Mercedes swept all before it in last year’s Formula One championship, and this year, they seem to be the cars to beat – barring a strong showing by Ferrari.
But how has the success of the all-conquering F1 cars, driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, affected the perception of the overall brand, given that it is already synonymous with speed and engineering excellence?
YouGov’s BrandIndex Buzz Metric rating (whether a respondent has heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks) for Mercedes in late November – the end of last year’s nail-biting championship – we see the marque achieved a score of six, which is higher than anything that followed in the intervening months. If we look at those who specify that they are motorsport fans, we see that the score reached a high of 12.
Crucially, we learn that Mercedes’ Purchase Consideration metric was also at a high level around the same time that its buzz metric reached top speed.
At the end of November, among all respondents the score was 11 and 14 among motorsport fans.
There are already signs this year’s campaign is having an effect, with the score currently 17 among followers of the sport.
YouGov Profiler also points towards more opportunities for the brand. It reveals that those who drive Mercedes-Benz cars have motorsports as one of their niche interests.
Mercedes already has an extremely strong brand, regardless of its F1 success.
However, our data signal that its increased coverage and attention will help to garner more interest in the Mercedes brand more generally, and even help to make some more likely to consider buying one of its cars.
If the F1 success continues on the track as is expected, Mercedes will be looking to capitalise on this off the track. Other manufacturers are going to have to put their pedal to the metal if they are going to have any chance of overtaking.