According to Wikipedia, branding seeks to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique.
In our experience, MINI is a superb practitioner of this. Every interaction we’ve had with them has been classy, fun, and has had a very personal touch. Buying a MINI is not just acquiring a cute little car, it’s joining a community with its own benefits, culture and rewards.
Today, we got a package from MINI. Ostensibly, it was to send us roadside assistance cards and some finance information. But in the package was:
- A personalized note from MINI
- A pen, journal and rubber band – all MINI branded
- Mousepad with lots of red MINIs and checkered flags
- A static cling window poetry kit
- Little metallic gold body decals
- Dice antenna topper
Inside the box was a flap. Printed on it was “Nothing behind this flap. Zip, nada, zilch.” When we, of course, looked behind the flap there was an envelope marked top secret. It contained a MINI decoder template, a decoder prism and 3-d glasses. Apparently the decoder template can be held over a MINI ad for a secret message.
It probably didn’t cost much to put together and send, but the thinking that goes into their branding and marketing is amazing. Even more so, they’re not trying to gain our business – they already won it, months ago – they just want to ensure our brand loyalty years down the line.
The extended family-like feeling and superb customer follow-through make owning a MINI fun. If we weren’t already thrilled to bits with our car, it would certainly make us consider buying another one from the same company if we ever replace the one we have.
Plus, in this extended club drivers wave to each other. Random acts of friendliness are a major bonus. ☺