HOLD UP HIGH FLYER! This week’s Sparro spotlight is on …
Mercedes Me – take a seat (& superbly designed one at that)! We first clapped eyes on you a few months back, but we know you’re the product of 2.5years strategic thinking, collaboration-building & darn fine work. We love nothing more than a high-flyer, so tell us - where / when / WHY did it all begin?
Mercedes me is a global concept offering a space for people to get to know the personality of the Mercedes-Benz brand without the pressure of buying a car. Customer purchase behaviours continue to evolve and Mercedes me provides the platform to engage with our loyal customers as well as those new to our brand, in a relaxed setting.
As our vehicle product range continues to grow, so too do our buyer demographics. The innovative Mercedes me concept identifies the passions of people in their everyday lives, and harnesses that to create an experience like never before. In Melbourne of course, that passion is café culture.
At the core of Sparro’s product development is the promise of delivering on both form and function. Can you relate?
Form and functionality is central to everything we do at Mercedes-Benz. Our vehicles offer stunning design, yet must be comfortable with integrated user friendly technologies.
As a venue, Mercedes me is no different. Aesthetics were incredibly important to the development of the space, and the architecture throughout was extensively considered and revised several times over, to ensure visual impact and service efficiency, but also a space that feels welcoming and one that’s enjoyable to spend time. This was critical as we are a multi-purpose venue, functioning as a brand engagement and café space by day with both dine in and take away customers, and the capability to host a diverse range of events and collaborative activations by night.
You’re predominantly known for your sublime engines, sleek wheels & luxury showrooms, but there’s a little more to the Mercedes me offering, right?
Absolutely, Mercedes me Melbourne offers an experience like no other in Australia.
Given the versatile space, we’re able to host events that shine a light on areas we are passionate about as a brand, including: Fashion, Art, Design, Innovation, Sport, Food and Community Leadership. As an example we’re celebrating International Women’s Day with a guest panel of exceptional women such as Emma Snowsill, Yeojin Bae, Jackie Frank and Luz Restrepo who’ll share their personal stories of achieving success. And soon we’ll host more in conversation evenings with the National Gallery of Victoria – exhibition curators and artists. We are putting a lot of time and consideration into curating an event and activation calendar that engages a diverse range of community groups.
With hospitality partner ST ALi, we’re also serving up delicious food and beverage options every day, and many of the menu items relate back to our brand’s heritage, including the popular G Burger, and Silver Arrow cocktail, a reference to our formula one pursuits.
Exceptional design is clearly critical to your brand, but we know there’s more to Mercedes me than meets the eye. Can you tell us a little about the layered stories and local talent involved?
There are many stories woven into the design of the space, and just like our beautiful city of Melbourne, the more you explore, the more you will discover. With Melbourne architects, Jackson Clement Burrows, we collaborated to design a beautiful space incorporating elements of the Mercedes-Benz warehouses from the 1950’s in which our vehicles used to be hand drawn – the fine steelwork you see in Mercedes me was inspired by this.
Within the space itself, The Plant Society have selected a range of diverse plants that complement the modern interior and bring life to Mercedes me, while on the digital side we’ve produced a content series with the likes of John Fish (bespoke lighting installations), Kerry Armstrong (Artist) and James Carew (Kitesurfing) to create further engagement in store.
We engaged Sydney stylist Alicia Sciberras to enhance the visual aspects of Mercedes me such as the featured artworks and imagery, while our furniture has all been produced by Australian designers including the stunning dining space chairs by Adam Goodrum. Even the little details such as the sound system were carefully considered to maximise the in store experience.
Importantly, Mercedes me continues to function as a collaborative hub in our daily operation, through our ongoing weekly series Meet the Maker.
If you HAD to name drop, can you tell us who’s popped in to preview and experience your exclusive wares? (i.e. what ‘celebs’ / ‘influencers’ / ‘brands on the move’ have visited &/or used your space in recent months) …
We’ve been delighted to welcome some of Australia’s best known personalities since launching in November. This kicked off with Dan McPherson, Brodie Harper, Mark Beretta and Matt Corby who were here to celebrate our opening. We’ve also hosted many leaders in their field including James Morrison, the voice of cycling Phil Liggett, Michael Klim and another famous swimmer Cameron McEvoy.
Some guests prefer to stay anonymous, and just enjoy a quiet spot in our lounge or one of the booths. There have been plenty through and it’s always a nice surprise to see some of the city’s best known faces choose our space as their local.
Any tips on how we (busy working women with a savvy eye for style) can get the most out of you?
We invite you to come and visit us in store and to be inspired by the space. There are Mercedes-Benz elements for you to explore if you wish, however the store is also a hub of creativity and celebrates all that Melbourne has to offer. Our ongoing Meet the Maker series showcases the creative processes of Melbourne’s artisans, who present their wares in store. This ranges weekly from a boot maker, to a boutique gin distillery, or even a world champion latte artist.
You can also come along to one of the many great evening events that we hold outside of traditional hours.
Finally, where can we catch you online (web / socials etc.)?
Our social media presence continues to grow, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. To stay up to speed with all of the exciting events and activities taking place in store, make sure you’re following us @mercedesmestore.melbourne. You can also sign up to our database to received communications on upcoming events, ranging from Art & Wine evenings, to Q&A sessions with Lewis Hamilton www.mercedes.me/melbourne