“MINI USA has been in the States now for 10 years, the brand itself is 52 years old, but this year, in particular, we’re celebrating our 10th year anniversary,” beams Broderick K. Mckinney, regional business manager-MINI central region. MINI USA is a division of BMW of North America LLC.

“Last year we sold 57,000 cars, we’re on track to sell another 63,000 cars, which will be our best year.”

Mckinney is charged with operational responsibility across the sales, marketing, parts, service and dealer development functions. Under his leadership, his team provides strategic direction for all aspects of the MINI brand through the retailer network chain of 21 dealerships in the region. The central region represents 15 percent of MINI USA’s national volume.

Previously, Mckinney served as an area manager for MINI and as a sales operations manager for the Chicago market for the BMW brand.
Brand master Mckinney spoke to rolling out during the recent Little Black Pearl’s Black Unplugged concert series that MINI helped sponsor. –zondra hughes

Why was it important for MINI to partner with Little Black Pearl’s Black Unplugged?

The significance of this partnership is that it gives us an opportunity to expand our footprint significantly, in terms of who we are looking to bring into the brand.

Monica Halsip with Little Black Pearl and the audience she has attracted to the Black Unplugged series presents a very unique opportunity for us to be able to build our brand and expand our footprint with a diverse audience, particularly within the African American target audience.

What is your best brand strategy advice for today’s entrepreneur?
For all the entrepreneurs out there, get to know your customer, understand their habits, understand their psyche, and get inside of their heads.

You have the brand, the concept and the idea, but who exactly are you targeting? One of the things that I’m proud to say with MINI, in developing our brand in the United States within the last 10 years, we have 100 percent figured out who our customer is, and through that it’s helped to build our brand.

How does knowing the customer help a brand?

If you just think about it, just from a cost per unit standpoint, we probably spend the least in the industry when we look at some of our mainstream competitors.

The reason we are able to spend so little and yet be successful is because we have a finite knowledge of who our customer actually is.

History of the MINI

In 1957, post-war Europe decided that the gas guzzler automobile was not the way to go. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)

Sir Leonard Lord of the Morris Company commissioned designer Alec Issigonis to create a fuel efficient vehicle that could comfortably seat four and was within economic reach of the masses.

The stylish, nimble, revolutionary MINI was born.

For more information about the MINI, visit www.MINIUSA.com.