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With the rapid changes in technology and consumer behaviour, product innovation is increasingly becoming an important concept which a business can use to keep itself competitive, drive growth and increase profits. According to Alexander et al (2010), product innovation is the introduction of a good or a service that is new or significantly improved with respect to its characteristics or intended use. It also constitutes improving the design and function of existing products as well as using new technologies, manufacturing processes and materials to differentiate a company’s products from its competitors. Developing an innovative product that is unique and different to what competition offers can lead to profit growth and a strong market position. As an automotive pioneer and member of Daimler Holding Inc, Mercedes Benz continues to have the future of its mobility through innovation. The company produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers.
The company has currently produced the Electrical Intelligence (EQ) vehicle set to be released in 2019 which will improve the electrical mobility of a customer and offer intelligence and electricity combined. New product innovation together with an innovation culture keeps Mercedes Benz competitive and help it to maintain its position on the market.
Mercedes–Benz presented its new product brand for electrical mobility known as the EQ which stands for electric intelligence and it is derived from Mercedes’s brand values of emotion and intelligence. This new product comprises of all essential aspects that are related to customer and focuses on electrical mobility that goes beyond the value of a car itself. According to Daimiler (2018), EQ offers a comprehensive ecosystem of electrical mobility with predicts services in technologies and various innovations. With EQ, Mercedes Benz is upgrading its vehicles to the use of electricty as an alternative for fuel and provides suitable charging infrastructure for electrified vehicles. This which include wall charger that charges as quick as that one offered at home. It also offers the free charge and pay app for convenient recharging at public stations and storage units to store electricity from the photovoltaic system. These features and other interior and exterior add-ons results in a vehicle that is electrically aesthetic. The new product range of model EQ will comprise all future battery electric powered vehicles as well as associated offers from Mercedes Benz. With it, Mercedes Benz creates and transparent orientation for its customers that offers the next best customer experience. The new product demonstrates how electric vehicles will soon be able to move to the fast lane.
The concept of the vehicle is styled in a way that is similar to a sporty SUV coupe that offers customers a look ahead to a new generation of vehicles with a battery- electric powertrain. The vehicle has a dynamic exterior design that has a new electric aesthetic appeal which underlines the focuses of a powerful electric drive system. It also has two electric motors batteries whose output can be increased to up to 300kw and a permanent wheel drive system that ensures high driving dynamics. The new product has the hallmark of Mercedes Benz in terms of strength, safety, comfort, functionality and connectivity and it meets all the requirements with respect to modern and sustainable mobility. Mercedes Benz has shown its innovation by differentiating the new product EQ and other Mercedes in the fact that EQ is electrically charged and can travel a maximum of 500km.
The vehicle also offers an interior solution on the inside which includes a new interior concept. The EQ product is created by the flowing transition from a shiny black bonnet and windscreen to the dark tinted panasonic glass roof. According to Mercedes Benz (2018), the dark tinted roof is an intriguing contrast to the beam of the silver outer colour and it has hardly visible gaps and concealed windscreen wipers. The vehicle also has cameras that are in a place of side mirrors and it eliminates conventional door handles. The new EQ vehicle set to be launched in 2019 will be a combination of electricity and intelligence. According to Daimler (2018), the vehicle is characterized by modern luxury that it is evident in an all-new user interface. It combines an emotional appeal with user-friendliness and with the exception of the hallmark, the Mercedes power seat controls do away with the old use of classic switch and buttons. The vehicle has no mechanical controls but it is instead equipped with touch sensor elements. How Mercedes-Benz Operates As A Company.
The organizational culture of Mercedes-Benz is built on the premise that every year the company must provide a new innovative experience through its highly craft rated automobile experiences. This results in a culture that pushes every employee at every level to be innovative and think of a new automobile that is better than the existing ones. According to Cosgrave (2013), just like its motto, “the best or nothing’, it has become a company culture that nobody will accept anything but the best, from the employees to management. This drives innovation and helps to manifest the culture of the company into an existing product. The company has been a pioneer in the automotive industry and has given ideas to several other designs and innovations which the majority of car manufacturers are incorporating in their car models today. Since inventing the first car in 1886 the company has never stopped reinventing it, which shows how powerful product innovation at Mercedes Benz is. This aspiration has resulted in developments that have a long-lasting impact on automotive engineering. The company makes sure that a Mercedes Benz vehicle will always be ahead of its time.
The innovation culture of Mercedes pushes everyone in the company to think beyond what is currently done and to look at new possibilities in twenty to thirty years to come. This culture for innovation makes the company to stay one step ahead of its competition. The culture also allows the company to create better future automotive experiences that eventually become a trend that every standard car manufacturer will incorporate into their product range. In addition, the company has got a supportive organizational structure that fosters innovation from top to bottom. While others may criticize the organizational structure to incorporate authoritative leadership styles this has helped the company to produce new innovations throughout its history. This was supported by Cosgrave (2013), who explained that the engineers at Mercedes Benz focus on the future every day, their aim being to implement the innovative technology. Because of culture of innovation, the company has developed one groundbreaking solution after another in order to realize its vision of safe and accident-free driving. Innovative technologies such as pre-safe anticipatory occupant protection system and distinct plus adaptive cruise control are the first controls made onto the road in a Mercedes-Benz and set the new standards in vehicle safety. Furthermore, the incorporation of passive systems and intelligence combined has allowed customers to have better protection and a more comfortable ride. According to Mercedes Benz (2018) Mercedes Benz intelligent drive takes things a stage further by intelligently combining sensors with safety assistance systems. The logical culture of innovation makes the company to respond to a driver’s needs and has allows logical progress that are designed to overcome problems that are faced everyday by drivers. With Mercedes-Benz, innovation is at the core of its business, a culture of innovation makes the company to be the best in the luxury automotive industry.
Mercedes segments its luxury and state of art cars using the mixture of demographics, psychographic and behavioural factors. It targets customers from the upper-class social group, professional executives and those who have an inclination towards modern technology equipped vehicles, more safety, more style and more efficiency. The company divided the market into different geographical units such as nation, regions and cities. The company’s segmentation is targeted towards countries that are wealthy and its demographics include both adults, male and female mostly who are middle-aged people. Although the company targets the young age, they are not very popular because the brand is expensive. The market has been segmented for those who want a luxury car that they can use in a day to day basis whether going to the store or work. People who buy the brand do it for many reasons which include but not limited to quality, safety, beauty, stability and speed. In overall its market is that of people who are middle-aged and earn high income.
The company uses differentiating targeting strategy to attract customers and satisfy their wants. This includes a target of young buyers who are passionate to drive cars that resonate of what they are, their fashion statement, as well as their style.
The company positions its brand through emotional appeal and create top of mind awareness which has helped it to become the best luxury car maker in the world. It has also adopted a positioning strategy as a manufacturer of highly reliable and safe automobiles, resulting in a price premium that is similar to that of other competitors such as Porsche. According to Schmidt (2012) due to its organizational culture, the company has engineered a product that a customer always imagine and it has offered exclusive new breakthrough to help make accidents less severe, less damaging and even less likely. In the mind of consumers, Mercedes Bens is an art of class luxury that is safe and dependable.
The product EQ offers appealing designs, extraordinary living pleasure, high levels of everyday suitability and maximum safety. It represents emotion and intelligence which are two Mercedes Benz brand values that comprise of all essential aspects of customer-focused wants which makes it easy and convenient for the user to drive the car. In addition, it offers others various products and services that go beyond just driving such as touch sensors. This also includes charging capacity that allows the user to charge at any public stations as well as fast charging capacity. This reliefs the user from high fuel expenses and puts the user at an advantage even in times of fuel shortages. In addition, the EQ offers a wide range of charging options such as Mercedes Benz emergency storage units with the ideal symbiosis of cordless charging via induction and wall box. According to Mercedes Benz (2018), households that have their own photovoltaic system and those which store their surplus power in a Mercedes Benz energy storage unit can benefit from a green source of power that is extensively independent of the energy market. Significantly reduced charging times are also another advantage of the product EQ as the European charging standard allows for fast charging with far greater capacity than any charging capacity at present. The new product has a planned charging capacity of up to 300 kilowatts which would enable sufficient power for 100 locally emission-free kilometres to be charged within a few minutes. Furthermore, the EQ has no driving emissions which makes the car to be environmentally sustainable, it is also mostly silent which reduces noise pollution and has maximum torque as soon as the wheels turn.
In conclusion, new product innovation together with an innovation culture keeps Mercedes Benz competitive and help it to maintain its position on the market. As an automotive pioneer, Mercedes Benz continues to have the future of its mobility through innovation. The company applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. Mercedes –Benz presented its new product brand for electrical mobility known as the EQ which stands for electric intelligence and it is derived from Mercedes’s brand values of emotion and intelligence. The vehicle has a dynamic exterior design that has a new electric aesthetic appeal which underlines the focuses of a powerful electric drive system. Product innovation is important in a company because it alleviates customer points, greatly improve market share which in turn enable economies of scale and increase a company’s market power. Mercedes segments its luxury and state of art cars using the mixture of demographics, psychographic and behavioural factors. It targets customers from the upper-class social group, professional executives and those who have an inclination towards modern technology equipped vehicles, more safety, more style and more efficiency. The benefits of the new product are that the EQ has no driving emissions which makes the car to be environmentally sustainable, it is also mostly silent which reduces noise pollution and has maximum torque as soon as the wheels turn.
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