From inventing an industry to leading the next century
Mercedes-Benz Cars needed to lean on their timeless role in a world experiencing extreme disruption
Mercedes-Benz Cars, the inventor of the automobile and leader of the industry, recognized that the market landscape was changing in unprecedented ways. Self-driving cars and on-demand mobility, electrification, and city regulations were causing a radical shift in the dynamics of the industry.
Our first step was to look under the hood – inspecting the inner workings of Mercedes-Benz
Scores of interviews, tens of thousands of survey results, and immersive trips to Stuttgart and the surrounding region helped us gain a deep understanding of the people, history, and heart behind the icon.
The people at Mercedes-Benz have a strong drive to be first in everything they do, and we used this finding to fuel their purpose principles – guiding behaviors that are grounded in the past, are informed by the present, and look towards the future
Orienting themselves around purpose enabled Mercedes-Benz to connect with their origin story and fully embrace their journey into the unknown
Beyond the automobile, what do its inventors provide the world? We engaged external subject-area experts to uncover that, while humans have an innate drive to explore the unknown, it takes optimism and confidence to see possibility where others see uncertainty. Mercedes-Benz delivers that sense of both reassurance and discovery. With their history of firsts, the organization embraced their responsibility to go beyond the known to create that which can transform and improve our very existence.
Mercedes-Benz’ purpose serves as a rallying cry to lead the industry they founded and improve the world
After examining their proud past and thriving present, we helped Mercedes-Benz map out a unifying and inspiring reason for being that would guide the organization into the future. We then synthesized that reason into a bold and energizing purpose statement:
First Move the World
We helped roll out their purpose from the top floor to the shop floor
Mercedes-Benz’s purpose launch was centered around a total of seven films that we created to inspire employees. A one-of-a-kind leader launch, customized workshops, and communications plan ensured that purpose would be a driving force throughout their business.
Mercedes-Benz put their purpose in gear through a bold decarbonization commitment
Former Daimler Chairman, Dieter Zetsche, announced Mercedes-Benz’s purpose to the world with a promise to make all German manufacturing plants carbon neutral by 2022 (which they achieved!).
Mercedes-Benz set a purposeful goal with Ambition 2039 – a pledge to continue to lead in electrification and transform their business model for good
In May 2019, Daimler Chairman Ola Källenius, referenced purpose when he announced Ambition 2039, a five-pillar plan to strive for carbon neutrality in the next 20 years. The move required a transformation of the organization in less than three product cycles.
‘First Move the World’ … that’s the deeper meaning of our work, what drives us, our ‘why’ … [it] means going for more than just immediate objectives. This inner unrest for what’s next is part of our company’s DNA. Therefore, it’s also a cornerstone of the new sustainable business strategy we are currently working on … a fundamental transformation of our company by 2039.Ola Källenius
CEO, Chairman of Daimler AG, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars