I am sure that many of you heard of Vertu mobile phone. It is handmade mobile phone from Nokia, despite Nokia’s technological features Vertu has actually nothing except being expensive and luxurious! Despite its price as much as a small country’s GDP, people are buying it. When you consider Vertu as a phone mobile, ten years ago it could be the most technological one but now, it is one of the basic one. And it has a demand!
I know Mini and Vertu are totally different products; they only share very few things in common. People with Vertu do not tend to drive Mini very often. But their common parts are being ridiliously expensive and do not offer anything very different rather than their style.
And finally Mini revealed a car which has a demand as few as Vertu phone! This is the Mini SUV, The Countryman. Unlike its name, people who are living in country sides may not afford to buy Countryman or they might find it pointless. This new Mini, has four wheel drive, five door, big tyres, big wheel arches, and like pointless X6 it could accommodate only five people. As I consider, at the size of Ford Fiesta, four people can travel happy with the Countryman.
Mini’s product extension strategy is a very good example for marketing modules. They are marginal, iconic brand with its heritage and they extend the product range to increase sales. However their ambition to extend the product range is becoming insane, BMW has every kind of Mini concept vehicles which have potential to be built! As BMW loves to take risk and create new segment but those segments may not receive the expected demand all the time. And this might be similar with Mini also, BMW is trying to maximize the Mini brand’s assets and create money. This is very normal for a company because they are here to make money. But these kinds of aggressive marketing strategies may not help to grow more money in their account, instead it can erode the brand image. People who used to prefer Mini brand can adversely influence by aggressive extension policies.
I am pretty sure that, there is a demand for Mini SUV. Land Rover will offer one, BMW has X1. Mini has a different character than these brands. People who bought Mini and Mini Clubman (which did not make huge success) may not be very happy with new Mini. As the original Mini was reflecting the life style and memories from 1960s, these new models are just reflecting the contemporary marketing techniques.
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