As I explained in my previous posting about MINI’s marketing strategy, there is an enormous amount of driver enthusiasm behind their approach. I decided to spend a bit of time with Murray, experiencing the phenomenon myself.
Once a month there is a little gathering of MINI drivers in Savannah, were folks meet up, have a cup of coffee and then hit the road to go a-motoring. They go for a spin, then park the cars in a fun location and take photos, and eventually head off to eat together at an interesting local restaurant. It may sound cheesy, but I will vouch for it being a lot of fun. I don’t know why, but there was something entertaining about the stares of strangers as the group of MINIs zipped by.
There are people all over the U.S. who do this on a regular basis. I imagine it’s very much like a play-date for their cars. Whatever the appeal, the effect is always the same; strangers approach the group and want to talk about the cars. During the 2 trips I tagged along for, there were retirees, a bartender and a number of other interested folks who wanted to talk about the cars. There is nothing corporate or contrived about the gatherings, and other people sense this immediately and are drawn to the group.
MINI USA spends time and money staying connected to their drivers, and have been able to harness the resulting enthusiasm, cultivating this owner-initiated evangelism. I’ve experienced it and seen it with my own eyes. It works. Whatever they’re doing….they need to keep on doing.
Here is some footage of my trip to Charleston with Murray. He is very knowledgable about MINIs and was a great resource for my research. You should definitely check out his blog murmini.com, if you’re interested in MINIs. Also visit coastalminis.com and Stephanie’s blog allthingsmini.blogspot.com for some more pictures from the trip.