Mini brand is a vehicle manufacturing company that was established in 1959, in this report we aim to look at how the brand has fared over the years. From establishment to how it has dealt with challenges to become one of the most dynamic and recognized vehicle brands in the world. From decades of innovation and changes in ideaology it has proven its self to become one of the highest selling motor vehicles. The history of Mini started with the collaboration between two key players in the British automotive industry namely – the Cooper Car Company and the British Motor Company (BMC). Let’s dive deep into learning more about the Mini Logo, their company’s history, and their current car models.
The Mini was originally designed by Sir Alec Issigonis and launched in 1959. At the time there were few other economical cars and with the Suez Crisis there was a clear demand for a small economical car. The car was designed to seat four people, but be as small, practical, easy to park and economical as possible.
“621 AOK” is the first Mini off the production line to be badged Morris. It was never sold, and is now kept at the Heritage Motor Centre, in Gaydon, UK.
Mk I (1959-67)
Morris Mini-Van (850) – Mk I (1960-69)
Firmly set on the idea of producing a Mini for competition purposes, racing car designer John Cooper made tentative approaches to Issigonis, selling the idea of a high-performance variation of the Mini. However, Sir Alec Issigonis still harboured a dream that his Mini was a car for every man: “These cars are not designed for competition use, they are a people’s car.” And Cooper was persistent. He chose to undermine Issigonis and opted for the assistance of George Harriman, who commissioned Cooper to make 1,000 Mini vehicles, with a two-pound royalty payment on each one sold. Eventually, 150,000 Mini Coopers were made.
The first Mini Convertible is produced by Crayford Engineering in Westerham, England.
In October of 1969, British Leyland revamped the design of the Mini with the Mini Clubman. Its newly designed radiator grille (with its own Clubman logo) spanned the entire width of the front of the car and was flanked by chrome-surround headlights. The Mini Clubman was designed to project a safer, more “grown-up” look. And it had actually grown: at 3.17 metres, the Mini Clubman was roughly 12 cm longer than its predecessor. Changes had also occurred on the inside. The dashboard of the Mini Clubman saw the centrally positioned speedometer replaced by two round instruments directly behind the steering wheel – and thus directly in front of the driver.
With over 5 million Classic Minis on the road, a panel of 130 international automotive journalists vote Mini “European Car of the Century”. For the international title, MINI places second, surpassed only by the Ford Model T.
Accompanied by the launch slogan, “Is it love?”, the 1st generation MINI Cooper hit the streets. Wide-eyed and peerless, its clamshell bonnet and chrome-surround headlamps imparted a flashback to the original Mini “eyes”, only this time with a slanting, raked-back design. Originally stemming from John Cooper’s desire to make the Mini Cooper stand out even more on the racetrack, the contrasting roof with matching mirror caps went from Mini to MINI without sacrificing the distinct integrity of the design.
The car that you never grow out of had clearly grown up – and that… The 1st generation MINI Cooper S sizzled onto the streets to complete the… “A decade for Life, a decade against AIDS.” Life Ball MINI with VIP signatures.
The MINI Baker Street is stylish, bold, and not afraid of a little extravagance…
40,000 MINI vehicles sold in Canada.
MINI Superleggera Vision
55 YEARS AND STILL MOTORING.
MINI Countryman Park Lane Edition
The New MINI Clubman
The New MINI Convertible
The Mini group from its establishment in 1959 was seen to stand for inspiration, passion and ideas. Mainly its logo and design is what makes it stand out. A new 2D logo was developed to complement the previous 3D logo with out losing any of the previous high recognition it had. This new logo is meant to reinforce the new brand image. It said the brand’s strong design orientation, underscores its quality and benefit from the contrast between tradition and modernity the new mini font is geared towards the customers and owners easy to read and gives room to read the content. (Mini brand 2018)
Kotler (2010) states that brand awareness is the ability of potential and/ or future customers to connect and remember the brand with a particular product.
Mini brand has taken a strong stance when it comes to brand awareness. According to David Duncan who is head of mini USA, the group has taken three major goals. Firstly they have emphasized that the brand stands for more than just one vehicle. The introduction of different models either than just the mini cooper has been a big hit. The all wheel drives, the convertibles and the four door all terrain type cars have made them even more recognizable in it field. Second is ensuring the quality and luxury feel of its brand. In recent times the group has pushed its agenda ensuring that the brand is seen to be a premium brand, its evolution from the brand only having small vehicles and now the introduction of more compact vehicles and not just compact but vehicles that carry a premium feel.
Mini’s ads are distributed in newspapers, magazines, on buildings, train stations, etc. Mini also uses advertorials to support its brand recognition. For example, in the journal Marketing (2011, p.39) they used FDS advertising for that purpose Another example is an ad in the journal Marketing, October 19, 2011, where a company CORGI offers to put your brand sticker on a Mini Cooper as a model (Appendix
C). However, there are many debates as to the ethics of advertorials because they may trick the consumers (Ali, 1998, p.183). That is why Mini should be careful not to destroy its brand with unethical marketing incentives.
BRAND REPUTATION AND STRATEGY
This brand keeps reinventing itself, one of the most visible change has been the change
Mini USA prides itself in stating that demographics are irrelevant when it comes to having or owning a mini is all about the mindset of the potential new owner (Paternie 2002 P.63). when this statement is analysed and examined it shows that the strategy taken by Mini is to work on the emotions of their potential clients and bear no limitations nor barriers. Although research shows that most of their customers are in between the age group of 20 to 30 year olds (Dahlen, Lange & Smith, 2010, P. 275. This is different from the previous years where the vehicles where seen as inexpensive boxes of transportation and mobility to take one from point A to point B without looking at comfort safety or speed. (Paternie, 2002, P. 61)
The idea behind the mini was to have a range that was of a small build, economical city vehicle which would not harbour too much space at all and was very fuel efficient, using as little as possible fuel. The designer Sir Alec Issigonis decided to team up with his friend john cooper who gave the brand the potential it possesses today. This team work brought about an essential and highly emotional driving experience and this is where the same iconic Mini look emanated from.
But with time a new brand philosophy was created, removing all that was not necessary to make room for according to them what matters most.
PROMISE AND EXPERIENCE
The future and promise of what is to come seems very exciting with the design team tweaking and improving things for a fun and emotional feel type of branding. Accordintg to BMW GROUP the MINI superleggera which is one of the future concepts will lead the new approach showing exactly what their design focus is.
BRAND EQUITY AND REPUTATION MEASURE
According to the group they have seen double digit increments in growth, after it was purchased by BMW Group in 2001, in the first year alone sales increased fivefold. The sales to date for the brand have had a substantial and surprisingly high increment of about 12 times very impressive for a brand that was not as thriving.