BMW knows what it should smell like to please its customers. Do you?
“BMW’s chief designer, Christopher Bangle, was walking me around BMW’s main development centre. We walked into an enormous room full of car doors. It went on for ever, like an aircraft hangar, door after door after door. ‘This is the door room,’ said Chris Bangle. ‘I thought it might be, Chris,’ I said. ‘But why do you have a door room?’ ‘Our engineers here work on the sound of the car door,’ he said. ‘Our customers tell us the door has to shut with a certain ‘Thunk’ – a particular BMW ‘Thunk’. We have a number of people here, including two submarine engineers, working on building the right sound into the doors.’
•“Then he took me into a laboratory. ‘And here,’ he said, ‘we work on the smell of the car. Our customers tell us that an essential part of owning a BMW is the smell inside the car. It makes them feel good. So we work here on getting the smell just right.’ “
SOURCE: Kjell Nordstrom, the Swedish economist, talking at European Conference on Customer Management 2005 on ‘The Power of Attraction’ – and how you have to design it into your product or experience in unexpected ways.