The brand Mercedes Benz is a name to reckon with , all around the world. Its three pointed star signifies a rich tradition of best automotive engineering with its root going as far back as the origin of the motor car itself. The brand is highly recognized in almost all parts of the world so much so that some even consider it to be a currency. The brand’s parent company, Daimler Chrysler shouldn’t really ponder over the brand development since it is already a top notch name in the market. There is a three-fold answer to this question; Daimler Chrysler, Mercedes Benz and global change.

It was an accumulation of brand guidelines as well as design formats that have kept Mercedes Benz from sticking to its record of constant growth and innovation. The position of Mercedes Benz has altered within Daimler Benz which is quite new for it and is due to the fact that more than one major car brand exists under the Daimler Chrysler group. This called for the internal, as well as external features of the brands to be clearly defined, for distinction.

The specifications and quality has seen a see improvement among all leading car brands that further requires Mercedes to take intense measures to keep its position intact. In June 1999 the brand management department, appointed a famous advertising firm to assess the situation. A Brand Design System was to be developed for Mercedes Benz which would supersede previous guidelines and take advantage of online advances. It aimed at making the brand design and other concepts accessible for all the dealers and agencies around the world as well as the internal audience for the brand.

A Brand Expression, the basic statement for conveying the special heritage was to be developed which included the brand values. This Expression communicated the basis on which the Mercedes Benz team works. The other important aspects of the brand expression were the general design guidelines, the specific design guidelines and the basic design elements.

Of these, the Basic Design Elements covered the constants that form the basis of the brand; including typefaces, colors, brand marks etc. Their brand logo, for example, basically remains the same, i.e.a 3-pointed star; but for its web application was reworked. A wide range of applications ranging from templates for stationery, to guidance on exhibitions and web design are dealt under the General Design Guidelines. For ascendancy of e-business, online design is crucial as Mercedes Benz’s web presence will promote the brand more actively in the future.

Sub-branding of services or specific areas of business is dealt under the Specific Design Guidelines with the use of the two previous building blocks. Thus, Charter Way, a commercial vehicle, fleet management sub-brand, for example, or dealership architecture, are incorporated into the branding system, but with enough flexibility to meet their own marketing needs within the brand’s design spectrum. The technology that Mercedes Benz uses, to make these guidelines available, is in itself an expression of its brand value. It reflects technological advancement and the development of the brand to encompass e-branding, which will be increasingly managed digitally, both internally and externally.

Users are the prime focus of the technological changes made by the brand. The services such as online information, searches, help desk and other similar features are available to the users 24 hours a day now, just using a desktop. The focus shifts on simple navigation and helpful features such as magnification instead of emphasizing on the screen effects or animation.

The Mercedes Benz Brand Design System can be touted as a state of the art global brand management. The system is extremely user-friendly, simple to use and very accessible. Both external and internal redefining of distinction between brands within a company is available at a single glance.

When dealing with a global project such as this, interpretation of the brand expression must be clearly defined. Last, but not the least, it is more important to have a website loaded with little or no ‘special’ effects, and more of functionality and useful information; rather than the other way round.

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