Product names and trademarks are much more than just identifiers and symbols. They embody the very essence of a brand and offer a concise way of communicating the image of its products. This is particularly true in the car industry. When Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz first launched their respective companies – Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) and Benz & Cie. – they used their own family names to vouch for the quality of their products. While Carl Benz continued to pursue this strategy, a new name came into the equation at DMG courtesy of Emil Jellinek, one of the firm’s best customers.
In 1899, he began participating in motor races – in vehicles which he had purchased from DMG – under the pseudonym “Mercedes”, the name of his daughter. It went on to become a product name at the end of 1900 when it was used to designate the radically new 35 hp model which had just appeared. The spectacular racing successes of the 35 hp Mercedes ensured that this memorable name soon became very well known. Around the world, Mercedes became synonymous with successful and prestigious motor cars. And it is still the same story today. Even after 100 years, Mercedes continues to be one of the best-known brand names.