Reinventing Mercedes – a mind game


We don’t know what the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) of your brand might be. But we know that you should find your UVP if you want your brand to survive. As a first step, it always helps to start in a playful way. Think of one of the most influential brands that you know, that you use, that you like, and that you would like to survive.

Got one brand? Fine. Now imagine you are the customer of that brand. You are the Educated Decision-Maker. You know your needs, you know what you would see as a benefit: What is the value of that brand for you that you see as unique? Got one value? Great. Now, as it is a big brand you like, you surely know a bit about what the company is doing to strengthen the brand. Is it close to your perceived or desired value? And why so? And what does this tell you about your own UVP?  Any findings or inspiration? If it doesn’t tell you enough: Play it again, Sam. With another brand.  We decided to play with  Mercedes


Having the challenge to rebuild your brand is not an easy exercise. As an example, Mercedes  may sometimes feel like a roller coaster. Stating the reinvention process is important (see Daimler 2016). However really pushing the envelope is another story. So, Mercedes is a nice but ambiguous example representing German car manufacturers.

It is not completely clear what Mercedes stands for or wants to stand for in the future. What is their value proposition? Is it a perfect engine design? Or luxury? Or maybe safety? Do they want to be known as the car company with the highest quality?

As we are not Mercedes brand managers, but customers, we can decide what value we want Mercedes to stand for. So: We want to be moved by Mercedes. We wouldn’t be amused by a Mercedes fridge or a Mercedes hospital, but we could imagine a Mercedes bike or wheelchair or travel service. Our understanding of Mercedes‘ unique value proposition: Mercedes stands for individual mobility. Propositions have consequences: If the brand’s promise is individual mobility, what does it mean for the brand? Above all: What does it mean for the future of the brand –and the ways it changes?

3  levels of innovation to fully exploit the potential of your UVP

Continuous Improvement:  As a pioneer in the engine sector, Mercedes is very proud of it. That is precisely the problem once it gets to the incremental area. Letting go of beloved features and learning about and applying new ones is the challenge here. Damn, again the EDM. Exciting is the disruptive area. A future-oriented value proposition offers the right horizon. See what’s coming. And be ready for it. Not too early, but by no means too late. Timing is everything. 


For the Educated Decision-Maker as a potential Mercedes customer, the logical transition to new forms of propulsion such as an electric motor would transform Mercedes into probably the most luxury consumer gadget. And when a car turns into a consumer gadget, it’s not just a plain car anymore. The value proposition offers also a non-car ownership as an option. Which expresses the new way of individuality when it comes to mobility. A private Mercedes-lending business model a la Turo could change the way how to finance your individual mobility. Watch out: The EDM is in learning mode when it comes to cars.


Creation of a Unique Value Proposition: Your UVP!
Reshape Innovation
The genesis of the Educated Decision-Maker