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Mercedes-Benz USA Debuts Instagram Customization Like You’ve Never Seen

The Instagram experience is pretty straight forward. A single feed of photos and videos from friends, brands, and celebrities…But does it have to stop there?

Screenshot 2014-10-23 13.42.05Luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz USA just launched an experience inside Instagram that’s usually only found on a brand website – customization. Users who navigate to the @gla_build_your_own profile inside the mobile application can then step through the customization process, building out their Mercedes-Benz GLA from end to end.

Keep in mind, this isn’t a built-in option on Instagram. The actual functionality comes from the creation of around 250 profiles, and a complex map of all (yes, all) the possible paths through the selection process — no easy task.

The new customization feature has already caught the attention of Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts, myself included.

How It Works

The process is aided by a clever usage of Instagram’s tagging feature. Mercedes-Benz USA prompts users to tap once on an option, and then click on the tagged account, bringing them to another set of options. The implementation is nothing short of impressive.

Note: This process only works within the mobile app, and won’t function on a desktop.

Automotive brands are no strangers to Instagram, garnering increasing levels of engagement over the years. Mercedes-Benz has been a pioneer on the network, and has enjoyed great success. This latest innovation cements the value of the network to automakers, not only by introducing them to a new car on Instagram, but also creating an actual interactive experience with the brand beyond liking or commenting.

Here’s a Rundown of the GLA I “Built” in Instagram:

The experience starts with a simple prompt on a clean, well organized page.
Once you’ve clicked the photo, a prompt to “tap once” appears.
Tapping the photo triggers the “tagged” account to appear, which acts as the next step if you click on the tag.
Clicking on the tag pulls up a new account, which is pre-populated with a set of options to choose from. In this case, the option is color.
After navigating through the option choices, your GLA is presented in an account specific to your configuration.
And the completed product presented with details, MSRP, and options.

All in all, it’s a very elegant presentation.

To find out how other top brands are doing on Instagram, our full Q3 2014 Instagram study is available to download for free by clicking the button below. See how your brand stacks up to the best in the world!
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