‘Discover Your INYO’ MINI Incentive Tokyo
Iconic British automotive company MINI approached us when incoming orders in the UK were falling behind other European markets, and morale and motivation across the business needed a boost. We suggested creating an inspiring incentive that would drive employee engagement within its sales force and reward them with an experience that would increase brand loyalty.
We instantly knew that the destination would have to be as charismatic, out-of-the-box, and quirky as the brand itself. Japan was a no-brainer; both its past and present reflect MINI’s values and personality; the heritage and craftsmanship of the past, and the playful and technology-embracing present. To win a spot, their sales team would be judged on five different criteria ranging from sales volume to customer satisfaction, and the top 40 performing MINI Managers would be whisked away to Japan.
Inyo, the Japanese interpretation of yin and yang fuelled our creative approach. It encapsulated the destination’s contrasting facets and unique sense of duality – from the sedate calm of Japanese zen gardens to the neon hues and lightning pace of the Shibuya Scramble Crossing – and weaved them into an engaging and emotive experience with a memorable, branded layer.
Strategic messaging that led with ‘Discover your Inyo’ was communicated across every touchpoint to galvanize MINI Managers and portray the incentive as an opportunity for collective transformation. Echoing a profound ideology but executing it in a playful way was distinctly on brand for MINI – a company with heritage roots, that isn’t afraid to take risks. Visuals also referenced the theme of juxtaposition across both digital and collateral, and a bespoke wordmark made all comms instantly recognisable.
Retailers were divided into six leagues, based on their 2023 sales targets, and a monthly league table was published on a microsite which we designed and built to fit with the theme of the incentive. Timely newsletters and consistently updated content that was entertaining and informative ensured continued engagement in the months leading up to the once-in-a-lifetime trip. The incentive itself was a huge success and allowed the 40 top Sales Managers to be rewarded for their herculean sales efforts and get under the skin of the destination.
A purpose-built app allowed for seamless communication throughout the trip. The itinerary showcased Japan’s playful, fantastical side with a Mario Kart race, robot show, late-night karaoke, and a trip to a Pokémon Café, alongside the rich tapestry of ancient tradition with a Geisha tea experience, samurai masterclass, sushi and sake pairing dinner and famous temples. We spoiled guests with surprise gifting that was MINI and INYO branded to tie in with the theme and destination.
The incentive we crafted was more than just a mere holiday. It was an opportunity for MINI Managers to explore the depth of Japanese culture, transcend from a state of working to a state of play, and rediscover the childlike wonder within themselves. They could celebrate their professional accomplishments while basking in unbridled fun, thus embracing their own duality as well as Tokyo’s.
The resounding feedback from guests was that they were delighted to have visited somewhere they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to explore privately, as well as have fun while networking; the trip benefitted them both personally and professionally. They returned home feeling motivated and engaged with their brand, ready to get back to work with a refreshed sense of inspiration and appreciation for their colleagues.
“Taking 47 delegates to the lively city of Tokyo is no easy task, but the team at søster made it seem truly effortless. They clearly understood the brief and what we wanted to deliver, and from the planning to the execution the whole experience was brilliant. The programme delighted our guests, the feedback was incredible, and many remarked it as the trip of a lifetime – which is exactly what we wanted.”
-Holly Curry, Events and Brand Partnerships Manager, MINI UK