In this post, I will talk about the intangible things that conform Tesla brand. The mission, the environment, and the founder.
This post is the continuation of the post: Tesla Brand 1. There you can read more about the role of the technology, the physical features and the logo in the brand. You can read each post independently.
Mission in the Tesla brand
"Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy... Each new generation (of cars) would be increasingly affordable, helping the company work towards its mission." I extracted that from teslamotors.com/about.
It is ambitious.
I think that it is not risky to say that all the Tesla customers know and embrace the content of those lines. Even more, most of the people who know about the brand are aware of its mission.
That is unusual. Just stop for a minute and think about some of the most famous companies, can you guess what its mission is? Most of the time, you can’t. If you go to the about page, some of them do not even mention it. If they do, it is common to see them talk about general, vague ideas. It is the traditional discourse in the corporate world that you forget five minutes later.
Tesla is a corporation that trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It fights with the big, old consolidated car companies, but it has a lot of the glamor of the small startup. It has the bold and naive mission to change the world.
That is what makes it close to a lot of people. It is easy to feel identified with the brave, small David who faces the mighty, dumb, Goliath.
That mission is unique. I do not know anyone else that has stated anything even close or somewhat related to it. At the same time, It is something with which we all agree. It is hard to find a greater consensus in an idea that could be common to all people, all nations, and all cultures.
The only drawback is that the mission is so ambitious that many thought it was not possible. But the facts prove they are making it real.
The mission is one of the critical elements of that brand. It makes Tesla different from other companies. That distinction is present in the minds of the consumers. Unlike features, characteristics and technologies it is almost impossible to copy.
The Environment in the Tesla brand
The respect for the environment has a direct relation to the features and the mission at the same time.
Electric cars do not use fossil fuels. It has benefits for air pollution and carbon emissions. They are not a perfect solution for the environment. In any case, they represent an improvement on conventional vehicles. At the same time, they are evolving and solving or minimizing the problems.
Tesla has some features that make them different from other electric cars. They push the existence and expansion of the category. They make it possible at a larger scale. Let's see some examples:
- Batteries. They are the most critical component of the car. Tesla builds their batteries. That makes it possible to reduce costs and create a path to improve technology.
- Auto charging stations. The company is developing a web of stations where owners can charge their car for free. They have a growing network in North America, Europe and significant areas of East of Asia.
- Solar connections. SolarCyty is a subsidiary of Tesla, Inc that specializes in solar energy. Musk suggested the icitial idea and then helped to create the company. Musk's cousins Peter and Lyndon Rive founded SolarCity. On August 2016 Tesla Motors announced that they would acquire SolarCity.
The connections between solar power and electric cars are apparent. By now, the most visible collaborations are with the batteries and the auto stations. Powerwall is a home battery. It charges using electricity generated from solar panels. Solar power is also the energy source of some charging stations. They are working to increase the number.
- Autopilot. Now some Tesla models have limited autopilot capabilities. They are working hard in that direction, and the progress is firm. A future autonomous car would have clear advantages for the environment. It will facilitate more efficient energy consumption. Car sharing and public transportation would increase. We could manage traffic and congestions in a better way. Cities will need less parking spaces for cars.
<img class="imatge" src="../externs/img/blog/21/elon-brand.jpg" alt="The founder and the logo"> <div class="peuImatge">Elon Musk and his brand. Presentation of Model 3, March 31, 2016</div>
The founder of Tesla and his role in the brand
The head of any company always influences a brand.
Founders are in another dimension. In many cases, they are the soul of the firm, and that is in the brand forever. The initial idea and the first decisions condition all the evolution. But the most important are the intangible elements. The dreams and the character of the founder inspire the teams. It also provides an emotional connection with the consumer.
CEOs that are not founders cannot compete with that. We, the users, usually do not know them. It doesn't matter if their brand is between the most valued. If they are not founders, chances are, they are anonymous for the consumer.
In the corporate world, the stars, the successful executives, are the ones that make the company grow fast. It is all about stocks and money. These are not the key points that define the personality of a brand.
Elon Musk is a unique case between all the founders. He has an active presence in conventional and new media. His followers idealize him. He is the founder and CEO of Tesla, but he seems more like the leader of a movement.
Tesla does not use ads to communicate about their products. Musk is the best tool that the company has to let people know what's relevant and what's new.
The Tesla brand has a strong personality that sets it apart from any other. In an era where all the products are becoming more and more similar and bland, that is something I admire.
Tesla is pushing innovation and creating new technologies. It is solving difficult problems for a significant segment of the population. Those characteristics are the physical component of the brand. What we can touch and measure. But, technology will change, Tesla will evolve, many will copy.
There are other things harder to build and almost impossible to imitate. The dreams of the founder, the bold, irrational drive to change the world. The contagious illusion. The conviction that we can do something distinct and measurable to improve the environment.
These are the elements that build trust. We can check everyday that they are decisive in that brand.
These are the posts dedicated to Tesla Brand: