On Branding for the Short Term vs. the Long Term

An interesting story on how the Mini was successfully marketed, but not as a cute car, as posing the car as cute would cost it half of its sales initially (men don’t buy cute things) and all of its sales in the long term (cuteness is quickly forgotten):

Furthermore, VW released the New Beetle that year, and the Beetle was most certainly touting itself as cute. The choice to compete by being the “not cute one” was a long-term strategy by MINI at the expense of easy first-year sales… they were going to take on the difficult task of convincing men to buy this super-cute car because of its other strengths. So, how’d it work out?

VW sold 50,000 Bugs in 2002. Seven years later, it was selling 14,000.

MINI sold 25,000 in 2002. Seven years later, it was selling 45,000.

Obviously, there’s more to each message than that – the performance message tied to the Mini was not simply a message but backed up by the product.

But it’s good to be aware of the advantages that don’t have an expiration date attached.

A Branding Lesson For Startups [Vendalize: The Blog]


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