Feb 28, 2008

Mini Love


So a friend of mine came home the other day to find a shiny black box on his doorstep. It seems he'd recently bought a Mini Cooper and the box was a gift from the company.

A week after he'd gotten it, he was able to recite to me, in fairly good detail, everything that was in the box (mostly toys-- a foldable model of a Mini, adhesive word puzzles to put on the car's windows, a deck of cards.) He was clearly thrilled and this is a veteran ad guy with a healthy degree of skepticism, not some wide-eyed dilettante.

Mini is well-known for its innovative follow-up programs with customers. (Another friend got a toy model of his Mini a few years back, and was similarly delighted.) But more than delighted, these guys have become what the kids call "Brand Evangelists." In just a few short years they've made Mini into a Prom King Brand™.

What's more, they're also illustrating another Toadian premise: Total Branding* - the idea that everything is an opportunity for branding, from your store to your uniforms to your sales receipts to (in this instance) your follow-up material.

It's the best way to ensure you'll never hear your customers say "I like you, but... Your Brand Is Not My Friend™"

*I'm working on a catchier term for this.

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