Car brands know that a test drive is the single most influential experience they can give a consumer to trigger purchase. But, all too often, life gets in the way (sigh).
Understanding this, Mini has done away with the journey to an out-of-town showroom and the rent-a-mate salesman spiel in favour of an experiential marketing campaign, ‘The Mini Store’.
Of course, by ‘store’ we’re talking ten brand-spanking new Minis, nipping around the avenues of the French capital – ready to be hailed down by a passer-by who fancies a test drive. It’s original, immediate and demands only the most minimal response – perfect for time-poor Parisians.
Why is it so brilliant? Because it’s so so bloomin’ simple. It brings the test drive straight to you, gets you behind the wheel as soon as the new Mini catches your eye and could turn a casual observer into a potential Mini driver.
The beauty of this idea is that the Mini should, and probably will, sell itself – especially with a brand that has such a well-loved persona and iconic looks.
What’s more, it makes the chat with the salesman much more informal, relaxed and fun – he’s working on neutral ground and any pre-conceptions about his sales patter will be diminished in this unconventional setting.
It’s also nice for the consumers to take a test drive in an area they know – and with Mini being a nimble city car, the Parisian backdrop gives this idea another big tick.
The only thing I’d have liked to have seen would be to push it further in a social media context. If I knew these mobile Mini stores were out and about, it’d be nice to track them down using a GPS app, or perhaps even being able to book a time that was convenient for me to take the all-important test drive.
George Bell is creative lead at WDMP