- The Mini Cooper brand is facing challenges in an automotive world full of SUV and luxury car competition, according to a report by Bloomberg.
- To address its challenges, Mini is making larger vehicles and looking to appeal to new customers as well as fans.
- “They are definitely reaching a new audience," Ted Marzilli, chief executive officer of YouGov Plc’s BrandIndex, told Bloomberg. "The question is whether all of their customers will come along for the ride.”
Branding is one of trickier areas of marketing. An ill-fated effort at rebranding can create unknown after-effects, many of them unfavorable. At the same time, brand positioning is very important in a competitive marketplace. BMW AG’s Mini line of vehicles is in tight spot right now with low gas prices making SUVs more attractive in the U.S. market, and direct competition on price from luxury brands offering similar products.
In order to reposition itself, Mini is making larger vehicles and hoping to appeal to a new audience.
“I call it coming out of its teen years and becoming a young adult,” Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s global head of the Mini brand, told Bloomberg. “Sizewise, we had to respond to feedback from consumers and offer more practicality. Some diehard Mini fans will say we’re expanding the portfolio too much, but we’re gaining new fans.”
Part of this effort is a TV campaign looking to break the stereotypes about the brand: