MINI’s Website Makes Me Want a MINI
Stephanie Hay, Former Viget
Now that my awesome and totally reliable Saturn VUE is paid off, I realize there's no turning back -- I'm officially a financially responsible adult.
Ok, so I'm being melodramatic, but only to set up the premise for why I was checking out miniusa.com -- because I never had my, "that's financially stupid" moment all young people are supposed to have, (right?), such as buying a big-screen TV that doesn't fit in my house, or blowing every paycheck afforded by my first job out of college on some hot Audi that I treasure (while living on Ramen noodles and EasyMac as my sacrifice).
Anyway, I'm not about to jump on that stereotypical bandwagon, but I HAVE lately found my eye wandering to shiny new cars populating the beltway during my commutes. Particularly the European sporty numbers renowned for their handling and power. I imagine myself cruising in the mountains as the sun sets, windows down, wind whipping through my afro, and me feeling unusually free from my established adultness.
That all being said, I managed to find myself on miniusa.com, where I happened upon some crucial web writing that shouldn't go unnoticed.
Here, we have a BMW manufacturer bringing its unique brand to what I can only imagine, based on the tone and content and functionality of the site, comprises an adventurous, dare-I-say "hip" clientele. For instance, check out the humor of "Parking a Mini," or the thoughtful pop-ups that interrupt your car-building experience with sentences like, "Only applies to those with rock star status." Plus, their terms and conditions for mini's convertible line are just riotous.
But it's not just all about content, either -- they convey humor in the features themselves, such as when you try to "deny" the aforementioned terms and conditions ... and the button continues migrating around the page without allowing you to capture it. Or that they have an entire section devoted to playing games. Games? Seriously?
Yes, seriously. And I always applaud companies who fully cater to their users, demonstrating their commitment to creating an enjoyable experience even when tradition might otherwise suggest they'd be opposed. (I'd consider BMW to be a traditional company that might be hesitant to let loose, even though its MINI brand seems to be aimed at a different audience that begs for this kind of a car-buying/building experience).
I think it's a rather ingenious example of infusing wit that is a combination of playful and professional, and the balance it strikes has *at least* resonated with me -- and the 20+ people I've told about the site -- when I'm otherwise just a window shopper.
I'd love to see if MINI developed personas and, if so, whether or not my demographics fit one of their audience descriptions.