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Mercedes-AMG: Connecting the dots between a leading auto brand and its followers

Netcentric supported Mercedes AMG to level up their new community platform. The result was an installed architecture that gives our clients the tools to connect more deeply with their audience, support their community activities and management, and be scaled and optimized with ease.

 

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Challenge

In this project, Netcentric was brought in to support a world leader in automobiles, Mercedes-AMG, to level up their brand website and community, AMG Private Lounge, and make them feel like an AMG: performant, fun, extraordinary, innovative. Not only for Mercedes AMG’s customers but also for Mercedes AMG’s digital experiences team. The website and community shall foster the brand experience and attract and support an ever-growing fan base.

 

There’s no big surprise when working for a company whose passion is sports cars - the project started as a race against time. Within 6 weeks after the project started, the AEM communities based solution for the Mercedes AMG Private Lounge, developed by the previous provider, had to be brought live, replacing the old VBulletin based solution.  The process included migrating existing user-profiles and user-generated content from the legacy platform to the new one. The technology switch came with a new look and feel for the end-users and a much more convenient community management, and streamlined content management thanks to the native integration with AEM 6.5 sites. 

 

After the first checked flag, the next round’s goal was to provide a highly available and GDPR-compliant user profile service, replacing the old scattered systems and backing up the community.

 

Based on this scalable, AWS based service, the next curve to take was one of 180 degrees, especially from an Mercedes AMG strategic point of view: So far, the Mercedes AMG Private Lounge was only accessible to Mercedes AMG car owners. Mercedes AMG wanted to open it for fans of their brand who did not own a car yet, while still keeping some exclusivity for those who already do. The idea of “member-layers” was born to be reflected in user management, permissions, and personalized content structures.


Approach

Our approach for the speed race, in the beginning, was to take a well-functioning team of experts with clear role responsibilities, a highly organized and tailored approach with short iterations, and get to know the code and system landscape by bug fixing and adding yet missing features. There was no sprint 0; we started full-steam with sprint one - which, of course, also contained scanning of available documentation and onboarding everyone. 

 

We have a cross-functional team with non-stop delivery of UX, design, implementation, and operations. At the center of our approach, the start was a frictionless collaborative relationship with the Mercedes AMG team, especially the PO, who participates in all sprint events. The Scrum-based approach allows for complete transparency from the most significant user story’s completion status to the tiniest bug.  Mercedes AMG also appreciated the whole team’s flexibility and responsiveness and the motivation to go the extra mile. 

 

When developing new features for the website or the private lounge, we follow a mobile-first approach, as we know from the integration with google analytics, that most users visit the pages with mobile devices. 

 

We also put a strong focus on web performance. With minifications, JS, CSS modularizations, and optimised image and video handling, we could drastically decrease the time to first meaningful paint and overall page loading time.


Results and benefits

This close, collaborative project has left Mercedes AMG with a digital experience that allows them to connect more deeply with their followers via a sophisticated new platform. It has installed an AEM architecture that gives our client the tools to support their community activities and management, which can be scaled and optimized with ease, bringing notable benefits to the community itself and the stakeholders at Mercedes-AMG that managed branded community experiences. 

 

The community can access a better performing, elevated UX with new functionalities, including file sharing, notifications, and activity streams. The internal community managers can create and oversee branded community activities more dynamically and efficiently using AEM Communities’ library of site templates. With AEM Communities, forums, groups, calendars, activity feeds, and extended user profiles can be integrated into Private Lounge quickly, offering highly personalized community experiences that increase engagement and build long-term brand loyalty Mercedes-AMG. 

 

One critical success factor for this project was to grow the Private Lounge membership - a metric that shows growing brand trust. We’re proud that Mercedes’ AMG new platform has already received positive feedback from the customer base, which is responding favorably to the richer, more sophisticated user experience. As a global automobile manufacturing leader, this transformation hands our clients the tools to position themselves as highly connected to their customer base and to continue converting new visitors into valuable long-term community members.

 

We are up for the next cup.

 

Discover how Netcentric can help position your brand ahead of the customer experience curve. Get in touch today.


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