When it comes to brand experiences, what could possibly be more personal than to actually go and pick up your own Mercedes-Benz straight from the factory? Thanks to the recent redesign of the customer centre in Sindelfingen (south of Stuttgart), a whole host of brand values can be experienced first-hand – with everything that’s smart and emotional about the brand itself, plus everything that’s sensuous and vivid about its design philosophy. With an alluring lounge, restaurant areas, inviting shops and novel exhibits waiting in every corner, no wonder visitors soak in that feeling of modern luxury, the indulgence that no other brand represents like Mercedes-Benz.
As you approach the new customer centre from the motorway, it already starts flying the flag for the most prestigious factory in the Mercedes-Benz production portfolio. Originally designed to serve as a gatehouse, the building is now a subtle yet eye-catching venue that turns the spotlight on each key campaign as it comes and goes at the company. The square outside the customer centre is often used to stage events or presentations in the summer, and with the Mercedes star gleaming proudly up above this piazza, the defining feature of the Mercedes-Benz company suddenly feels like a familiar friend –especially with so many people sending souvenir photos and selfies with the star around the world.
Inside the centre, visitors find a number of attractions that mostly revolve around the visitors themselves, literally unfolding around them and beseeching them to come discover more. Glance outside and the building is surrounded by a leafy backdrop, making it feel like a pavilion in the park. The materials are traditional and worked by hand, magically dovetailed with digital media and lighting which is all designed to accentuate the important differences that bring the brand values and design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz to life, all housed in rooms that were also designed to be different.
Many of the design features that were developed here are now practically part and parcel of the corporate architecture of Mercedes-Benz. The building was two years in the planning, plus another two to complete – despite everyday activities going on all around. Then in December 2016 it was time to inaugurate the customer centre as the new flagship gateway to the plant in Sindelfingen.