Best of British brands: Mini

Leading UK marketers celebrate the most iconic British brands from the past five decades

Best of British brands: Mini

There are few brands that have stood the test of time for almost 60 years, yet Mini has passed through six different owners and still retained a quintessentially British feel. BMW’s relaunch in 2001 truly captured the spirit of the Mini for a new generation, changing an outdated economy car into a slick and aspirational mode of transport, with a dose of edgy and tongue-in-cheek marketing. Mini makes people feel part of a club and the simple approach works – "Five cars. One spirit". It brings a whole new meaning to "pimp my ride", offering personalised additions from "Mini Yours" to the "Chili Pack", projecting a brand that is individual and authentic. Of course, the proof is in the sales, but there is no doubt that Mini has reinvented itself to ensure it’s a brand with passion and the ability to appeal to all ages and cultures.

Lisa Thomas is chief brand officer at Virgin Group

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