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  The inventors of the automobile and a girl named Mercedes.

A company’s brand name and trademark are symbolic. They embrace everything - the products, the services and the company itself. A trademark encapsulates brand image in concise form, communicating important information about the company and the people behind it. It is the customer’s and the public’s first point of reference.


  Its origin and history are therefore every bit as revealing and interesting as its current status on the market. In spite of living only about a hundred kilometres from each other at the beginning of the eighteen eighties, in Cannstatt and Mannheim, the great engineers and company founders never actually met. During this period they built the world’s first lightweight high-speed engine and the first motor vehicles, thus laying the foundations for motorised transport. Both men founded their own companies, Benz in 1883 and Daimler in 1890, and as demand grew both at home and abroad, they gradually needed a pithy, memorable trademark. Initially the name of the inventors themselves, “Benz” and “Daimler”, vouched for the origin and quality of the engines and vehicles. But while Benz & Cie in Mannheim kept the original name in their trademark - although the gearwheel of 1903 encircling the name was replaced in 1909 with a laurel wreath a completely new and unusual brand name, “Mercedes”, was brought out just after the turn of the century for the products of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Cannstatt. Why was this name chosen? Mercedes is a Spanish Christian name meaning “grace”.  


was also the name of a pretty young girl born in 1889 in Vienna and the favourite daughter of the Austrian businessman and Consul General. Forward-looking and sportily inclined, Jellinek was enthusiastic about the dawn of the motoring age and believed that the motor car was of major importance for the future.

In 1897 he had already made a special journey to Cannstatt. He visited the Daimler factory and brought back a car to the French Riviera which caused quite a stir.

Since Jellinek was a big figure in society there and had good relations with the International financial world and aristocracy, it was not long before prospective buyers and distinguished customers were taking an interest in theDaimler cars. Jellinek was soon able to place bigger and bigger orders in Bad Cannstatt.

In the “Tour de Nice” of 1899, he entered a 23 hp Daimler racing car under the pseudonym “Mercedes”. It promptly won first prize.


  A brilliant designer and the origin of the Mercedes star.

Next year a fatal accident took place during a hillclimb race and, at the instigation of Emil Jellinek and supported by, Wilhelm Maybach, Wilhelm Maybach Gottlieb Daimler’s brilliant designer, it was decided to adopt a new design with larger wheelbase, lower centre of gravity and more powerful engine.

Jellinek, convienced that this new design would be a big hit on the market, ordered 36 cars with a total value of 550,000 gold marks, on condition that he be made sole agent for the sales of these cars in certain countries.

Gottlieb Daimler agreed and also accepted Jellinek’s proposal to name the cars after his daughter "Mercedes". The name caught on so well that soon it was used for all Daimler vehicles.

The triumphs of the first Mercedes racing car in 1901 were hailed by contemporaries as the start of the "Mercedes era" in vehicle design and motor sport.

But still a suitable trademark was required to go with the successful name, which was registered in 1902.

Gottlieb Daimler had died in 1900 at the age of only 66 but his two sons, now managers at their father’s company, remembered that he had once sent a post card to his wife on which a star marked the house where he was living in Dentz. He has commented that eventually this star would rise and shine out over his work.

The Chairman of Daimler took the idea up and in June 1909 applied to use both a three-pointed star and a four pointed star as trademarks.

Both applications were granted, but only the Three-pointed star was actually used. It was placed at the front of the car as a radiator emblem. Over the years the star, which was also intended to symbolise the modernisation of transport on land, water and in the air, acquired various additions and refinements. In 1916, it was placed inside a circle which featured four small stars at the top and either the word Mercedes or the names of the Daimler plants in Unterturkheim and Berlin Merienfeide underneath. Three-pointed star in the ring.

In 1921 an application was made to have the patented as a radiator emblem and two years later this request was granted.


  The rise of the three-pointed star.

The period after the First World War, with inflation and sluggish sales particularly for cars, which were still regarded as a luxury - took a heavy toll on the German motor Industry.

Only the financially fittest companies, with well-established head brands, stood a chance of survival, although they were often forced to enter into mergers or alliances. The pioneering companies Daimler and Benz, which in the meantime had become internationally famous, also went down this road, forming an association of common interest in 1924. The aim of this was to standardise the design and manufacture of their products, and to team up on purchasing, sales and advertising.

Never-theless, although the two companies generally carried out joint advertising for their products during this period, they still used separate trademarks.

Two years later, in 1926, the two oldest auto firms merged to form one company.


  Daimler-Benz AG

A new trademark was now created which incorporated the typical emblems of both companies: the world-famous three pointed star of Daimler was encircled by the name ‘Mercedes’ and the equally illustrious name "Benz", these names being linked by the Benz laurel wreath.

This trademark - which has remained virtually unchanged over the years - is still used on the models of "Mercedes-Benz".


  The Mercedes Star

has become a symbol of quality and safety and the name ‘Mercedes-Benz’ is a byword all over the world for both tradition and innovation.



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