I recently saw an online ad for Mini USA, talking about how the brand is “not normal”.
The big news here is that there is no news.
Mini is a brand with 10 years of absolutely consistent positioning and execution. This leaves it free to have fun dramatizing its benefits, rather than having to explain or redefine itself.
Introduced for the 2002 model year, the reimagined Mini Cooper was BMW’s very clever reinterpretation of Sir Alec Issigonis’s 1959 revolutionary original Mini (which sported 10 inch wheels!): retaining the basic lines and dimensions, but adding handling, power and an extra dose of sass.
It originally came in just 2 models, but you could customize it to an almost infinite degree to express your identity, and then follow its progress online as it went from order to manufacture and then shipped. I liked it so much I bought one (still have it 10 years later).
Mini has always been about individuality and flouting typical automotive marketing convention.
No swoopy drives through fluttering autumn leaves here – – they’d rather slide a car through paint (see above).
And while the Mini concept is arguably approaching its limit (e.g. a Mini SUV, convertible, models approaching $40k), it has succeeded in maintaining its playful, nonconformist personality, with an impressive array of clever, tongue-in-cheek marketing, executed with a wink.
(A collection of 20 AMAZING Mini ads can be found here – definitely worth checking out).
There’s a huge benefit in getting branding right, and then sticking with the program – – consumers know what you stand for, and every marketing dollar serves to strengthen the brand, in addition to delivering a message.