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2.23.2011

looking at the tactics of the product launch of the Mini CountryMan



So I am a mini owner and fanatic. I am the type of customer companies’ drool for. I promote the products I buy and love. I decided to do a review of the tactics Mini decided to use for the launch of their first crossover vehicle in the US. So the first I read of the Mini Countryman was back a year ago in January 2010. It is promoted as a true crossover vehicle and is Mini’s first 4 door vehicle available in the US. It is meant to appeal to the people who love the Mini styling but need the extra room and possibly 4 wheel drive. Here is the first press release I found using Google about the Countryman. It is full of details and photos of the car a year before the launch to create the buzz needed to sell a new car.

One of the cool factors for the official launch they had a pop music idol produce a new song. They had the artist Timbaland create a song specifically for the launch. http://www.carsession.com/car-news/timbaland-produced-song-for-mini-countryman-launch.html .
I actually found YouTube videos back to October of 2010 featuring the Mini countryman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6YCYCSMp5I
They actually stood up a twitter site and just said hi to mini http://twitter.com/#!/MINICountryman. So either they didn’t own that account or they did not want to divide their followers from their man brand to a sub brand. I do have to say Mini has a small fan following on twitter so I would say they do not have much success there.

They had a superbowl commercial that went for the humor edgy them with cram it in the boot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il4u4wcDfJA&feature=player_embedded It did not make the top 5 for superbowl commercials but you can tell they were trying to get attention with the walking the thin line of what is appropriate subject for commercials. Overall I thought it was a good commercial because I do not think people realize how much you can fit in one of those cars.
They also have a great TV commercial which featured a Mini Countryman offroading in the city and riding all over the place. Mini is always pushing itself, rightly so, as the fun alternative and their commercials really push this message.

All the mini dealers used their Facebook sites to have mini countryman launch events. Mini dealers have been very good about having mini events at their locations to increase the “mini cooper cult society”. They treat their current clients very well by sending them mini gear. I actually got a spray paint stencil in the mail to spray paint a spot in my driveway where it will be parked. That to me is almost gorilla marketing. I think when it comes to product launches there are few companies that can do it like apple, mini, Starbucks, and McDonalds. They hit is from all sides and are clear and succinct.

Overall I think they really pushed the concept that it is still as fun as a mini cooper but more space. I think they did that very well. I wish they would hit twitter more but they have such a large group of fans that use message boards that I believe they used their energy on those boards.

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