Corporate Eye

Licensing BMW Brand Equity Brings the High-Performance Promise to Baby Products

When there is equity in a brand, there is a risky temptation to over-extend the brand and ultimately, devalue it in consumers’ minds. Will that happen to BMW as it pursues a wide range of brand licensing opportunities? It can be hoped that as long as the brand is licensed consistently and the BMW licensing team exercises restraint, the BMW brand promise won’t be tarnished. In other words, the brand that promises high performance must be licensed to products that deliver on that promise.

This month, a licensing deal between BMW and Maclaren has been discussed among retail and branding experts across the web with everyone speculating on how the BMW brand will be perceived when it is seen on Maclaren baby strollers. Of course, BMW isn’t the first automotive brand to license its name and logo for baby strollers. If you walk into a baby gear store in the United States, you’ll find a number of JEEP strollers. It’s a great match, particularly for fathers who prefer a more gender-neutral stroller to push their babies.

Furthermore, Maclaren strollers are priced significantly higher than many other strollers, so the high-end BMW brand is likely to match the Maclaren target audience, too. The hope, of course, is that BMW customers who need strollers will choose the BMW Buggy from Maclaren and that Maclaren stroller customers will become more interested in the BMW brand and consider it for their future automotive purchases. The licensing agreement seems like a win-win for both brands.

bmw buggy maclaren stroller

So far, BMW appears to be exercising the necessary restraint in its licensing deals. Brand Channel reports that the BMW team will not license its brand to cigarette or food products and video games that would feature BMW vehicles exploding or being destroyed in any way won’t debut anytime soon. Licensing deals that have been signed to date include:

  • Aspex eyewear featuring, “distinct contouring of the frames as reflective of BMW’s dynamic automotive artistry.”
  • Group III luggage featuring, “exceptional quality and superior performance – two hallmarks of the BMW brand. Created to compliment the enterprising lifestyle of BMW owners, the branded luggage will be manufactured with stylish and distinctive hardware.”
  • Ball Watch featuring expert craftsmanship that, “incorporates various technical feats.”

What do you think of the BMW brand licensing strategy?

Image: BMW and Maclaren

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.