BMW: Innovation is all about customers, not technology

Steve Ellis

02 April 2019

BMW's approach to innovation

This is a great video - shot by the Economist Intelligence Unit - that captures the BMW approach to its Innovation Labs.

BMW is not new to innovation. Successfully building fantastic cars for over 125 years, implies they might just have innovation covered off. 

Certainly from an engineering perspective the business is in great shape. But BMW wanted to look more closely at improving the customer experience beyond simply the driving experience.

With disruptors emerging from left field, BMW's Innovation Lab was designed to explore how customers 'consume mobility' in the broadest sense, and to work with startups and its own business units to investigate how to satisfy and deliver the need for mobility in different ways. So innovation in service delivery, collaboration and business models, as much as engineering.

Innovation to better serve customers

For many years we have had a natural bias toward working with tech businesses, where the tech does tend to become the star of the show.

This story is a salutary reminder that innovation should be the servant of the customer, rather than an end in its own right.