MINI officials in Oxford decided last year to change the way the brand looks and is perceived by its customers. Already having a strong connection to its fan base, a lot of people claimed that’s not going to work for the Brits, claiming failure before things even kicked off. However, the daring move seems to be successful if we’re to take into account the latest results from the current Best Global Brands ranking compiled by Interbrand.
According to them, the value of the MINI brand climbed 18 per cent – the highest increase of any premium automotive brand in the top 100, with only two others able to match this strong rate of growth. With a brand value of around 4.9 billion US dollars, the British premium brand climbed ten places to number 88. This is also a continuation of the efforts put in by the BMW Group altogether.
In 2014, the brand was yet to break into the top 100, but debuted at number 98 in 2015 and has now climbed ten places to number 88 in the space of a year.
Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President MINI, explains what makes the brand successful: “Brand growth is a consequence of making people happy – which means delivering on their needs and passions.”
This strong growth in brand value stems from the systematic implementation of the brand realignment announced in 2015. Design, authenticity and intrinsic value define the new brand identity, which is reflected in the visual appearance and new tonality of communications. 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 are currently in the process of a major re-positioning,” 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.”
One of the contributing elements to this growth is indeed found in other areas MINI was interested in. For example, the British brand is involved a lot of projects interested in solving a host of problems the world is facing right now. From crowded cities, to modern living, MINI has been part of the 2016 PITTI Uomo menswear event and had an appearance at the Salone del Mobile and other shows. In late 2016, the brand will open an ambitious center for designers in Brooklyn, New York with the name A/D/O.
Esther Bahne, head of Brand Strategy und Business Innovation: “This year, we started engaging more deeply in the fields of urban architecture, design, fashion and entrepreneurship – developing and investing in products of high relevance to people living in cities globally. This will drive MINI brand growth over the medium to long term, ensuring that we continue to build a pipeline of attractive products and services and keep on conquering new target groups.”
The steady growth of the MINI brand is accompanied by corresponding growth in product sales. In the first eight months of 2016, sales rose 5.7% year-on-year to reach a total of 223,913 vehicles. The biggest growth drivers for the premium brand are the MINI Clubman and the new MINI Cabrio introduced in the spring.
“Best Global Brands” 2016 is the 17th edition of the report published annually by global brand consultancy Interbrand, which explores how brands determine the success of a company. The evaluation is based on the financial success of the products and services belonging to the brand, the role of the brand in customer decision-making and its impact on company pricing. The value of the top 100 brands has increased by an average of 4.8 per cent since 2015.