How Mercedes-Benz won over Millennials

Millennials get so much heat for their ‘bad money habits’ from both the media and their parents, they could burn their avocado toast. But, the truth is, millennials just spend money in a very different way. It is predicted that by 2020, 40% of the new vehicles on the road will be purchased by millennial generation. The vehicle brand that engages this mass of new buyers will be the brand that values what this group is looking for in a vehicle, and Mercedes-Benz is making strong moves in the right direction.

Ready for a new generation.

The average millennial wants their vehicle choice to reflect their uniqueness and demonstrate their responsibility but isn’t likely to choose a flashy sports car or an expensive hybrid for their first car. That’s why they introduced the all-new A-Class to the Mercedes-Benz Canada lineup.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class surrounded by young people at a club.

The A-Class was introduced to the Canadian market at a downtown club in Toronto.

“The A-Class is designed for a demographic that has become accustomed to constant connectivity and personalized experiences,” says Virginie Aubert, vice-president of marketing, Mercedes-Benz Canada. “MBUX, which debuts in the A-Class, brings those capabilities to personal mobility.”

MBUX can process an almost unlimited number of natural-language voice commands. This allows the driver to simply say, “I’m cold” in order to adjust the cabin climate. Standard in the A-Class, MBUX allows drivers to use remote features and monitor their vehicle through their smart phone.

With an entry-level price of $36,000, sleek exterior styling, 4.5 litre per 100 km fuel consumption rate and wraparound infotainment screen, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the brand’s first vehicle to explicitly deliver what millennials desire. And it’s catching on as Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars reports. “The average age of A‑Class customers in Western Europe (where it has been available since 2012) fell by more than 13 years since 2012.” A similar pattern is expected as the A-Class is rolled out to markets across the world.

Attention seeking

In the digital world, attention is a valuable currency. Potential buyers can search everything they need to know about a vehicle before they arrive at a dealership. So why should they care about an advertisement? Mercedes-Benz has adapted their advertising to revolve around content that promotes the lineup but also adds value to viewers’ lives.

In the summer of 2018, Mercedes-Benz Canada introduced the Garage Gigs campaign. The first Mercedes was built in a garage and, for many bands, the garage is where they have their first jam sessions. To celebrate this common ground, Mercedes-Benz Canada invited emerging Canadian artists to perform secret concerts in an intimate setting. These concerts are then shared on Mercedes-Benz’s Spotify and YouTube pages.

Marketing that moves

Mercedes-Benz has also not shied away from bold and unconventional methods to reach their audiences. For instance, the commercial which was shot by YouTuber Casey Neistat shows a grittier side of Mercedes, and was received with acclaim by the audience and the industry alike.

‘Grow Up’ is another example of the edgy strategy, Mercedes is employing. The campaign does not come across as promotional and instead focuses people caught between the coolness of adolescence and the squareness of adulthood.

Each piece highlights a “modern take on tradition” and explores the new realities of the next generation of adults.

Millennials are the new target market for vehicle brands around the world. Value for millennials is not in the tangible but driven by experiences and mood. Mercedes-Benz understands what they want, features a model that delivers and a marketing strategy that excites them. If you are looking for the freedom to experience moments that shape your life, Mercedes has the keys.