Tesla – A Brand for the People?

Most have likely heard by now, but the tech event bears reporting once again; last Thursday (3/31/16), Tesla finally unveiled its much anticipated Model 3 to the public. Not only was this unveiling a defining moment in the car industry, it was met with equal anticipation in the tech sector which is no small feat today.

Why was Thursday’s public unveiling such a big deal? I will argue that its significance stems from the widespread appeal and media attention it garnered, all without a need for advertising dollars to be spent across the limitless social media channels and news outlets that has become the norm. One Twitter account did all of the talking and that was Elon Musk’s, current CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors.

While from a business standpoint, this is all great, the true success in Tesla’s new Model 3 is the unanimous admiration of the new affordable car. It is dreamy, futuristic, and battery powered. This is the crux of Tesla’s strategy – unlike its previous models’ unrealistic price range for the majority of consumers, it has slowly developed its technology down its product line to meet the consumers where they stand. It was a huge risk to continuously bleed its cash reserves for R&D purposes, but as Thursday noted – the consumers held up their portion of the “deal,” turning out in masses to spend $1,000 on a refundable, pre-order deposit on the Model 3 which won’t be available until early 2017.

Tesla found itself holding onto cash deposits of over 286,000 consumers at the end of Saturday, over twice the expected amount. TWICE. Demand for the new-wave technology legitimately shattered expectations and that is a very good thing for our world. With tangible proof that the masses are ready for an environmentally friendly, battery powered car, Tesla is at the forefront of the new frontier in electric vehicles.

Elon Musk’s goal was to “to make a car that most people can afford in order to have a substantial impact.” It appears that he has finally succeeded, yet the world will have to remain in neutral until those first production units begin shipping in 2017. The tech-CEO-turned-car expert has proved that when consumers have a true desire for something, social media isn’t the key, nor are any of the industry’s traditional operating procedures. A legitimate product is the engine of success.

tesla

Tesla’s Production Line in Silicon Valley

13 comments

  1. I am glad you decided to write about this because I have been following its unveiling. I absolutely love cars and I think that coming out with a more affordable and electric car by a luxurious car is brilliant. The ability to tailor themselves to different types of consumers is a smart way to increase revenue (not that they necessarily need it) and expand their brand. Great post!

  2. Boy oh boy am I excited for the Model 3. Nice to see another Tesla fan on here! Much like you said, I think what’s remarkable about what Elon Musk is trying to achieve is the fact that he’s legitimately trying to effect positive global change; he’s clearly not in this just for the money. This is reflected in a lot of what he does, from the Hyperloop concept to SpaceX. It’s rare to see a living inventor and innovator in this day and age, and I can’t wait to see what else he’ll achieve over the course of his life. Maybe I’ll go reserve a Model 3 now…

  3. Great post! I’ve been interested in Tesla ever since I did a marketing project on the company a while back. That’s really amazing they got such a huge response with minimal advertising. It seems that a lot of their value resides in the brand and intrigue it inspires with new products. I think that this event is a great example of the power of user generated content, with blog posts, and articles written by owners and people invested in the brand. It seems that this new model will only grow the Tesla network, which previously was like an elite club. It’s nice to hear the R&D paid off and they can reach a wider audience. Musk is really harnessing the green movement and I think it’s a great direction for the car industry and luxury brands.

  4. Nice post! I did not know much about Tesla until I recently had a case study on the company in one of my marketing classes. Since then I’ve found myself constantly following the brands initiatives online. The Model 3 is very exciting and I’m curious to see how well it will do against competitors. I also really liked your last comment that “a legitimate product is the engine of success” because I think a lot of times in this class we see that social media can also play as this engine.

  5. Good post, I think its crazy how much the demand has exceeded the expectations! 276k deposits its crazy, the last I had seen last week was 115. But I think creating an affordable product for all consumers was really the key. I wonder how the bottom dollar margin looks for these new unitss

  6. Nice post! I’ve been following Tesla since last year, and they’ve really made great strides to show that they are more than just into selling cars, they are pushing an empowering environmental movement. They really are on a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable support. Elon Musk is a powerful leader with innovative experience and an invaluable resource that provides the company with sustainable advantage. He seems to have a great vision for Tesla on knowing what no to do, and it’s really propelling their brand recognition.

  7. Tesla’s are definitely the new kids on the block in terms of innovation and are going to strain the development for these other car dealers and tech companies. 286k deposits for the new model is actually insane for a new car. I recently got more familiar with the brand by watching self driving videos and other consumers testing out the technology. If they keep providing the needs of various consumers their audience is going to be huge and eventually every need will be fulfilled with Tesla.

  8. im really digging this elon musk character, He seems absolutely crazy, in a good way. Tesla is a great company with even better technology. I am glad it is being used for the greater good, and not the personal benefit of others…

  9. Great read. I have been reading about this new product launch and from a marketing perspective I worry that they are over extending themselves here. Tesla’s name is synonymous with luxury and now they go and come out with a car for the common man. They should be very careful that they do not tarnish their brand identity with a lower quality car. I think it is admirable that Elon Musk is trying to make electric car mainstream and affordable but I think he should have changed the brand name before taking on this daring venture.

  10. yifanhong04233 · ·

    Good post. Personally I really love Tesla car and its environmentally-friendly concept. Originally I am afraid it is too expensive but now it is affordable to all walks of life. Social media is a great platform for Telsa to rebrand itself and it is realy effective–thousands of hundredso peopple have paid deposits.

  11. Thanks for the post! Tesla and Musk are changing the world and to me, it really all reflects his philanthropic style. Twitter seems like a cool personal medium for Musk to keep Tesla customers informed, but I wonder what else in terms of social the company is doing. I agree that the product (i.e. the car) itself creates the demand, but the digital tech within Tesla’s distribution channels and within its cars are astounding. They have certainly helped propel the final result to the current levels of sales.

  12. Great post! I am so excited about the roll out for the model 3. I think this is a revolutionary moment for the automobile and technology industry. I really enjoyed seeing the timeline of following Elon Musk’s twitter account to see what he was saying. He is literally the face of Tesla and I think it is the coolest thing that he was live tweeting updates. One thing I am really interesting in seeing is the reaction to government (federal and state) subsidies. There is a lot of speculation that there will not be any government subsidies left once the model 3 rolls out in 2017. There are a lot of loopholes in the tax where people who make over 250K a year will not be able to reap the benefits of any subsidies. I do not think these car buyers are buying Teslas for the subsidies, but I am sure it makes an impact on the consumer buying decision making. The link is http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-tesla-subsidies-20160406-story.html. I am curious to see if Tesla’s cars are going to become cheaper and more energy efficient. All I know is I definitely see a Tesla in my future. Great post, it was enjoyable to read!

  13. I find it fascinating to keep up with Elon Musk’s ventures. I wonder if Tesla is going to intentionally rebrand itself as an affordable car or if they’re going to keep the prestige they’ve already established. Will people still be willing to pay $75,000 for a car when a similar one for $35,000 is available?

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