Enduring Passion: The Story of the Mercedes-Benz Brand

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9780470018026: Enduring Passion: The Story of the Mercedes-Benz Brand
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The three-pointed star. Magic. Mystique. Mercedes-Benz.

With its legendary performance and quality, Mercedes-Benz is one of the most recognizable brands in existence. The first book to examine Mercedes-Benz as a brand phenomenon, Enduring Passion provides a fascinating look at how the brand developed and the myths and realities surrounding it as it faced the global convulsions of war, mergers, and economic uncertainty. Handsomely produced in a large format and richly illustrated with previously unpublished photographs, Enduring Passion is the life story of the Mercedes-Benz brand and how its iconic symbol became a synonym for power and elegance.

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From the Back Cover:

Three-pointed star. Magic. Mystique. Mercedes-Benz. Enduring Passion is the story of a brand. A brand that has survived mergers, crises and war to become the choice of today’s presidents and kings, with a symbol more widely recognised than the Christian cross. This book is informed by the very latest brand thinking. It is thorough, honest and sometimes critical. This is the story of Mercedes-Benz.

Beginning with Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler’s parallel invention of the car in 1886, Enduring Passion charts how the rival marques grew separately for 40 years before merging in 1926. Brand expert Leslie Butterfield then traces the development of Mercedes-Benz through the Nazi years to its near-destruction in 1945, its post-war rebirth, and its fall from grace in the early 1990s. How its managers reacted to the crisis at that time shapes what Mercedes-Benz is today.

Pivotal moments like the A-Class ‘Elk test’, the merger with Chrysler and the management changes at the top of the company are all part of the brand’s recent history. Butterfield poses a number of key challenges for the brand today and explores what the solutions might be going forward. Running through his analysis is a solid strand of theory on how brands are formed, how they derive their strength, how they evolve and how they can be defined.

Richly illustrated with some previously unpublished photographs and references, this is an enthralling read for anyone moved by the history of the motor industry and the legend and legacy of Mercedes-Benz. For marketing professionals, it offers a wealth of precious insights into the enduring passion that can be inspired by a badge and a brand.

“This book tells an honest story of a remarkable brand with vigour, intelligence and insight. I commend it to you.” Giorgio Armani

“Butterfield’s book will appeal to business and marketing people alike because it clearly demonstrates the vital relationship between business strategy and brand positioning. It is a fascinating read with important lessons for us all.” Martin George, Chief Marketing Officer of British Airways

“Butterfield reveals that in fact Mercedes registered not one but two logos – a three-pointed star and a four-pointed one. Enduring Passion goes one further - it’s a five star history of a truly great brand.” Hamish Pringle, Director General, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising

 “This great book on the Mercedes-Benz brand has real substance and style. It perfectly reflects the values of the cars – you should be proud to own either.” Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow, London Business School

 “A sumptuously illustrated history of an iconic global brand. Not only the triumphs but also the trials and crises, right up to today’s challenges of complexity, quality and service.” Patrick Barwise, Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School

 “This is not your usual book about a car marque. It’s a Mercedes-Benz history, but seen through the prism of branding. It’s compelling and beautifully presented – and a book plenty of car bosses should read.” Richard Bremner, Autocar

About the Author:

Leslie Butterfield has spent all of his career in the world of brands. After graduating with a Masters degree in Marketing, he developed his strategic skills at two of London’s foremost advertising agencies before starting his own agency, Partners BDDH, in 1987. From 2000 and 2003 he ran the brand consultancy, Butterfield8. In 2003 he merged this business into the Ingram Partnership, where he is now Managing Partner. His clients have included British Telecom, Honda, Seagram, British Airways, the Co-operative Group, the UK Government and Mercedes-Benz.

Leslie is a fellow of the institute of Practitioners in Advertising and is widely recognised within the UK communications industry as one of its leading strategic thinkers. He has published three previous books – on communications strategy, the business contribution of advertising and brand valuation. Leslie lives and works in central London.

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