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In 2004 Mercedes-Benz introduced new retail environments across its dealer network of 160 sites. Despite the high quality of the European design and two years of planning, the response from customers proved disappointing. The company asked Circle to help identify ways to improve the showroom experience and support the sales process. Armed with quantitative and qualitative research conducted in partnership with Mercedes-Benz’s marketing agency, we realised that customers were wary of being ‘swooped on’ by salespeople and found the whole experience intimidating. Most crucially, they felt discouraged from getting into the cars. Our answer was to design a new customer journey and to create new dealership layouts that would relax, inform and inspire customers, as well as promoting cross-selling of products and services. Information points encourage customers to linger and find out more about the cars themselves, before consulting a salesperson for further help. After the strategy was implemented across the dealership, follow-up research showed that 20% of customers found the environment more welcoming and spent longer in the showroom.


Refreshing the Principle brand to take the group global.

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Embedding the brand for a world-class venue.

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Volunteering England

A set of communications tools to unite local centres in one national voice.

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