One lovely afternoon I happen to sit with a very well known figure of Automobile industry in my office. We were just chatting about the general know how of the car business and he happen to share with me a very interesting brand trick of Mercedes Benz which I would love to share with you.
“When Mercedes Benz decided to build its new M Class off-road vehicle, it decided to build it and launch it in the USA. The head of Mercedes USA knew that at its launch, it would be entering a crowded market, and that the mere fact that it was a Mercedes would not guarantee sales. They had to try something different.
In the USA it is possible to obtain free access to data and they obtained details of all current owners of off-road vehicles and Mercedes cars. Mercedes then undertook a series of mail-outs to the names on the database.
It began with a personally addressed letter from the head of Mercedes USA. It said something along the lines of - "...we at Mercedes are in the process of designing a brand new off-road car and I would like to know if you would be prepared to help us..."
Now America is the land in which you receive probably more direct mail than any other country in the world, but it is not every day that the head of Mercedes writes and asks for your help! There was a significant, positive response. Those people who responded received a series of questionnaires that asked for guidance on design issues such as whether the spare wheel should be outside or inside the vehicle, desired engine sizes, exterior colors and interior designs.
What is interesting is that, along with the questionnaires, Mercedes began to also receive advance orders! What these customers were feeling was that Mercedes was custom building a car just for them. No other manufacturer had ever involved them in the design and build process in quite the same way.
As a result, Mercedes pre-sold its first year sales target of 35,000 vehicles. It was expecting to spend some $70 million US marketing the car, but by using this CRM one to one approach, it only needed to spend $48 million saving $22 million. It is said that this program was so successful that Mercedes is looking to use the same approach in the future with other model launches.”
What an Idea Sirji!
Marketing, promoting and branding your business isn’t something you should do by accident. A deliberate and consistent effort can make sure you get more return for your marketing investment.
Keep Driving you motives into your customers heart consistently :-)