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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 19, 2008

Luxury car brand embraces social networking

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz partnered with consumer community site Passenger to form Generation Benz, a social network they can use to conduct a dialogue with, and learn from, their youngest demographic.

by Helen Leggatt

Mercedes Benz Logo.jpgBy all accounts, Generation Benz has proved a success for the luxury car brand. So much so that another site, this time aimed at Boomers, is planned for next year, reports AdWeek.

Generation Benz
, launched in May this year, is an invitation-only online community which currently boasts around 800 members of which around a third are Mercedes-Benz owners. The rest, says Stephen Canon, VP of marketing for the luxury car brand, are interested in the brand and are potential future owners.

Generation-Benz provides an environment in which Gen Y customers can share their enthusiasm for the brand and marketers can form virtual focus groups around hot topics. Questionnaires, forums and live chat sessions are also utilized by marketers to help develop advertising strategies or even future car design.

"Mercedes-Benz has always been highly attuned to the voice of its loyal customer base, which has helped propel our brand to where it is today," said Stephen Cannon, vice president of marketing, Mercedes-Benz USA.

"When our customers join the brand, they tend to stay. Our Generation Benz community is a natural extension of our desire to broaden the Mercedes-Benz family, and establish a dialogue with future buyers to guide us with the design of our vehicles and direction of our brand."

Tags: Boomers, focus group, forums, Gen Y, live chat, Mercedes-Benz, online community, Passenger

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