Company: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
Brand value: US$2,302 million
Headquarter city: Munich
Year formed: 1959
Mini was launched by the British Motor Company as a range of small, economical cars. The brand has since grown to represent an aspect of Britishness, particularly 1960s pop culture. Minis have featured in 60s film classic The Italian Job as well as the Mr Bean comedy series in the 1990s. Their distinctive design and customisable colour combinations – as well as their racing-style handling – make them unique in the sector. While the modern Minis are much larger than the originals, and their pricing higher relative to other small cars, their shape and styling is largely unchanged. Minis are now exported to over 110 countries, with the US, Germany and China the most important export markets; the UK is the second-largest market for Mini worldwide, after the US.
Mini’s advertising has for many years played on the brand’s sense of difference in the category, and in 2016, its “Defy Labels” campaign in the US used famous athletes who had overcome challenges to show the brand overcoming negative assumptions about who the car was suitable for. Prior to that, the “Stay Open” global campaign for the new Mini convertible centred on a nine-minute film directed by Oscar-winning director Joachim Back. It showed how the car could be driven top-down for longer periods, and at the same time sought to reflect the free-spirited open-mindedness of the Mini community. In the past, Mini has used the tagline “Not Normal”, to draw attention to Mini’s unique style. Celebrities appearing in the “Defy Labels” campaign included tennis champion Serena Williams, actor-producer Harvey Keitel, and rapper T-Pain. Although owned by BMW, which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, Minis are made in Oxford, in the UK.