platform has been developed in conjunction with fleet managers and leasing companies and enables members to choose how much or how little interaction they want with the brand.
“The most exciting thing is that we have 100,000s of people driving BMW company cars and, because of the dynamic that many of them don’t order directly from a retailer or don’t go to a retailer, we don’t have that opportunity to engage with them directly. This does allow that,” said East.
“It’s always our intention to keep as many people as possible and we want to stay with them as they go through various life stages. At the moment, it’s very difficult to do that because in many cases we don’t know who those customers are – that’s not a unique challenge for us, it’s something that all brands struggle with,” he added.
FCA Group launched a similar initiative in 2018, the FCA Drivers Club, which is open to drivers from all brands an enables access to VIP events and demonstrator vehicles.
BMW's Inside Edge platform is still under development and will begin a pilot towards the end of the year.