News - Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes me coming to Australia
Australia's first Mercedes me location to open in Melbourne
3 Dec 2015
MERCEDES-BENZ is expanding its global brand-boosting Mercedes me network, with the next bricks-and-mortar lifestyle outlet chalked for Melbourne's CBD in 2017.
Other affluent capitals around the world have already hosted the Mercedes me hubs, such as Hong Kong, Milan, Hamburg and Tokyo, but the Melbourne location will be Australia's first in the chain.
The spreading network of stores offer customers and potential customers alike a tangible access-point to the range of Mercedes me services, as well as a less formal space to "soak up the atmosphere of Mercedes," when compared with a dealership.
Until 2017, Australian fans of the German brand will only be able to access Mercedes me through an online portal, but the new site will offer a walk-in location as part of the Rialto Tower redevelopment.
Speaking at the launch of the GLC small SUV, Mercedes-Benz Cars Australia managing director Horst von Sanden told GoAuto the new venture was designed to attract new customers who wouldn't previously consider Mercedes over rival brands.
"We have recently signed an agreement in Melbourne to further develop our brand," he said. "It's not a secret that we have started to continuously work on our loyal customers and brand advocates, but we also have a massive conquest objective.
"We need to open our brand to people who did not previously come to a Mercedes-Benz outlet, or did not necessarily think we are the right brand for them. Our products, of course, help us do that, but we also believe in certain other tools, and one of those will be a Mercedes me brand store in Melbourne."Mr von Sanden explained that the new Mercedes location would not be a merchandise store or pure retail outlet, but would instead serve as an access point to the brand, and was an entirely new approach in Australia.
"The strategy is to give people who are already customers, advocates of our brand and new people a place to experience Mercedes as a brand, and not in the traditional way by looking at a car, but by meeting like-minded people and talking about whatever experience they are looking for,” he said. “Also to experience some of the interactive tools such as a car configurator.
"It's also a place you can simply sit and enjoy some quality time in a nice environment, having a cup of coffee or something to eat. It's a sort of brand home to soak up the atmosphere of Mercedes. It will be open for the public like a bar/restaurant or cafe, where anyone can walk in. This is why location was important for us and why we chose a CBD location."Mr von Sanden said Melbourne was not necessarily regarded as a better city for the project, but the Collins Street site was the first suitable site to present itself in any eligible Australian capital.
In addition to serving as a casual meeting place for Mercedes customers, the Melbourne venue will also stage more targeted and structured events to align with the company's various sponsored functions.
"We will have targeted events. For example, we sponsor NGV things or we have Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne. It will be a combination of everyday operation but also targeted event for sometimes older sometimes younger, sometimes motorsports, or arts minded people,” he said.
"Melbourne has a massive coffee culture... if we create a space which offers that but also expresses what the Mercedes brand is all about, then we might be on to something which people are really interested in."
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