Mercedes-Benz invented the automobile. Since 1886, we have spent nearly 130 years redefining the industry via innovations such as the diesel engine, the safety passenger cell, the airbag and ABS.

In fact, our brand was born because of two extraordinary men who believed in the best as a guiding principle: Carl Benz stated “the best of all good”, while Gottlieb Daimler’s mantra was “the best or nothing”.

Delivering “the best of all good” means convincing the mind, the rational part of the brain, while “the best or nothing” is about enchanting your heart, the emotional part of the brain.

Today, our brand remains a mix of intelligence and emotion and offers modern luxury. But product innovation alone is not enough anymore; our brand purpose of delivering the best performance and modern luxury needs to be personalised.

The best mobility solution is no longer universal. To be successful, Mercedes-Benz needs to connect with its customers and their personal lifestyle environments. We have expended a lot of effort to get closer to customers, to become more approachable, in order to enable us to become a more integral, more natural and more lasting part of our target groups’ worlds.

We have been using fashion platforms for 18 years and take part in more than 50 fashion events in over 30 countries, playing on the central role of design in both the fashion and automotive worlds.

Similarly, we have worked closely with the German Football Association for more than 40 years and have been a general sponsor of the Deutscher Fussball-Bund since 1990.

Such initiatives (and their activations) are part of our efforts to create a world of Mercedes-Benz full of personal experiences. We want to engage emotionally. We want to transform customers into fans and we already have 17 million of them on social media.

Fans are enthusiastic about their brand and people who are enthusiastic, who understand the brand and love it and live it, are convincing messengers.

Delivering emotional responses requires flexible and unconventional communication concepts, such as the Fashion Studio by Mercedes-Benz that ran during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin last month or the pop-up store in Paris for the new CLA Coupé.

Our new Mercedes me portal gives customers a personal login – a Mercedes ID that gives them access to the entire world of Mercedes-Benz, enabling them not only to submit service requests but also book mobility services such as car2go and moovel with one click.

Customers can even follow the development of new services and actively participate in their design. We can bundle innovative and customer-focused services, products, and lifestyle offers that go beyond our core product ‘car’, offering access to exclusive events that fit perfectly into our world of modern luxury.

Our communications have shifted to a dialogue-oriented approach where we can accompany our customer at an early stage of their journey and offer the best solution to the mobility needs of their lifestyle.

As soon as a customer actively searches for information, our focus becomes getting them into a vehicle. This ‘tipping point’ is essential. Our numbers show that once a customer has found their way to the brand and decides to go for a test drive, we have a high capture rate.

The best brand promise, the best communication and the best product positioning are useless if the product doesn’t perform. They have to go hand in hand.


This article was originally published in Marketing Week's Project Reconnect column. You can find the article here.