Mar 28, 2022 5:12:43 PM 8 min read

How One Dealership Grew Awareness & Test Drives with a Digital Sign

When you hear the tagline, “Passion Loves Company” you know the people behind it love what they do, and want you to love it, too. Located on I-71 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and founded in 1979, The BMW Store and Cincinnati MINI have been in business for over 40  years. With hard work and dedication, along with a superior staff, the Store continues on successfully today. 

The Challenge

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After years of dealing with a rotating sign that did not work as promised, The BMW Store knew it was time to update their outdated sign for a more modern solution.

“Our rotating sign was a nightmare. From the time we put it up, it started breaking, and we had all kinds of issues with it. Eventually, it was causing us so many issues, we couldn’t keep it running.” - Rich Winterman, Center Operator

The mechanics of the sign were constantly breaking down and The BMW Store chose to go simpler. It was decided the existing billboard would be covered with large vinyl signs to maintain, and grow, brand awareness. However, changing the vinyl signs was not the most efficient choice, as switching out the billboard wasn’t something that could be done at the snap of a finger. The best practice said they should change out their signs every three to four weeks, but realistically, it was only able to be changed two to three times a year. The Store made do with this option for several years. 

It was time to make a switch to something more efficient. Rich Winterman, the Center Operator, knew he wanted a digital billboard. Their location was ideal for a large sign as the dealership is situated adjacent to the interstate, in a very high-traffic area. He knew going digital would allow them the flexibility to share more, for both the BMW and MINI brands, in the same amount of space.

The Solution

Rich searched online and after looking through a few options, discovered Cirrus. He reached out on the website and was pleased with how quickly a response came. Cirrus’ modular system was perfect for what The BMW Store was looking to achieve – a large, vibrant sign along Interstate I-71, with easy-to-use software to control it. The BMW Store chose a digital billboard and worked with the Cirrus team to plan and execute the installation.

The installation was simpler than many other signage options, as the modular panels could be assembled on-premise and lifted without a crane. With Cirrus’ lightweight modules they were able to install the new sign on their current structure, without reinforcing or starting from scratch. This saved The BMW Store tens of thousands of dollars on installation. Once the installation started, it was quick and easy to get the sign up and running so that they could utilize it in a timely manner and usher in a new era for their marketing.

The Benefit

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“There’s a lot of different dealerships that are off the highway, and our sign sets us apart from all of them because nobody has any kind of signage like ours.” - Rich Winterman, Center Operator

The new Cirrus sign has allowed The BMW Store and Cincinnati MINI to increase their visibility and grow brand awareness, while allowing their team to quickly change out messages, try new things, and test what works. Unlike installing vinyl banners, the process to change the sign is simple using Cirrus’ award-winning content management system ScreenHub

“Using [ScreenHub] in my office is easy. I can create a new board, then walk outside and see the change right away. That instant gratification is so nice." - Louis Velazquez, Marketing Director

Looking around locally, The BMW Store team feels that their sign is the best looking in the area. Other digital billboards look dull by comparison.

"It's very vivid and very striking. I think the sign is beautiful. It showcases the different colors of our vehicles and our branding really well. I just don’t think there is anything like it in the Tri-State area." - Louis Velazquez, Marketing Director

Louis Velazquez, Marketing Director, can now create cohesive campaigns with their on-campus and off-campus advertising. From external static and digital billboard placements to print pieces, the Cirrus sign allows them to mirror the imagery and brand focus across the entire Tri-state area. This omnichannel method creates more touchpoints for people to interact with The BMW Store and Cincinnati MINI branding.

The Results

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“I’ve been using it with ease. I think it’s great, I’m really glad we did it. It took us up to the next level.” - Louis Velazquez, Marketing Director

The sign is mostly being used for branding today, with a focus on sharing their message of “Passion Loves Company,” but The BMW Store is branching out to the community, too. From sharing employees’ birthdays to an image of The BMW Store’s founder in his lab coat from the 1970s, they can now share important moments with everyone who drives by or sees the board from their campus. Members of the community are taking notice and eagerly awaiting to see what The BMW Store will post next. 

The BMW Store utilizes the board for their MINI brand too, currently with the message “Test drive the new electric MINI.” This has resulted in people stopping by to do so or to ask about the electric car, which brings more business onto their campus. 

They even noticed that shortly after their billboard went up, another local billboard was updated very quickly.

“It’s the best-looking billboard in the tri-state area. As soon as our billboard went up, a neighbor down the highway redid theirs. I don’t think anything is coincidental. I think they probably thought theirs looked pretty dull in comparison to ours.”- Louis Velazquez, Marketing Director

Between the ease of use and the vibrancy, The BMW Store team is excited to continue experimenting with their display and attract more attention from drivers in the area. Their Cirrus sign has changed the way they market on and off-premises, so they can grow their brand, and gain market share. 

Learn more about Cirrus signs

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If you are considering a digital sign for your business, big or small, we’re here to help. We specialize in helping businesses get the sign of their dreams. Our goal is to help you grow your business and reach the audience closest to home. Reach out to our digital signage experts to discuss what you are looking for in a sign. 

Contact Us Today

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