According to global news reports, MINI recently had to resort to some drastic measures amidst the Covid-19 pandemic – changing the unfortunate name of the wheels on the MINI Cooper SE.
They were called “Corona Spoke” wheels which have now been changed to “Power Spoke” wheels. Purely a coincidence really, as the MINI Cooper SE was introduced way before the Covid-19 madness kicked in. The matter was brought to the Internet’s attention, when a reporter from Inside EV was reviewing the all-electric hatchback and MINI has since addressed it as it was the “right thing to do” according to MINI.
Now I can understand why MINI was compelled to do so; for reputation, branding, marketing sake and to avoid offending or undermining those who have been gravely affected by this plague but really, it was a victim of circumstance.
In hindsight though, if you think about it, don’t you think it’s sad that things have become this way? That we’ve become so easily triggered and so sensitive as a global society, to a point that brands have to fear and tip toe even on the most trivial matters, like the name of wheels for example.
Unsubstantiated as it may be, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen countless memes of Corona beer cartons which have been completely untouched while the rest of the alcohol section has been emptied. It’s hard to imagine people being so shallow-minded and ill-informed in the year 2020 – where answers to your every query is just a few clicks away on your smartphone.
If we’re a more open society, I reckon brands would not have to resort to such measures because it’s not as simple as hiting the backspace button and curating a new name. They have to first come up with a new name, sort approvals, unnecessarily incur extra marketing and communications costs etc. just to convey the new message.
It’s commendable of MINI to remedy something that could potentially backfire on them but really guys, always keep and open mind; always look at the bigger picture.