Brand as business, Brand as purpose, Brand power

More than a brand, Tesla is on a mission

24 August, 2017

On Sunday afternoon, as I was walking through the Sydney CBD past Armani and Gucci stores, I suddenly stumbled upon the Tesla car dealership – right in the middle of the high street shopping precinct. “That’s a first”, I thought, and so I strolled on in.

The Model X and Model S were on show, and they sure are beautiful looking cars, outside and inside. A young girl came over with an iPad to take down my details. She asked me about my interest, and I asked her about the price. The Model X starts from $150,000, and the Model S from $120,000. But there is a “cheaper more mass market” model” she told me, that will soon be available – the Model 3, starting around $60,000.

Since I’m not really than keen on dropping more than $100,000 on a car, I expressed some interest in the Model S. “Okay. May I suggest you put your name on the order list then. We will require a $1,500 deposit, and you can expect delivery of the car in 2020.”

In 2020! That’s a three-year waiting list for a $60,000 car. Incredible. All the more incredible if you consider how Tesla almost died as a brand and a business not that long ago.

After four rounds of finance, The Truth About Cars launched a “Tesla Death Watch” in May 2008, as Tesla needed a further round of financing to survive. In October 2008 Elon Musk became CEO, laid off 25% of Tesla’s workforce, and added another US$40 million in order to avoid bankruptcy. By January 2009, Tesla had raised US$187 million and delivered 147 cars. Elon Musk had contributed US$70 million of his own money to the company. A pretty precarious position for any company.

And what a turnaround it’s been since then. Tesla’s production plan is set to increase to a rate of 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018. Tesla is the top ranking car brand with respect to customer satisfaction, and the top American car brand (SOURCE: Consumer Reports).

But I reckon Tesla isn’t just a car, or even a brand in the sense that nearly every other for-profit company is a brand. Tesla is actually the ultimate mission — the mother of all missions — and that is, to wean our planet off its addiction to fossil fuels, helping to create a long-term sustainable society; one that our grandchildren can enjoy and be proud of.

No automaker that chooses to concurrently produce internal combustion engine vehicles, can ever be authenticated as having a ‘mission’ that is as purposeful and meaningful as Tesla’s is. This mission — in combination with a brilliant product — is the reason everyone wants to own a Tesla and the reason everyone wants to work for Tesla. And the reason I have to wait three years to buy one.

(Although I did get a sales call on Tuesday offering me a Tesla test drive experience – which I will be sure to take them up on).

 

Back to All Articles

1 Comments

  1. Branding comes with a logo and it is really important that you’re logo is simple and catchy so that it is east to be remembered. Your branding or logo is the representation of your company.

    If you need help about design ideas you could contact us here. We’re a design firm located in the Philippines.
    http://a2designlab.com/

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.