This is the story of MINI in
Canada, from its launch in 2002 until now.
BMW’s ambition for MINI was to create a new segment for premium small cars.
Yes, there were quantitative goals, but success would also be defined by image and attitude.
The MINI was a marvelous product for this.
The base model MINI Cooper offering a top speed of 200km/h, zero to 100km/hr in 9.1 seconds, 6 airbags, and power-everything.
But positioning would be crucial.
Strategy & Insight:
Younger drivers wanted something contemporary from MINI, but older enthusiasts wanted a reminder of the original.
Neither audience, of course, would tolerat MINI being seen as a fad, or cute.
And this was a real danger – as was shown, for example, by what befell the new Beetle.
To offset this, MINI very definitely had to be positioned as a guy car – edgier, more urban, and more aggressive than the originale, but still engaging.
This was captured in the acronym FLIP, which stands for Fun, Legacy, Individuality and Performance.
The initial campaign brought out the MINI attitude, and evolved later to focus on things like winter driving, on the introduction of the convertible.
Advertising was cheeky – as in a stunt that put a MINI in a cage, with the sign “Please do not feed, tease, or annoy the MINI.”
As for media, MINI was deliberately out of the mainstream.
Most of the spending has been in print, out-of-home, the web, and guerilla tactics – contributing to the idea that MINI is a bit of a rebel.
It was very important for MINI to establish itself as a long-term proposition, and not a novelty item.
MINI has achieved this.
Sales have grown every year, with 2005 the latest record.
Also worth noting, MINI has beaten its ingoing objective every year since launch.
Cause & Effect:
MINI has not done long-term tracking.
However, in support of advertising as a chief cause of results, there are a few salient points (a) MINI could easily have been seen as a faddish car, and that definitely has not happened (b) MINI’s distinct personality could only have come from advertising (c) pricing and spending have not been factors.