In addition to introducing the newest iteration of their S-Series super luxury car (complete with a zingy digital dash and a cabin perfuming option), Mercedes dedicated a portion of their Masters advertising to a philosophy voiced years ago by Gottlieb Daimler: “The best or nothing.”
Quality is a difficult idea to wrap your head around. Philip Crosby once said that “quality has much in common with sex. Everyone is for it.” As Professor Phaedrus says in Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, “I think there is such a thing as Quality, but as soon as you try to define it, something goes haywire.” Even so, Mercedes seems to have figured it out.
“The best or nothing” has been around as a Mercedes-Benz marketing device since 2010. They call the phrase a “brand claim,” and their employees have taken it up as a rallying cry. A long-time brand claim by the founder of eminent piano maker Steinway & Sons, Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, expresses a similar philosophy: “Build the best piano possible. Sell it at the lowest price consistent with quality.”
That common note may be why, late in the 19th century, Heinrich’s son William and Gottlieb Daimler came together in New York to manufacture The American Mercedes, “an exact copy – part for part – of the great car of international reputation,” an enterprise cut short by William’s death at age 61.
PURPOSE OF A TAGLINE:
Which is precisely what Mercedes-Benz has accomplished with their elegantly crafted Masters spots.
TakeAway: Consider complementing your primary tagline from time to time with a “brand claim” that speaks to both present and future customers in a softer, but no less compelling, voice.
Tags: Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes, The Masters, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, brand marketing, Mercedes S-series, Gottlieb Daimler, The Best or Nothing, quality, Philip Crosby, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Steinway & Sons, Heinrich Engelhard Steinway, best piano, William Steinway, The American Mercedes, tagline, purpose of a tagline, competitive advantage, strategic benefits, brand claim
© Brian E. Faulkner
About Brian Faulkner:
Brian also is a three-time Emmy award winning Public Television writer and narrator of UNC-TV’s popular Our State magazine series, on the air since 2003.