In-Store app for retail brand experience
Mercedes was facing increasing competition and footfall decline in its UK showrooms and wanted to redefine the brand experience in the stagnant, un-engaging space of automotive retail in preparation for the launch of the Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe.
– How might we create a deep brand experience that is cross-cultural, cross-generational and inspiring?
– How might we subvert the traditional car retail model?
– How might we scale up the experience beyond the retail space?
Our multidisciplinary team used a variety of technologies to tailor the experience for each demographic, creating unique journeys for customers that shifted from a linear 'path to purchase' to storytelling and emotionally compelling engagement .
Mercedes Benz set out to move their brand retail experience from passive visitation to active participation starting with the UK market. They commissioned a team of brand experience experts to rethink the way in which customers engage with the brand and improve perception, especially among young and affluent groups.
Green Room developed the 'Sharper Retailing' methodology to deliver on the business challenge in line with the 'Mercedes Benz Me' programme, a range of innovative online services designed to enhance customer's experience. Accessible via mobile, tablet or PC, Mercedes me lets car owners enjoy the highest standards of care and support, in a way that integrates seamlessly with their busy lifestyle.
We wanted to build on that programme and showcase innovation through attitude, culture and benefit, moving beyond the technology and engineering attributes that defined the brand. The team sought to blend physical and digital spaces for an enhanced in-store experience that would carry through to other channels after a customer's visit.
We looked at bringing emotional stories along the whole customer journey, too. We designed a dedicated zone featuring a real F1 car and a driving simulator for visitors to experience, surrounded by multimedia content featuring Lewis Hamilton.
We also promoted the high-value attributes of Mercedes Benz' special technical assistance service through a VIP hospitality experience and digital tools that would keep the costumer informed throughout their entire purchase or maintenance journey.
Digital in-store solutions
We paid special attention to providing multiple opportunities for consumers to interact with the retail environment by devising a space structure that would let them feel in control of their journey, i.e. being free to explore the different in-store features without being led by sales assistants.
We allowed them to explore and get inspired, which naturally led visitors to interact with content and be educated about the brand as they moved around. We employed beacon technology, such as RFID and interactive motion capture to collect data and generate insights about visitors' experiences.
Another important requirement was for some of these digital tools to be scaled up onto other contexts such as motor shows and pop-up stores. The tablet app shown here was therefore conceived to help consumers find the most suitable Mercedes Benz model based initially on their lifestyle preferences.
The user experience in this particular case consisted of three stages: firstly, on-boarding/introduction, including sign-up; followed by a lifestyle quiz on topics like music, film, sports, gastronomy, destination, work etc; and finally, a iterative customisation of the car model suggested by the recommendation engine. The algorithm was designed to analyse the aggregate data and keep improving the recommendations regarding not only the actual Mercedes Benz model but also iterating with specs through data-driven suggestions, thus transforming the process into a dialogue rather than a simple input/output experience. We also looked at using universal passport login to cross users' data from the app with their profile on social media in order to get a richer picture.
The use of different modes of digital interaction in the retail space led to deeper engagement levels and renewed interest in the brand within the UK market. What used to be a dry, rational, and purely pragmatic purchase experience turned into an engaging and meaningful journey that put the customer in the driving seat.
Client Mercedes Benz
Agency Green Room
UI design Vilmar Pellisson