VW Hires Away Key MINIUSA Exec

From thecarconnection.com:

Volkswagen of North America said Thursday it hired Kerri Martin to the new post of director of market development, putting the former MINI executive in charge of advertising, promotions, marketing strategies, and public relations.

While at MINI, Martin was often mentioned as the guardian of “brand soul” for the small BMW-owned car line. She was instrumental in introducing the new MINI to the U.S. and directing a marketing effort that vaulted MINI to high brand awareness and over-achieving its sales targets.

[ VW Hires MINI’s Martin For Marketing Moxie ] The Car Connection

MF Analysis: While Martin had an undeniable role in MINI’s marketing success, I wouldn’t get too worried as a MINI enthusiast. First off MINIUSA will undoubtedly be able to attract the best and brightest to any open position – especially with their history of excellent marketing. Further, they still employ the services of Crispin Porter & Bogusky who have done a wonderful job of cultivating the brand.

  • I think that’s fantastic.
    VW has a lot of history and some really great marketing. Those two PLUS Martin should bring us some memorable advertising that we will undoubtedly be talking about.

    VW needs a boost every now and again even though they make great product.

    Congrats to Martin!

  • acetonic

    I think she’ll find it a bit tougher to push the overpriced, underperforming VW products. I’m sure MINI will continue to do fine howerver.

  • RB

    Here, here to the both of you.

  • Nate

    Still disappointing though. I hope the image doesn’t change too much, I rather like where it’s at now.

  • Brian

    I wonder what it would take to get VW to hire way Chris Bangle, too?


  • Brian

    oops- typo!

    (should read hire away Chris Bangle)

  • VW is too wise to do that. [i]laugh[/i]

  • Christopher W

    I would have thought VW’s greater priority would be to hire away whoever Hyundai installed to bring their quality ratings up from the bottom of the barrel to near the head of the proverbial pack.

  • Oh man… more armchair Chris Bangle opinions. I can’t believe it (sigh).

  • RB

    I thought the CB jibes were funny.

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    I agree with Christopher W – it’s too bad that VW’s don’t have better longevity as they are well-driving cars. It really is increadible how far Hyundai came in so short a time. I just spent two weeks in South Korea and it’s wall to wall Hyundai and Kia, all of which seem to be running just fine. I don’t want one, but my hat’s off.

    As for trading marketing executives, I wouldn’t expect much change at all in terms of MINI’s marketing. Crispen Porter & Bogusky at this point have a very well established leadership role with the MINI brand and I’m sure that will continue. Kerri Martin’s contribution not discounted, credit for the message and execution of MINI’s marketing message most likely falls with CP&B. Martin’s leadership came in choosing to work with their agency and giving them creative license to propel the brand forward. Though marketing directors and the like play pivitol rolls in the process, the advertising agencies ultimately are responsible for the concepts that we see in the ads and branding messages. Perhaps in this new role at VW, her interaction with VW’s ad agency (or perhaps in changing agencies) will take VW’s brand in a better creative direction, but most likely her influence will be more felt in terms of VW’s marketing media mix and more public relations-oriented events.

  • Tsukiji

    MINIUSA will just hire someone else away from Harley-Davidson to supply vision for their branding.

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