Brands are more than just a name or a logo; they embody a story and a legacy that have been built over time. Behind every brand, there is a rich history and a unique set of circumstances that have shaped its identity and contributed to its success. These background stories have become an integral part of the brand, and they serve as an essential tool for building brand loyalty and connecting with customers. There are various brands that you think you know about, but do you really know them? In this series of articles, we will share with you little known stories behind the famous brands.

Do you know the name of this Girl? You actually know, you have heard it so many times.

Mercedes-Benz and the three pointed star is a well-known identity that has become synonymous with luxury and quality automobiles. However, many people are unaware of the fascinating story behind the brand's name.

There is fascinating story which recounts how this image and identity was created. The starts with one Mr. Emil Jellinek, born in Leipzig, Germany in 1853 to a wealthy family of bankers. He later moved to Austria, where he began his journey as a businessman. In the early 1900s, Jellinek became interested in the emerging world of automobiles and quickly recognized the potential for growth in the industry. He was a visionary businessman and understood the importance of marketing and branding. He became the Austrian Consul General in Nice, and began selling automobiles, specifically French ones, to European aristocrats. By 1897, he was selling about 140 cars a year.

One day in a weekly magazine, Jellinek discovered Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG), it was literally love at first sight, Jellinek travelled to Cannstatt,in 1896, to find out more about the company, its factory, and the designers Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach (Mayback is now immortalised by the ulta luxury car that bears his name and is at the top end of Mercedes Benz Range) . In Cannstatt, he placed an order for one of the DMG cars and that was the start of the “affairs” between Jellinek and DMG. DMG would send vehicles to Jellinek and he used to provide his inputs for improvements in the car.

In those times, a speed week every year in March known as the French Riviera attracting many members of the local aristocrats. Under the guidance of Jellinek, Maybach specifically designed a Phoenix Double-Phaeton with the DMG-Phoenix engine in 1894, this vehicle featured four cylinders for the first time in a car. For this occasion, Jellinek sponsored and created a racing team called Mercedes named after his daughter, the Mercedes team won all races using the DMG-Phoenix. The car reached the speed of 35 km/h (22 mph), however Jellinek was still not satisfied with the performance of the car.

In 1900, Jellinek agreed that he will buy a shipment of 36 automobiles for a princely sum of 550,000 goldmarks from DMG. Wilhelm Maybach designed a revolutionary sports car for him and the car designed for this purpose was christened MERCEDES after the name of Jellinek daughter.

Mercedes officially entered the automobile world in 1901 and completely amazed everyone with its performance and winning all the Nice races and reached a whopping 60 km/h. Immediately thereafter Jellinek added Mercedes to his name and was knowns as Emil Jellinek- Mercedes. This is probably the only instance that I know of where a father adopted the name of his daughter!

The world had entered “the Mercedes era", sale of DMG shot up drastically. Its Stuttgart plant was running at its full capacity. As a result of this success, in 1902, DMG decided to use the Mercedes name as its identity for its entire range of vehicles and registered Mercedes as its trademark.    

In 1926, DMG merged with Benz & Cie, its arch rival and became the Daimler-Benz company with their automobiles called Mercedes-Benz.  This entity was run by Gottlieb Daimler’s two sons, Paul and Adolf. The sons wanted to have a logo for the new entity. They were inspired by the postcards their father Gottlieb would send where their family home was identified with the three pointed star. Adolf and Paul explained the reason for adoption of this three pointed star in a circle. It represented their vision of domination of the Mercedes- Benz range on the land, sea and air and truly this vision has come to be realised today.

Today, Mercedes-Benz and the three pointed star is a household name, and the brand's success can be attributed in part to the vision of Emil Jellinek. He recognized the potential of the automotive industry and was able to create a powerful and recognizable brand image that persists to this day. The story of Emil Jellinek and Mercedes-Benz serves as a testament to the power of branding and shows how dedication and perseverance can help to elevate a brand to great heights.


Keep yourself acquainted with the latest in IP news. Subscribe to our free newsletter to get regular updates.

Copyright © 2022 R. K. Dewan & Co.