1) How could the Mini’s core product be translated into tangible, augmented and potential products? 2) To what extent might the planned changes to specifications and components in 2008 affect the brand image of the Mini?
1) The core product is the heart of the product, the reason for its existence (Brassinghton and Pettit, 2006). First of all, the Mini is above all a car. And therefore is core product benefits is the ability to transport you from A to B. Secondly, the Mini is a compact car, that is easy to handle and that it is sold at a relative small price. Lastly, the Mini’s core appeal is also based on other elements associated with the Mini brand such as ‘sporty’ and ‘fun’, as well as others such as ‘fashionable’ and ‘stylish’.
The tangible product is the actual attributes of the product that represent and satisfy the core product’s benefit. In this case, Mini’s tangible product include a stylish design; the original and the new for both were/are praised for their aesthetics which have been modernized over the years to keep in fashion. Also, its ability to be customized, a compact build but with comfortable insides and an easy handling drive.
The augmented product is the extra benefit that does not necessary affect the functionality of the product but, however, adds competitive advantage and uniqueness. In this case, Mini offers a range of after-purchase services, including financing, After-sales care and insurance. Firstly, Mini financing options are: Mini Select gives you the option to buy, exchange or return your car. Mini Purchase and Lease Purchase, lets you set p fixed payments to purchase the car. And Mini Drive which is the renting service. Secondly, when buying your Mini you could purchase and Servicing package which will cover servicing and repairs of your Mini for 5 years? Lastly, Mini offers an insurance service.
The potential product represents what the product might became in the future and expands on evolution plans which might further the competitive advantage. The new Mini’s potential value can be the creation of new models that will include technical advantages, modernized designs and will generally replace dated features. Moreover, we might find that Mini’s possibilities of expansion and improvement of brand image are many. This may include the creation of collectable products such as model cars or a stylish clothing line.
2) Speciality goods will normally bring in higher profits than other type of products; however, in Mini’s case the profits margins were restricted due to its relative low price. Therefore, the owners of the brand (BMW) made the decision of lowering the cost of production for the recent successor of the Mini. This decision to widen the profits margins may have implications on the brand image. This may cause a lowering in customer’s quality/price perceptions, as people’s expectations will have been set by the previous high quality low price Mini model. To avoid this, BMW might decide to price the car at a premium without lowering the components quality or, alternately, lower the cars quality and offer it at a lower price.
Moreover, if the specification changes see a visible reduction in quality it may also damage Mini’s stylish brand image. This will also reduce is desirability and its aspirational appeal. This could settle the ‘to all-class” Mini in a lower market segment.
Nevertheless, Mini is a strong brand with a defined brand image, backed by a highly regarded BMW brand and, therefore, might be able to afford a change in specifications. In its defence, it can also be argued that Mini’s competitive advantage lies, not only its technical qualities, but also in its brand heritage, British origins and its past key associations.
Finance your Mini: Options
-Mini Select: A finance plan agreement with Mini that will establish your payment plan according to your budget and that will give you the possibility to either: pay your Mini in full and keep it, exchange your Mini for another one for the Guaranteed Minimum future Value (agreed on purchase), or return your Mini.
-Mini Purchase: Purchase your Mini in fixed payments and once the amount in full is paid you will own your Mini.
-Mini Lease Purchase: Similar to Mini Purchase but with a higher final payment which will reduce the amount of your regular installments.
-Mini Drive: Rent your Mini for an agreed period of time at a fixed rental rate. Drive a Mini without having to purchase.
After sale care:
– Tlc and TLC XL: Servicing package for a price (ï¿½185+) paid on purchase that will cover servicing for 5 years (some repairs excluded).
-Approved by Mini:
Genuine Mini parts come with a 2-year guarantee and are created by Mini, which guarantees they have been specially designed for your vehicle.
Approved Mini technicians and dealers: Approved by Mini for the best servicing and after sales care.
Mini Insured Warranty
-Comprehensive: Includes the majority of mechanical and electrical parts. Can be payable at a monthly or annual basis.
-Named Component: protects against mechanical and electrical breakdown for a wide range of specified components in your MINI.
-DriveLine: protects the main components that contribute to the engine, transmission and drive-train of your MINI. DriveLine cover is available to all vehicles, regardless of mileage.
Mini Insured Emergency Service
Cover in the event of emergency in the road anywhere in Europe.