"Since the invention of the first automobile by Mercedes-Benz 125 years ago, the automobile has been influencing all aspects of society, culture, and business. 'The best or nothing' exemplifies Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to perfection, fascination, and responsibility."
As we know, Mercedes-Benz launched a new global campaign called “the best or nothing” last year. How do you think the campaign differentiates your brand from others? How is it relevant to your target audience?
Since the invention of the first automobile by Mercedes-Benz 125 years ago, the automobile has been influencing all aspects of society, culture, and business. “The best or nothing” exemplifies Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to perfection, fascination, and responsibility.
Mercedes-Benz defines the industry as the inventor of automobile. Today, you can find a part of Mercedes-Benz’s original craftsmanship in every automobile. Our confidence and ambition to lead now and in the future differentiates us from other brands. We strive to offer our customers a top experience.
Could you please give us some other examples of campaigns that show your creativity in differentiating the brand—for example, the corporate citizenship initiatives?
Mercedes-Benz's leadership in the Chinese market is also a kind of innovation. Our 10-year title-sponsorship with the Mercedes-Benz Arena is a culmination of all the efforts of our marketing team.
In 2011, the Mercedes-Benz Arena was officially renamed. This inaugural event marked the first ever entertainment arena outside Germany named after Mercedes-Benz. It is also the first sports and entertainment arena named after it in China. Mercedes-Benz Arena stands for an entirely new world-leading cultural center. More importantly, this stands for Mercedes-Benz’s long-term support and commitment to the development of China’s cultural, art and sports sectors, as the world-leading luxury car manufacturer.
We are very proud of our achievements in China. As an innovative brand, we are confident that we will bring innovative marketing campaigns to China.
Do you have any significant co-branded products or partnerships in the past year that helped tie into the larger brand strategy of both brands? How will the two brands work together? Does this face any challenges related to your business?
We partner with only the best to offer an exceptional and unrivalled experience to our customers.
In November 2007, Mercedes-Benz officially became the first ever strategic partner of the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA). This partnership between two industry leaders originated from their love for the arts. The collaboration also reflects NCPA and Mercedes-Benz’s endless pursuit of innovation and perfection. In three short years, the NCPA has joined the world’s top art centers. It has become a place that the world’s top performing artists dream of. Both sides have continued their partnership into 2011. For the next three years, Mercedes-Benz will further its cooperation with the NCPA to bring the arts to the Chinese audience.
In the future, we will continue to cooperate with China's leading platform to bring the highest brand experience to our customers.
Your advanced environmental protection technology, “BlueEFFICIENCY,” was highly commended in last year’s “Best Global Brands” report. How is this environmental strategy going? How do you seamlessly integrate this technology into the lives of the consumers, and how is the technology improving society?
As always, Mercedes-Benz is dedicated to the development of new environmental technologies such as “BlueEFFICIENCY” and the technology of our electric cars, which represent Mercedes-Benz’s cutting-edge environmental philosophy.
With a growing number of environmentally compatible BlueEFFICIENCY vehicles, we are offering a broad selection of premium vehicles that combine economic and environmental responsibility with safety, comfort, and refined driving pleasure.
Beyond the current advanced BlueEFFICIENCY, Mercedes-Benz will continue to relentlessly strive to achieve its ultimate goal of zero-emission mobility.
In short, we are not only providing customers with more comfortable and safer driver and passenger experiences, but we are also committed to creating entirely new low-carbon ways of travelling, for environmental protection is our personal responsibility and this is the real-world definition of “fascination and responsibility.”
What brand do you admire besides Mercedes-Benz and why?
Apple is the brand that never fails to fascinate me. As the former CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs has managed to spread the design concept of “aesthetics perfection” across the world. The pursuit of innovation is the core value he defined for Apple and thus Apple products are more than just MP3 players or computers. Apple has become an icon of innovation.
Mercedes-Benz couldn’t agree more with Apple in the aspect of being innovative. The concept of consistent innovation has been embodied at times, starting from the moment when Karl Benz, the co-founder of Mercedes-Benz, announced “The love of inventing never dies” as a requirement to himself, to the time when Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said “Vive la Révolution!” at 2010 Paris Autoshow.
So, I’d say, innovation matters no less than tradition, for Apple and Mercedes-Benz as well.
What resources or books have changed or influenced you in certain ways?
Reading is part of my life. I take different nutrients from books ranging from poems to biographies.
I have always kept poems of Rabindranath Tagore on hand. His poems are not only profoundly sensitive and fresh but beautiful as well. More importantly, these poems enlighten us as to the nature of lives. For me, his poems are simply the natural flow of his heart, touching mine.
What is the main challenge of your brand? Could you please offer one piece of advice to the companies facing similar challenges as yours?
Being the leader in the automotive industry, we believe that there are more opportunities than challenges. As a luxury brand, how do we maintain a halo effect of being admired and being approachable at the same time? That’s one big challenge we set for ourselves.
My answer is that we certainly can strike a perfect balance in between and that’s exactly the art and science of marketing.
For those companies facing similar challenges, my advice is to think beyond the product!
Customers are demanding more in this Marketing 3.0 era. Besides products, think about what other benefits our customers can get. For smart companies, the focus of marketing should be shifted from our products to our customers and finally to the emotional connection between the products and the customers themselves. So it is quite a must to leverage all resources to bring to them multidimensional values, in other words: Think always about the customers’ welfare!
Only with the customers’ welfare always in mind can we maintain a cutting edge in all competition.
ABOUT MAO JINGBO
Ms. Mao Jingbo, Vice President and Head of Marketing of Mercedes-Benz (China), is responsible for marketing and brand communication for the Mercedes-Benz brand in mainland China. Ms. Mao is an expert authority on marketing, brand management, international communication, public relations, corporate social responsibility, and business training. In 2008, she received the China PR Achievement Award from the China International Public Relations Association.
Shortly after joining Mercedes-Benz in August 2007, Ms. Mao spearheaded “Brand Rejuvenation” to restore the image of Mercedes-Benz as a young and dynamic brand. The campaign promoted Mercedes-Benz as a brand with fascinating and rich values. As a result, sales growth in China rapidly increased. Brand Rejuvenation is now in its second phase, where Ms. Mao will lead a team in building consumer confidence and loyalty as well as passion for the Mercedes-Benz brand. Through this initiative, Mercedes-Benz will engage in deep conversation with the target audience, maintaining Mercedes-Benz’s leadership in the automotive industry.