Best of British brands: Mini

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

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 BMW’s relaunch in 2001 truly captured the spirit of the Mini for a new generation, changing an outdated economy car into a slick and aspirational mode of transport, with a dose of edgy and tongue-in-cheek marketing.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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