Many female car shoppers have noted that the automotive industry still treats them as an accessory in many situations, despite the fact that women accounted for 39% of car purchases in 2013. A new program from Mercedes could be swaying dissatisfied shoppers to try out the brand, potentially giving it the upper hand in the hot luxury market.
A big focus for Mercedes lately has been its “Best Customer Experience” initiative. That has led the automaker to focus not only on what men want and need, but women as well. The new push, called “She’s Mercedes,” means that the company is honing in on providing the kind of customer service that will keep women in dealerships, instead of sending them to the competition. It involves training sales staff to be more sensitive to issues that are important to women, hiring more female sales associates and providing new after-sales services. Female spokespeople, including celebrities, athletes and other women will be used in marketing collateral.
Through the “She’s Mercedes” program, women who are moving and shaking can network with each other, talk about different ideas and throw around opinions on various subjects. Some of the opportunities are online, while others are invite-only events. A new “She’s Mercedes” magazine is also coming out.
So…What do women want?
According to Mercedes, they want a car brand that addresses some specific needs, and that promises to emotionally enrich their life. While that might sound like a lot of hogwash to some, Mercedes also found that women are willing to spend big money to get those things. In other words, the benefits from figuring out how to deliver such things are potentially huge.
Another big component of the “She’s Mercedes” initiative is a Mercedes lifestyle configurator. It helps shoppers cut through the complex lineup of Mercedes models by asking various questions about the shopper’s lifestyle and preferences, then making vehicle recommendations.