Thoughts on A Birthday.

There was a birthday in my family yesterday.  Well, more like an extended family member’s birthday.  My brother told me about it in an e-mail.  It was his car’s birthday.  His and his wife’s to be completely accurate.  One year ago they had walked into a dealership and drove off in their new Mini.

It’s a nice car.  It’s tastefully painted in a medium to dark blue with some nice rally stripes on the hood and the Union Jack on the mirrors for a touch of whimsy.  It’s a perfect match for them and their personalities.

But what really drew my attention was the attention BMW and Mini gave these two in recognition to buying this car.  I honestly can’t think of any other manufacturer out there that goes through this much effort to not only acknowledge a person or people who have bought a vehicle a year ago, but to keep up the excitement in owning the vehicle through its lifecycle.  This is brand marketing and owner loyalty at its best.  They hit all the hot buttons:

Nice photo of candles for the female market.  (Which makes 80% of the decision when buying a car.)

The announcement of the year gone by itself.

Suggestions to keep the excitement going via buying accessories or joining in the vehicle community.

Suggested activities to do with the car or to do in spirit of the car.  (Like watching, “The Italian Job.”)

And, again, to buy a gift for the owner and the car.

This is sheer brilliance!  Do you remember your fist car?  I sure do. There is an emotional connection that forms with the excitement and freedom that car brought to us.  As the years go on and different vehicles come and go, you lose a good part of that emotional spark.  Sometimes a dealership will work hard to create that excitement,  (The now defunct Saturn brand was good at that.) but ususally that will last for the first month or two.  By doing what BMW/Mini has done, not only do they instill appreciation and excitement for the brand, but they build owner loyalty to the company.  And that is the hardest thing to do in these modern times.

I sure hope that someone over at the big three in Detroit is paying attention because this is something they need to reconnect with.

Thank you BMW/Mini for thinking of the people who bought your cars and thank you, brother for forwarding the e-mail.

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