Recently, Mercedes-Benz launched a tool that lets users customize the new GLA SUV on Instagram. It’s incredibly seamless. Once users tap the @GLA_BUILD_YOUR_OWN handle, they are guided through the steps of choosing a color, grill, wheels, and roof. The last tap directs them to their final creation with the price tag, and encouragement to take it to their local dealer to start the buying process.

The new tool was created to target a younger audience unlikely to spend time on a desktop brand site designing a car. Mercedes-Benz Marketing GM tells FastCo Create “So we thought, if we can’t get you to the Mercedes site to experience that tool, why not bring it to the platform you are using? And this audience is spending a lot of time on Instagram.” Auto brands have caught on to that. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto found a 100% adoption rate among brands in the study.

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And why not? Auto brands have experienced more growth and engagement on Instagram than on any other social platform.


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Furthermore, bringing a customization tool to a social platform encourages social sharing. Toyota is another auto brand that has made the customization process social, with Google+. Users can invite up to 10 people to a Hangout to collaborate on a potential Toyota purchase, and take the final model on a virtual test drive on Google Maps.


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