Mercedes-Benz is one of the luxury car brands that have exhibited consistent growth in popularity not only in the U.S but also across the world. The current perception that one develops by looking at any Mercedes-Benz car is that of an ideal car that delivers the promised value with every product that comes from the manufacturing line. To get to this ideal status, Mercedes-Benz has made significant efforts in building brand value and used consistent brand communication to attract and retain customers. It is currently considered as one of the premium luxury car brands and was listed as one of the top 100 global brands by Brandz.com.
The Mercedes-Benz car brand is one of the top brands in the world as named by Brandz.com. The brand was named number 54 with a total brand value of $23 355 million (Brandz.com). The total value of the brand comprises of its value across all continents, key of which is the value in the U.S market. The most outstanding feature of the brand is its association with luxury. The company makes a promise to deliver value through all elements of product design including the most basic attributes of the products. The popularity of the Mercedes-Benz brand in the U.S market can also be associated with the assortment of unique parts, fleet and components of the brand in the U.S (Cain par. 2). Because of these features, the brand has been performing well both in the U.S and across the world.
In the recent years, the brand value of Mercedes-Benz in the U.S has appreciated significantly. The sales per year and the market shares have been increasing over the last few years. According to Cain, the current status of Mercedes-Benz in the U.S market is one of tight pressure as it is under strong competition from both Lexus and BMW (par. 3). In 2013, the Mercedes-Benz brand owned the highest market shares, a position that was lost to BMW in both 2014 and 2015, regained in 2016 through 2018, and then lost again in 2019 (Cain par. 3). This fluctuation in market positioning confirms the strength of competition faced by Mercedes-Benz. The number of sales has however been increasing month on month through January 2020. The chart below shows the trends in brand sales volumes and the market shares over the years. From the chart, the inconsistency in market shares fluctuations and the increasing sales is observable.
Mercedes-Benz Sales and Market Shares in the United States (Cain par. 8)
The Mercedes-Benz brand tagline is: “the best or nothing”. Over the years, the company has continuously lived in alignment with the assertion in this tagline as it has been described as one of the best driving experiences that anyone can buy with money (Cain par. 1). The company’s tagline is aligned with the brand image of luxury, quality and effectiveness, and that image has been portrayed by all the products rolled out from the brand’s assembly line.
As with the tagline, the company has also been able to exhibit that image of luxury, quality and consistency in value through its logo. The Mercedes-Benz logo has evolved over the years while maintaining the same simple trademark. The logo comprises of a three-spiked star embosomed with a laureate-wreath border and with the brand name indicated on it, which was initially designed to indicate domination of the sea, land and air (Car Logos par. 3). The logo has since undergone various insignificant changes through which the border morphed into a conspicuous circle. In the current logo, the base colors include black and silver. The black color represents elegance, purity and integrity, which are the brand values for which Mercedes-Benz is known; while the silver color depicts creativity, sophistication and the perfection attributed to the luxury class to which Mercedes-Benz belongs (Car Logos par. 5). These features together with the simplicity of the three-spike star have resulted in the consideration of the Mercedes-Benz logo as an extremely efficient logo. The effectiveness of the Mercedes logo is also aligned to its clarity, simplicity and the consistency associated with the brand (Car Logos par. 6). Over the years, the link between the brand image and the logo has resulted in the consideration of the Mercedes logo as one of the most popular, most adorable and most instantly recognizable brand logos in the world (Car Logos par. 8). Even with these characteristics, Mercedes-Benz has not provided any clear instructions on the use of the company logo.
One of the most outstanding branding signals associated with Mercedes-Benz is the insistence on class, both in the product features and in the service quality. According to Taylor, the company has a policy on ensuring that customer encounters with the brand service are as impactful as their encounters with the brand products. In this context, the company focuses on inspiring their sales people to do something extraordinary such as showing exceptional kindness in order to be impactful on customers (par. 3). This is however not easy to attain as there is no scientific algorithm or process that can be followed to motivate people to go out of the way. Instead, the company places emphasis on educating salesmen, inciting them, and exciting them by giving them the autonomy to rise to the occasion when opportunities present (Taylor par. 4). In this way, the company has managed to not only attract customers consistently by product quality but also to retain customers through consistent high quality service.
To enhance the service experience even further, the company developed a flagship project aimed at increasing the pride of dealership employees towards the brand. The company figured out that the only way for employees to build pride in the product would be through having an experience driving the cars, an outcome that was achieved by giving each major dealership employee an opportunity to drive a Mercedes-Benz car for 48 hours (Taylor par. 5). Such experiences have resulted in continued recognition of the Mercedes-Benz brand value both among the workers and among customers, an outcome that has contributed to the growing brand recognition and reputation.
The Mercedes-Benz brand has also been able to promote brand signaling through the combination of performance, engineering specifications and luxury in all its products. This consistency in product characterization has earned the company a powerful position in the automobile market and continues to awe users because of its consistent product quality, which is taken to indicate reliability (Henley and Cotter 90). The brand’s home of origin, Germany, has also played a significant role in its recognition as a brand of value across the world.
Mercedes-Benz is recognized as a leading brand across the world. Over the last few years, the company has grown in the number of sales per month and has been competing favorably with BMW in terms of market shares and market position. The company has effectively used its tagline and logo as expressions of sophistication and quality, and the products have lived to the customer expectations based on these features. The brand has also been associated with exceptional and impactful customer service and product characteristics.
Brandz. “100 Most Valuable Brands of 2020.” www.brandz.com/webcast
Cain, Timothy. “Mercedes-Benz Sales Figures – U.S Market: Monthly and Yearly Sales Figures for Mercedes-Benz in the United States.” Good Car Bad Car, 2020. www.goodcarbadcar.net/mercedes-benz-us-figures/. Accessed 12 June 2020.
Car Logos. “Mercedes-Benz Logo.” Car Brands, Mar 17, 2020. www.carlogos.org/car-brands/mercedes-benz-logo.html. Accessed 12 June 2020.
Henley, James and Michael Cotter. “The German Automobile Paradox.” Advances in Business Research, vol. 3, no. 1, 2012, pp. 90-98. journals.sfu.ca/abr/index.php/abr/article/viewFile/89/63. Accessed 12 June 2020.
Taylor, Bill. “Making Kindness a Core Tenet of Your Company.” Harvard Business Review, Nov 22, 2018. hbr.org/2018/11/making-kindness-a-core-tenet-of-your-company. Accessed 12 June 2020.