Mercedes in the US, having found success with their previous Generation Y focussed community, now has their sights set on launching a new private, online community next year, the yet to-be-named site will target boomers.
Steve Cannon, vp of marketing, has found the site—generationbenz.com—so efficient and useful that he can envision it replacing some types of focus groups, particularly those that delve into broader issues, such as “green-washing.”
Mercedes launched a password-protected test version of the site six months ago. Through questionnaires, polls and live chats, the company seeks to better understand what makes Gen Y tick. It uses the forum to get feedback on an array of topics from product designs to advertising concepts for the 19- to 32-year-old crowd.
The site currently has about 800 members, each of whom was invited by Mercedes. Nearly half have visited in the past 60 days, and of those, a few hundred are “very regular users,” Cannon said.
About a third of the members own Mercedes cars; the rest are generally interested in the brand and may become owners in the future.
The luxury car maker honed in on Gen Y initially because it’s a “big and important” group that’s comfortable with technology and represents great potential buying power, Cannon said.