When it came time for me to purchas2Minie a new car, despite being 50 or perhaps because I am 50, I wanted to drive something that seemed a bit unconventional and youthful.  I also wanted to remain brand loyal to Nissan so the Juke seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.  Unfortunately, the Juke’s funky eye-catching exterior conceals an interior inspired by Barbie’s dream car complete with a shiny plastic candy-apple red console and accents throughout.  Even in gray, the overuse of plastic in $30,000 vehicle was a turn off.

Next, I test drove a Mazda CX-5 and nearly fell asleep at the wheel.  Although it features a smooth ride and luxurious interior, I felt as though I was driving my parents’ car.

My next stop was the Mini dealership.   As I entered the showroom, I could feel my heart begin to race as I saw all the sporty, uniquely designed models on display.  Everything in the showroom seemed to scream fun, individuality and design.   And, to prove that they are more than bright colors and hip designs, their displays, collateral materials and especially the test drive illustrated that the Mini has a rich history of and commitment to performance.

I was sold and so began my indoctrination into the Mini cult…I mean family.  Over the last few months, I have become a rabid brand advocate.  My Mini Countryman’s photo is one of more than 5.5 million Mini-tagged photos on Instagram.  I am one of the brand’s more than 10million Facebook fans and 178,000 Twitter followers.

So what is it about Mini that makes its drivers so passionate?  First and foremost, it’s a great car.  Mini has received the J.D. Power “Highest in Sales Satisfaction among Mass Market Brands” four years in a row.  But as a branding professional, what appeals most to me is their consumer engagement and success as a lifestyle brand.  Since my purchase, I have received:

  • A complimentary subscription to their lifestyle magazine featuring the coolest hipsters on the planet doing stuff you can only dream about…and hey look, they have a Mini, too
  • An invitation to attend a hands-on driving school at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • A catalog promoting the “You-ification” of my car with more than 10 million possible design combinations
  • Encouragement to name my car and register the moniker online
  • A Mini backpack with a Mini-USB thumb drive, journal, pen and more
  • An offer to help find a volunteer opportunity that matches my interests (MotoringHearts.com)
  • Membership in an online owners’ lounge (community forum)

Just like fingerprints and snowflakes, Minis and, we are conditioned to believe, their owners are unique and special.

So what is your business doing to create loyal brand fanatics?  How are you engaging your customers after the sale?  If you need help creating a strategy to turn customers into raving fans, simply contact Electrum Branding.