I am a current (and long-time) MINI owner, and the car company sent me this in the mail today: foldable speakers and a thank you note (see pic below). Here’s some of the what the card said:
Dear MINI Motorer:
Do you know how much we appreciate your loyalty? (No? We can hum a few bars…)
Anyway, to celebrate you own Motoring musical heritage we wanted to give you a gift that’s music to your gears: speakers to take anywhere. They’re flat, they’re fabulous, and they hope to deliver the best sounds in the world: yours.
David Duncan, V.P., MINI of the Americas
Why is MINI sending expensive direct mail to CURRENT customers? MINI believes that the secret to selling more cars is to engage existing MINI customers rather than to just target people who currently don’t own MINIs. They believe that if they can get current owners more excited about the brand, they will sell more cars to them. And the owners will sell more cars to new customers through word of mouth. In fact, MINI has won the Polk Automotive Loyalty Award in their category for repeat purchases in 2009, 2010 and 2011. So with that kind of loyalty, it’s smart to engage with brand loyalists who will spread the word about the car.
Over the years, MINI has been smart to engage their current loyal customers to keep that enthusiasm high. One of the things they do to connect with these customers (and that I wrote about in my recent book Monster Loyalty), is their MINI Takes the States event. For the past several years, the company has held an annual event called MINI Takes the States, an eleven-day cross-country trek where MINI loyalists meet up for food and music. It’s a kind of tribal “let’s get together and show off our MINIs” event. In 2012, approximately six thousand people signed up to participate in at least one of the eighty-eight events on the trek, while up to three hundred cars could be spotted on one stretch of road. From New York to Los Angeles, the route wound through sixteen states with stops in thirteen cities and covered at least 3,877 miles. Some eighty-nine people drove the whole thing. Wow. Here’s a video recap from the 2012 event.
When is the last time you thanked your loyal customers for their patronage? Be like MINI and let your current customers know what they mean to you. They just might tell their friends about you.
BONUS: If you are a MINI owner, check out the 2014 MINI Takes the States event coming in July.