Mercedes named No1 UK Consumer Superbrand

Todays announcement of the Top 10 UK Consumer Superbrands has shown Mercedes-Benz to be number 1, the first time in five years that it hasn’t been Microsoft or Google at the top spot. The full list is as follows:

  1. MERCEDES-BENZ
  2. ROLEX
  3. BBC
  4. COCA-COLA
  5. GOOGLE
  6. MICROSOFT
  7. BMW
  8. BRITISH AIRWAYS
  9. APPLE
  10. JAGUAR

So, I thought I would take a more in-depth look at what Mercedes are getting up to online, to see if their efforts are worthy of the number 1 spot. The answer being – that they are up to A LOT!

Their main Facebook page has almost 2.5 million followers, which in itself is a pretty impressive number, but they have also adopted a strategy of developing separate Facebook pages for many of the different campaigns or projects which they have created, and in some cases localised for the larger regions (such as the US). Some of the Facebook campaign pages which are running at the moment are:

F-Cell World Drive – which documents a 125 day Around-the-World expedition in an F-Cell, and is kept lively and engaging by the crew on a daily basis, with video and photo updates as well as links to the official campaign blog.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week – which cleverly links the brand to all the latest fashion trends as they first appear. The Facebook page is packed with videos of the catwalk events and regular postings and information regarding…you guessed it…fashion! It does NOT push their products whatsoever, which is great. The association alone with anything ‘fashionable’ is all that’s needed I guess.

Mixed-Tape – (my personal fave!) showcases new music and allows you to download compilations  which are updated every eight weeks. All compilations come with exclusive cover art and pictures, as well as information on the artists. The page feeds into the main campaign website where you can also upload your own tunes.

from Monday to Fashion – fashion magazine developed by Mercedes-Benz, which as well as a Facebook page and website, also has an active Twitter presence.

As you would expect, their main website is localised under the main brand domain, offering you relevent content for your country. I really love the way which they have created an ‘experience’ as opposed to just showing lots of photos, information on the optional extras, and videos of their cars driving along bendy mountain roads. Their latest launch includes an interactive ‘Speed Date’ in the  new SLK with the beautiful Ksenia Lauren.

You can upload a photo, input your name, and choose how your ‘date’ is going to go (to a point – obviously!). In the process you can truly get a feeling for how it is to drive or be a passenger in the car – probably as close as you will get without physically do a test drive.

Whilst the overall usability of the site is not too great, their content is really good. They have obviously thought about their various consumer groups and catered for each individual group need, down to the more technical people who want to know everything about the car, including how they are built and tested.

As for apps, they appear to be working a lot on linking your phone with your cars navigation system and other features, as well as just creating the more promotional apps for launches. They also have a ‘Headline Newswire’ app which can bring consumers much closer to the latest company and product information as it is released. Nothing so great as their competitor Honda’s interactive app which launched last month and enabled you to catch figures from their TV ad though.

Lastly, we can’t talk about what they have been up to digitally without mention of their Tweet Race, which launched on the 2nd February this year.

The idea being that you choose a team to follow, and the number of positive tweets each team received would power their journey to a certain destination. Whilst this was based in the US and not the UK, I’m pretty sure that a lot of Brits would have taken part, and therefore the branding benefits would have crossed the Atlantic too.

So, my overall impression of the digital-side of the number 1 Consumer Superbrand in the UK is that:

  • they know and understand their customer groups, and are creating great engaging campaigns and content for each one
  • they have adapted well to digital as a marketing platform, and are obviously investing lots in this area
  • they are using multi-platform to the max – developing lots of cross-promotion and spreading their brand across all relevant digital spaces
  • they are investing in content, which as you know is a big thing for 2011 and something which many companies (large and small) are still shying away from. Their online communities are also managed and kept up to date – not just created for a campaign and left to die in the ‘Facebook Page Graveyard’ which is quickly spreading it’s way across a no-doubt massive bandwidth!

btw – my household owns a Honda and an Audi…….

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