Presently, Mercedes-Benz C class has swiftly penetrated in the Singaporean luxury car market due to the prestige associated with the brand. Being a consumer product, Mercedes Class C has been characterized by high performance that accurately meets personal needs for active individuals through the superior brand name. Over the years, Mercedes Benz brand name has won global recognition, contributing to its popularity in Singaporean market. The various sub-models of Mercedes Benz Class C including C230, C240, C320 and C350 among others offer consumers with various luxurious services, besides mere travelling.
It is important to note that, the ability of a core product to offer credible and other beneficial characteristics besides the core product utility enhances its propensity to acquire popularity among consumers1. In this regard, Mercedes Class C has been considered as of high quality level, having sophisticated features to enhance driving experiences, stylish in nature and having strong brand name. In Singapore luxury car market, it has been reported that 70% of customers enquiring about car are much interested in Mercedes Benz Class C. This is an indication that, much of their time is spent looking on the stylish nature of the product2.
It has been observed that, most of these consumers looking for Mercedes Benz Class C don’t easily opt for other brands until they get it some other times when it is available. This is evidenced by the selling slogan of the product “Drive and Seek,” which aims at assuring the consumers ultimate performance of the product. More so, the prestigious nature of Mercedes Class C can be considered as a unique feature that has contributed to its popularity in Singapore. It has been observed that, Mercedes Benz Class C is multi-purpose, since it is still used in sports as well as for private outdoor traveling.
It is vital to note that, the ability of a product to offer consumers with additional benefits besides the basic uses contributes to its popularity among consumers. By having more additional benefits than its 1 Richard, Semenik and Gary, Bamossy, Principles of Marketing: A Global Perspective (New York: Prentice Hall, 2005), 68. 2 Beng, Chua. Life is not Complete without Shopping: Consumption Culture in Singapore, (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 2003), 72. Surname 4 core competitors like BMW, Mercedes Benz Class C has penetrated well in Singaporean markets. 1. 2 Current Pricing
The luxury car market in Singapore is an oligopoly competitive market, since there are few luxury car brands in the market. Being a superior brand in the market, Mercedes-Benz C-Class has efficiently penetrated in the Singapore market. This has been observed in the way this brand highly demanded, despite its high prices. Particularly, Mercedes Benz Class C pricing strategy is valuebased, considering the way consumers of this product have not been sensitive to the high prices for this product. It has also been observed that, increase in prices for Mercedes Benz Class C does not affect consumer demand.
This is evidenced when prices for Mercedes Benz Class C 350 increased from ? 32580 in the year 2006 to ? 33130 in the year 2007, the total demand for the product remained undisturbed, constituting of about 30% of luxury demand in Singapore3. This shows how the superiority of the brand is not affected by price changes, since consumers have are highly loyal to the brand, despite competitors using various tactics to market their products. Customer loyalty for Mercedes Benz Class C is demonstrated in the way consumers in Singapore maintain the demand for the brand, despite its competitors lowering their prices.
For instance, BMW is one of the core rivals of Mercedes Benz, whose tendency of reducing prices has not affected the demand for Mercedes Benz Class C. Particularly, the year 2007 saw BMW lower the prices of its luxury car models in Singapore in order to win more customers, a strategy which did not affect the demand for Mercedes Benz Class C4. This is an indication that, consumers tend to perceive the value of Mercedes Benz as being far much higher than the money they pay for.
As a result, high level of customer loyalty has been prevalent for Mercedes Benz Class C in Singapore as a result of the outstanding features and prestigious nature of the luxury car brand. Considering that Mercedes Benz Class C is sophistically manufactured using highly costly resources, the strategy adopted by the brand in pricing the product is effective. Though Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an expensive car, its value among the consumers has made it acquire loyalty among the customers. 1. 3 Current Distribution 3 Leslie, Butterfield, Enduring Passion: Story of the Mercedes Benz Brand, (New York: Wiley Publishers, 2005), 36. Dennis, Adler, Mercedes Benz: First Gear, (London: Motorbooks, 2008), 46. Surname 5 Mercedes C-Class has been distributed using a variety of channels in Singapore. With some buyers opting for online orders, there are various selling points of the luxury car in Singapore. Among the various destination points for Mercedes Benz Class C includes the major attraction points in the island like Ion Sky, and Marina Bay Sand among others. More so, Mercedes Benz Class C has been distributed in Singapore through major exhibitions in the island like the Singapore Showroom, Titanic exhibition, MBS Countdown, and Elephant Parade among others.
This has facilitated the distribution of the luxury cars to the people where they can view it and make purchases5. By having various points of sale for this product, high volume of sales has been experienced in this brand, since consumers find it easier to contact the sellers directly. Since customers are able to visit the show rooms and explore the vehicles directly, direct interactions between the brand’s representatives have facilitated brand popularity among the people of Singapore.
Since Mercedes Benz Class C products are produced in Singapore, most of the sellers are company’s representatives who act as sales agents. This makes the customers lack the opportunity of interacting directly with the manufacturers of the brand. With the advancement of e-commerce, many customers in Singapore have adopted online purchasing strategy for the Mercedes Benz Class C cars. Through online stores, Mercedes Company has been able to substantial customer base in Singapore6. Being a well developed country, many people use computers, making it easier for them to make most of their purchases online.
Through the adoption of web video with interactive agent thriller as well as the company’s website, consumers have been able to know the products. After making online purchases the cars are shipped to the customers through the port of Singapore which handles various products from Europe and other parts of the world. Through the use of a blend of physical selling points and online marketing strategy, Mercedes Company has been able to distribute Mercedes Benz Class C cars to many consumers in Singapore. 1. 4 Current Promotion
Currently, Mercedes Company adopts a variety of promotional platforms for Mercedes Benz Class C in Singapore. These platforms include internet portfolio, traditional print and cinema, which are 5 Paul, Leppert, Doing Business with Singapore: Global Business Series, (Washington, DC: Jain Pub Co. , 2000), 21. 6 Dennis, Adler, Mercedes Benz: First Gear, (London: Motorbooks, 2008), 41. Surname 6 reinforced with corporate social responsibility through integrated marketing communications. There various messages displayed on the promotional platforms for Mercedes Benz Class C which includes “Drive and Seek”, and “More Style per Hour”.
All these promotional messages are available at the Mercedes Company’s website as core messages of persuading the customers to purchase the product. The message “Drive & Seek” has been passed on through this media, thus helping in marketing Mercedes Benz Class C. By adopting this message, the company is guaranteeing its customers about the performance of the product. Online advertisement has been considered as key promotional platform adopted by the Mercedes Company in the sale of Mercedes Benz Class C in Singapore.
With about 80 percent of Singapore’s society being able to access the internet at least daily, the use of web video advertisement by Mercedes-Benz has been found quite efficient7. Further, “More style per hour” is another promotional message adopted in the marketing of Mercedes Benz Class C in Singapore. This message has been widely available in the company’s marketing pamphlets, television ads and company’s websites. This message seeks to convince buyers that they will definitely experience outstanding prestige and stylish drive every time they use the product.
With most of the consumers in Singapore being luxurious and prestigious in nature, this message has been found quite useful and accurate in meeting the psychological needs of Singaporeans. The combination of these promotional messages has enhanced successful penetration of Mercedes Benz Class C in Singapore consumer market, while many consumers who have the product remaining very loyal to it8. 2. 0 Segmentation Theory 2. 1 Defining and Explaining Segmentation Segmentation is basically the identification and establishment of buyer/consumer subsets within a market.
Notably, these groups of buyers demonstrate similar behaviors and needs. Despite the extensive and diverse nature of the global market, it should be noted that buyers have different behaviors and needs. With this in mind, marketers or businesses have to match groups of customers who have similar needs and behaviors. A point worthy of consideration is that each segment has 7 Leslie, Butterfield, Enduring Passion: Story of the Mercedes Benz Brand, (New York: Wiley Publishers, 2005), 33. 8 Philip Kotler, Marketing Places, (New York: McGraw Hill Press, 2001), 231. Surname 7 distinct needs and homogeneous characteristics.
With this in mind, market stimulus and market intervention are used to address each segment9. Through segmentation, marketers are able to meet the specific needs of the particular customer base, by tailoring the products to meet the needs of such customers. 2. 2 Segmentation in Singapore for Mercedes-Benz Class C The market segmentation in the Singapore consumer market for Mercedes Benz Class C has been very useful in the way the company has been able to position the product more appropriately. The market segment aimed by this product is the middle age-group working class people who are educated.
Particularly, Mercedes Benz Class C is meant for individuals who have achieved success in their early live and are having many ambitions in their endeavors. This is evidenced in their marketing messages which seem to concern active and well-up people seeking success in their various endeavors. For instance, ‘Drive & Seek’ is meant to persuade active and successful individuals to seek more success through driving Mercedes Benz Class C10. With about 80% of the population aging between 18-49 years working, this segment has the potential to offer substantial market opportunity for Mercedes Benz Class C.
More so, Mercedes Company targets young and well-up families. This is shown in the way Mercedes Benz Class C is specially tailored to accommodate a family while at various luxurious trips or excursions. As evidenced in the promotional message ‘more style per hour’ it is explicit that the company aims at meeting the needs of a family while traveling. Quite importantly, this segment comprises of large proportion in Singapore with about 48% of the population married, while the rest are children and youths11. As a result, there seems a potential market for this product in Singapore market. . 0 Target Market Identification 3. 1 Geographic Segmentation Singapore is a highly strategic and potential country for luxurious products like Mercedes- Benz C-Class. Precisely, Singapore is a small country which is highly urbanized. Since Mercedes Benz Class C requires flat and smooth terrain for outstanding performance, Singapore can be 9 Johan Arndt, Market Segmentation: Theoretical and Empirical Dimensions (New York: London, 2001), 38. 10 Dennis Adler, Mercedes Benz: First Gear, (London: Motorbooks, 2008), 38. 1 Paul Leppert, Doing Business with Singapore: Global Business Series, (Washington, DC: Jain Pub Co. , 2000), 43. Surname 8 considered as an ultimate geographical region for this product. Precisely, the urbanized nature of Singapore positions it adequately in terms of market for the Mercedes C-Class. Majority of the population being urban dwellers, they have found Mercedes-Benz C-Class very useful in meeting their needs12. It is also important to note that, Singapore is experiences tropical climate; rainy, humid and hot, which makes the country to remain ever green and agriculturally potential.
Though commercial farming is not commonly practiced, the people in Singapore have food security. These are key aspects with reference to the economic stability of the region, makes the region to offer potential purchasing power for luxury products like Mercedes Benz Class C. Besides the ability to buy, the physical environment has made the people of Singapore to associate themselves with superior products like Mercedes Benz Class C to match their conducive geographical features.
The gently undulating and lowland terrain of Singapore enhances the need for Mercedes-Benz C-Class which has a high sense of comfort. 3. 2 Demographic Segmentation The demographics of Singapore can be considered as having the potential to offer potential market for luxury products like Mercedes Benz Class C. The population structure constituting many middle-aged people whom most of them are working offers potential market for luxurious cars like Mercedes Benz Class C. More so, about 40% of people living in Singapore city are foreigners who have come to do business and white collar jobs.
With about 76% of the people living in Singaporeans aging between 15-64 years, it is evident that most of the population is active, making it efficient for Mercedes Benz Class C which aims at active individuals and young families. Many of these people engage in economic activities which are industrial in nature like financial services provision, chemicals, electronics, construction and entrepot trade. With the population growth rate being estimated to be 1. 56 percent, there seems to be potential market for luxury products like Mercedes Benz Class C in Singapore throughout.
It has also been observed that, high level of literacy in the country, which is about 90%, has played significant role in boosting the purchasing power of many Singaporeans. On this basis, it is evident that there is potential market for various segments aimed by Mercedes-Benz C-Class13 in Singapore. 12 Richard Vasil, Governing Singapore: Democracy and National Development (New York: Allen & Unwin, 2000), 96. 13 Leslie Butterfield, Enduring Passion: Story of the Mercedes Benz Brand, (New York: Wiley Publishers, 2005), 41 Surname 9 3. Psychographic Segmentation One of the target segment markets for Mercedes Benz Class C is highly ambitious middleaged working class. The luxurious lifestyle upheld by this group has been found effective when coupled with Mercedes-Benz C-Class as one of their luxury products. With most Singaporeans being active in their lives, they have been found quite suitable for being targeted as ultimate consumers for Mercedes-Benz C-Class. With this group being working, its purchasing power for luxury products like Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been guaranteed.
It is also important to note that, the socio-economic status of the target market for Mercedes-Benz C-Class is high income earners who seek performance as their core values. As a result, such individuals would go for outstandingly performing products like Mercedes-Benz C-Class in their lives. In Singapore, the largest population consists of middle-aged people with modal age of 37 years. In this regard, it is evident that there is potential market for Mercedes-Benz C-Class for this market segment. The urban lifestyles of the population of Singapore also demonstrate the socioeconomic potential of the Singapore market14.
As a result, it has been evident that Singapore population has potential market for the market segment with the psychographics associated with Mercedes Benz Class C luxury cars. 3. 4 Behavioral Segmentation The consumer behavior in Singapore has been demonstrated to be very admirable for the marketing processes of Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Since the brand name itself is globally acknowledged, it has been difficult for individuals who are used to the brand to switch to other luxury cars. Majority of the population are urban dwellers who are characterized with high sense of purchasing foreign and sophisticated products15.
Statistics have shown that, about 80% of Mercedes Benz Class C consumers are loyal to the brand in Singapore. This is evidenced in the way many golf playgrounds, which are associated with high class people, are associated with Mercedes Brand Name. This has been due to the sophistication and prestige associated with the product. Since the target market for this brand are also prestigious and luxuries, it has been hard for them to give up products which seems to embrace their core values like Mercedes Benz Class C16. This has 14 Paul Leppert, Doing Business with Singapore: Global Business Series, (Washington, DC: Jain Pub Co. 2000), 52 15 Richard Vasil, Governing Singapore: Democracy and National Development (New York: Allen & Unwin, 2000), 97. 16 Leslie Butterfield, Enduring Passion: Story of the Mercedes Benz Brand, (New York: Wiley Publishers, 2005), 55 Surname 10 adequately enhanced the potential of the population in purchasing the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Generally, the high purchasing power of the target market for Mercedes Benz Class C in Singapore has facilitated high degree of loyalty to the product, since this product has been observed to embrace their personal and lifestyle needs.