Originally Posted by aajami
But, surprisingly, BMW doesn't get a basic tenet of branding, and that's people want pay for an exclusive product like the M badge. They're making a short-term play by slapping that badge on everything, thus giving more people than ever the ability to finally buy into that once exclusive club. But by going down this route, with the M badge on every kind of car in BMW's lineup, it'll lose the cache that it once carried over the years and people will need to go elsewhere to get that exclusivity that the M badge once carried.
Maybe . . . While there have been many failures of brand dilution, there have also been a few successes. Plus, many of the failures of brand dilution were accompanied by product dilution. It _may_ be the case that, as long as BMW keeps the M car designs themselves "pure" (in whatever sense you care to consider), they will be able to hold on to their high-end customers.
My guess is that, given the current state of the world economy, all of the luxury German brands will continue down this path. What would one do if all of BMW/MB/Audi/Porsche do the same thing? Fall back on Kia, who is not diluting their brand? Probably better to just judge each design on its merits . . .