A few weeks ago we tipped you off to the upcoming subtle rebranding of the MINI identity. As it turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg. Today MINI is announcing that is realigning the MINI brand’s product and brand strategy. At the world premiere of the new MINI Clubman in Berlin, Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad and After Sales, explained how he plans to develop the brand: “Since its creation in 1959, the MINI brand has always stood for ideas, inspiration and passion. That will not change. The new MINI Clubman is the symbol of our refined brand philosophy: We will concentrate in future on five core models with strong characters. We will open ourselves up to new ideas and new business areas. We will develop the brand’s visual identity. We are expanding our offering into the premium compact class, which will attract new customers and avid MINI fans. I firmly believe that this comprehensive realignment will enable us to continue the MINI brand’s unique success story.”
On the way out is the brand’s long standing three dimensional (almost skeuomorphic) design, block-like type and black backgrounds. Replacing it all is a two dimensional, two color logo accompanied by new type and new tonality that underscores idea of clarity and authenticity and will ensure the brand continues to shape the spirit of the times. Those last few words are actually MINIs but we left them in because frankly they’re right. This is an update that was overdo. The previous corporate identity dates back to the launch of the brand in 2001 and has served BMW well. But with the new head of the design Anders Warming presiding over a simplification of the design language within the brand’s products, this change was inevitable as it is welcome. The logo will be accompanied by a new serif font called Catalog Black.
MINI Enters the Premium Compact Class
With its entry into a higher vehicle class, the new and roomier MINI Clubman is meant to appeal to customers who appreciate outstanding design and driving fun combined with everyday drivability and long-distance suitability, versatility and comfort. The extension of the compact class product range coincides with the introduction of a common front-wheel-drive architecture which will be used across different models and brands.
The new MINI Clubman is entering the market segment that is promising from a growth standpoint. Market studies forecast annual growth of four per cent for the premium compact segment, which will account for more than 27% of the total global premium passenger car market by 2020. MINI’s plan is to participate in this growth. MINI customers increasingly choose a higher level of options. The company expects the percentage of sporty Cooper S models to account for up to a third of sales, depending on the model series, over the medium term. The share of ultra-high-performance John Cooper Works models is set to almost double to five per cent of the MINI model range.
Car-sharing solutions for private vehicles
Another milestone in the MINI innovation offensive will be a car-sharing solution for private vehicles. Society’s shift towards a “sharing economy” also fuels the success of the car-sharing concept DriveNow, which benefits to a large extent from the appeal of the MINI brand in cities. Peter Schwarzenbauer explained the thinking behind the new MINI service offering: “Society and the automotive in- dustry are undergoing radical change. MINI customers are among the most pro- gressive, open-minded target groups. So it makes sense for us to offer a car- sharing option for MINI starting in 2016.”
A new optional equipment package will enable MINI customers to share their MINI with others. MINI customers can make their vehicle available to DriveNow when not in use. This is also an attractive feature for fleet customers, enabling optimum use of fleet vehicles. This option will initially be available in the US in 2016 and later in DriveNow cities. In a further step, MINI will also enable a new form of vehicle lending (“peer-to-peer car sharing”) for a defined circle of family and friends.