There have been thousands of cars that came and went throughout the history, yet just chosen few have turned out to be satisfactorily prevalent and known by their nameplates. A single car which turned into its own automaker, enduring through the brands that spawned, and turned out to be iconic to the point that it’s not just a national fortune in its nation of origin, but a design that is a legitimately secured trademark is MINI.
The Foundation of the History
It all began with the Suez Crisis in England. Post-World War II, in the year 1957, the fuel prices were soaring which led many people wondering if the large, gas-guzzling vehicles of the day were efficient. As a result, Morris Company’s Sir Leonard Lord issued his top engineer, Alec Issigonis, a challenge: design and build a small, fuel-efficient car capable of carrying four adults, within the economic budget of just about everyone. As it happens, the challenge of combining all these functions into such a small package inspired a couple of historic innovations. Issigonis came up with the two most significant innovations to create more room in the cockpit: pushing the wheels all the way out to the corners and turning the engine sideways giving the car more stability in the tight turn and more passenger space on the inside. The world was yet to see a car like that. Then came along John Cooper. John Cooper, the famous auto racer, saw an opportunity to transform the classic Mini into the perfect race car. With the lightweight and fuel efficient design, it was perfect for speeding around corners. He worked on the Mini changing the engine and surprised everyone by winning the Montecarlo rally. The strong tension and contradiction between these two is what makes the MINI brand so special. The principle: to focus on the essentials and to maximize the experience. The rest is history!
Embodying the Attitude to the Life of A Whole Generation
MINI, a car employing innovative solutions to offer unbeatable levels of space within a remarkably small footprint was on the road and people just could not stop talking about it. But it wasn’t just the onboard space of the Mini that impressed; with its faultlessly satisfying driving characteristics and exceptionally agile handling, it left a trail of smiling faces wherever it went – both every day on the road and when answering the call of motor sport competition. For most of its golden run, MINI has seen the greatest peak there is for an automaker. It has been part of the BMW Group since 1994. The launch of the new MINI in 2001 saw the brand make the leap into the 21st century. And it still embodies the attitude to the life of a whole generation – extrovert, open and full of zest.
More than just a Car
Today, MINI is not only the most emotional car brand, but a true urban lifestyle brand which aims at delivering meaningful and substantial offers and experiences to people’s passions and needs. These may also be found beyond cars, which is why the team MINI is currently exploring other fields related to the MINI brand like fashion or urban living. They want to go there, where their people are, and unlock the city with the people. MINI aims to actively shape the zeitgeist, set sparks, move people and by this create real added value – emotionally and substantially. MINI is for all those who share this mindset and spirit.
Engaging Deeply in the Fields of Urban Group
Apart from the classical car business, MINI has started engaging deeply in the fields of urban architecture, design, fashion, and entrepreneurship from last year. Over these topics, they connect with a young, modern, urban group that shares the MINI spirit—way beyond those who are interested in just buying a car. Meanwhile, these engagements surface new ideas for the MINI and fuel their own future strategy: on products, services, and new sales touchpoints and formats. One example: MINI has opened a hub for designers in Brooklyn under the name A/D/O at the end of 2016 and it also houses its startup accelerator URBAN-X. Such innovation drives brand growth mid-to-long term, ensuring MINI continuing to build a pipeline of attractive products and services, and keep on conquering new target groups.
Finding Creative Solutions Leading to Better Results
It has been in the DNA of MINI to be inventive, and to challenge conventions. Simply put, it is in MINI’s nature to take challenges and find creative solutions leading to new and even better results. This is how the first MINI was born, how the relaunch 2001 was done and how they continue to keep the brand what it is. MINI’s focus is to make people happy, to deliver on their needs and passions. Wherever MINI shows up as a brand, they make sure MINI adds value and has an impact.
The new brand philosophy dispenses with all that is unnecessary, leaving more room for what is important and focusing attention on key messages, communicated in an authentic manner. “The brand is evolving; we have successfully repositioned the brand in the last years,” underlines Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President, MINI. “MINI is not only a highly-emotional automotive brand, but also an authentic, urban lifestyle brand that is positioning itself in a number of new fields.”
Looking Optimistically into the Future
Focusing on what is essential to the customers and maximizing their experience when engaging with the brand is MINI’s mantra. But investing in the brand also means investing in the people behind it and MINI has invested in their team from the beginning. Their teams comprise hybrid thinkers from different backgrounds who work together to challenge conventional thinking and explore new potential for the brand and the business. It is also worth noting that MINI has a very attractive product portfolio. All current models enjoy great market acceptance. This portfolio, combined with brand strength, will make 2017 another great year for MINI, and allow them to look very optimistically into the future.