Mercedes Canada Smart Car
Building on its success in the European market over the past few years, Mercedes-Benz Canada has launched the Smart Car in Canada! Following a few modifications to meet Canadian safety and emission standards, Mercedes-Benz is currently selling the Smart in Ontario as a trial before a full North American launch the following year. The Smart is unique - almost revolutionary in the auto market. The people at Mercedes believe that the market for the Smart is untapped with virtually no direct competition in North America. Mercedes desires to be the first to market before the competition launches a competing niche vehicle in the competitive North American Market. However, GM, Suzuki, and Toyota have already launched their micro compact cars in the Canadian market.
Your firm has been short-listed and is bidding on the marketing contract for the Mercedes Smart Car account for Canada. Your job is to come up with the marketing plan for the Mercedes Smart Car vehicle and present your plan to Mercedes Canada Vice-President of Marketing (Anderson). In Canada (and North America) Mercedes is positioned as a high end brand; in Europe Mercedes builds and sells all types of vehicles - economy cars, family vehicles, trucks and luxury sedans. The Smart Car is a vehicle like no other in North America, and the Smart Car has the potential to bring a new large demographic into driving Mercedes. Mercedes Smart Car, is lacking recognition in the Canadian marketplace. If your marketing plan and resultant advertising strategy is successful, your firm will rollout the North American marketing plan the following year! Remember that bidding is competitive, there will be other teams presenting bids for this contract - you want to win the contract or get the highest grade - so do a good job!
PROBLEM:Develop a marketing plan for the Mercedes Smart Car; your plan needs to leverage the Mercedes brand and image, without the subsequent piracy of the high end image associated with Mercedes luxury sedans - (check out how BMW launched and sells the Mini). Your plan needs to result in the sale of Smarts in Canada - expand Mercedes customers with a new segment, Note that as of 2003/4, Mercedes is not the first vehicle in the Smart’s product niche.
WHO:Teams of three to six for the presentation
WHAT:Prepare a marketing plan, and then develop the advertising strategy for the Mercedes Smart Car. Your goal is to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that develops the Mercedes Smart Car lineup as a distinct vehicle with the Mercedes attributes (market position) - think Mazda and “zoom-zoom!, or the BMW Mini - without destroying the high image that Mercedes has developed in North America. You need to address: The problem(s) that SMART faces in the Canadian marketplace and how your company is going to solve those problems. Company goals, a timeline to achieve those goals & measures of your success A description of your target customer(s), the need that the Smart fulfills, and the buying process (what sells the vehicles) The features that differentiate Mercedes Smart Car from its competition and position in the marketplace compared to the competition Current real economic conditions; any social, cultural or even technological or legal trends that will effect Smart sales. How is Canada’s culture different from European culture where the SMART is very successful? Place: where & how will Smarts be sold?
The roll-out advertising campaign: recommendations to advertise the vehicles and promote the Smart using all of the aforementioned criteria.
Present your strategy in a 15 to 20 minute presentation, followed by a 5 min Q&A
HOW: A professional presentation, that includes audio visual features; the specifics are up to you… As this is a marketing presentation, the VP of Marketing will be looking at both the sizzle and the steak of your...