Mercury Brand Name Press Release
Force Discontinued
December 1998

posted 11 Dec 98

What's in a Name? Mercury Brand Strategy Leverages 60-Year Heritage -- Number one marine power company has number one marine name

Fond du Lac, Wisc. -- Mercury has announced sweeping changes to leverage the equity and 60-year heritage associated with the number one name in marine products and services, and consolidate its premium domestic brands under a single Mercury banner.

Beginning in 1999, Mercury Marine and Mercury Outboards will convert to the "Mercury" banner. MerCruiser becomes "Mercury MerCruiser," with MerCruiser in a supportive role under the banner logo. Mercury, Mariner and MerCruiser Hi-Performance and Racing products will now come under the "Mercury Racing" banner. Likewise, certain parts and propeller products will be packaged as "Mercury Precision Parts" and "Mercury Propellers." Mariner Outboards, a strong international brand, will continue to be available domestically and over seas.

Extensive consumer research shows that Mercury is the most recognized name in the marine industry. When asked to name a marine, boating or engine company, people name Mercury first by an overwhelming margin of 2 to 1. Similarly, 92 percent of consumers relate MerCruiser Sterndrives to the Mercury brand name.

With the change comes a new look that will unify the brand throughout the corporate and business unit identity and include individual product lines. All prominently use the new Mercury "banner" logo, which features a distinctive icon utilizing the capital "M" in Mercury. The icon is stylized to portray forward movement and speed -- traits often associated with the Mercury name. The "M" is poised on the pinnacle of two waves, to associate the product with the water and to depict "riding the waves" of success into the future.

Force discontinued

With model year 2000 the Force brand will be discontinued worldwide as part of the overall EPA 2006 compliance plan. However, Mercury "Classic series" outboards are already positioned to replace Force. These traditional, carbureted two-stroke outboards are the same dependable, fully featured engines boaters have relied on for years. Mercury Classic outboards are available in a limited range of horsepowers and are value priced.

The results of this branding strategy will strengthen Mercury's position as the global leader in marine products and services. The eyes of boaters will now see a unified market leader as opposed to a conglomerate of multiple brands.

As part of the overall strategy Mercury is introducing a revolutionary customized package of service, maintenance, and warranty protection designed to eliminate the hassles associated with boating and change the way people own a boat. MercuryCare custom protection is scheduled in time for the 1999-selling season.

In the coming year, Mercury will also be making major announcements concerning new engine products, instrumentation and controls that will bring recreational boating into the 21st century, and cement Mercury's place as the leading marine company in the world.

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