Premium brands in the market target specific consumers who understand the impact of specified products and services on their lifestyles. For any organization in the corporate world, understanding the needs of consumers and aligning the products or services with these expectations yields positive outcomes that influence the growth levels. Tesla is a premium vehicle brand that spends zero amount on advertising, where its competitors dedicate significant amounts to convince and inform the public about its new automobile products. Even though the United States was its niche market, Tesla has expanded its reach to other regions outside Europe, such as China and the Middle East. With the corporation using unorthodox marketing techniques in a highly competitive market, its ability to penetrate the global business environment has become a topical issue. Over the years, the consumer market has learned the secrets of ignoring traditional marketing because of its interrupting nature that can be thwarted using ad blockers. However, introducing a product through other people who love the commodity has proved to be highly effective, a move that explains why Tesla sells its vehicles through word of mouth. By converting customers into fans, Tesla has become a model marketing success that explains the significance of exploring options that surpass the market trends and conventional procedures.
Tesla’s Competitive Position
Tesla positions itself as a premium brand that targets specific consumers in the broad business environment. Different individuals have different needs and expectations that vary when exposed to various products and services. Tesla targets individuals willing to purchase their cars and trucks at a premium price because of their unique nature that complements their expectations (Musonera & Cagle 2019 129). However, in recent times, many people are demonstrating interest in Electric Vehicles (EVs) because of their low-carbon emission that is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in combating pollution. Even though other corporations have penetrated the market, they have been unable to reach Tesla’s heights that demonstrate their strategic approach in the highly competitive market. In the Netherlands, Tesla’s Model 3 sold over 2200 units in December while other vehicle manufacturers struggled to surpass the 200-unit mark (Musonera & Cagle 2019 131). From this realization, understanding the changing needs of individuals has enabled Tesla to develop customized vehicles that appeal to individual expectations, as opposed to the approaches used by other car manufacturers in the business environment.
Fig 1.0 A perception map of Tesla’s competition in the automobile industry.
Tesla’s main competitors include Ford Motor Company (F) and General Motors (GM), which have been playing catch-up for the longest time now on the development of electric batteries. Tesla’s ability to develop an electric battery that costs below $160 per kilowatt-hour when other manufacturers are operating above the $200 per kilowatt-hour mark has offered it an opportunity to dominate the EV market (McGrath van Putten, & Pierantozzi 2018 8). By investing heavily in the production of efficient batteries when other manufacturers focus on other aspects such as marketing and aerodynamics, Tesla’s influence in the market has grown exponentially, allowing the corporation to overcome challenges affecting its brand. Importantly, the powerful electric batteries offer consumers value for their money, which is significantly missing in other manufacturers that have explored the EV business environment (MacDuffie 2018 484). Individuals who purchase Tesla’s automobiles are guaranteed of quality that translates into value for every money spent on the final product.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is inspired by a vision that directs the corporation towards a business environment where consumers are willing to top price on a premium product. The perception of a brand in the market is determined by its approaches to solve issues affecting the changing needs of consumers (Brown, Dacin, Pratt, and Whetten, 2006). For an organization to experience these challenges in an environment where other car manufacturers are struggling for the consumer’s attention is interesting (Crane 2016 580). With the company set to open various factories, the cost of Tesla’s single unit is configured to depreciate because of its ability to meet consumer demands. Many brands have invested heavily in their outward performance to enhance their relationships with consumers and potential customers (Keller, Sternthal, and Tybout, 2002).
Tesla’s Customer Segment
Tesla’s customer market comprises of the middle-class and upper-class individuals who are impressed by the quality and the ability of organizations to meet their changing expectations. In this regard, Tesla’s customer base is aware of the need to embrace environmental-friendly solutions to safeguard individuals and other people from the consequences of climate change and global warming (Fenwick & Vermeulen, 2015 609). Unlike other manufacturers that conduct a broad segmentation of their target audience, Tesla’s approach highlights the personality of potential customers and their vision in life, which corresponds with the overall brand objectives. Penetrating the Islamic market requires consumers to understand the lifestyles of individuals before introducing their products (Muhamad, Melewar, and Alwi, 2012). Understanding Tesla’s approach towards customer segmentation reveals intricate details about the company’s belief and value system, which focus on promoting its identity in the business environment.
Recently, Tesla extended its premium brand vehicles to consumers with a low-turnover with the hope of investing in their trust to grow the business. By making bold moves that are considered risky by other car manufacturers, Tesla has become a model corporation that illuminates the automobile industry with hope on the significance of maintaining a healthy relationship with consumers. For instance, Tesla’s Model S, Model 3, and Model X target 30-year-old consumers and above, while those that use a Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy storage appeal to 25-year-old consumers and above (Teece, 2018 509). Vehicles fitted with solar energy systems appeal to customers between 30 years and 65 years. Overcoming challenges hinder individuals from experiencing any adverse outcomes that affect their perspectives towards the premium brand.
In the corporate world, organizations are expected to develop specific outcomes that connect with consumers by exposing them to an enabling environment where they can accomplish their needs. With a zero-advertising budget, the corporation has demonstrated the significance of effective brand positioning and its role in yielding positive outcomes that complement the goals set by an organization (Perkins & Murmann, 2018 475). Positioning Tesla as a premium brand leads to total conversions because of the unavailability of issues that affect the nature of interactions between potential consumers and company managers. Nandon (2005) opines that the relationship between brand identity and a brand’s image in the corporate world inspires its impact on the needs of individuals and encourages them to associate with the company.
Fig 2.0 Tesla’s Brand Prism
While many people think that the “T” in Tesla’s logo stands for the company name, Elon Musk disclosed that the letter represents a cross-section in an electric motor. In the hospitality industry, restaurants that use different cutleries in their logos tend to connect with the consumers because of their ability to resonate with the ambitions of the organization in the market (Suarez, Utterback, Gruben, & Kang, 2018 55). Likewise, Tesla’s ability to include a symbol that represents the electrical conversion of energy captures the thought process of individuals. It exposes them to an enabling environment where they can fulfill their objectives. In any vehicle, the motor plays a significant role in pushing it to move from one location to another. Hence, adopting the T-section in an electric motor, as the company logo represents the vision of Elon Musk and his desire to develop an organization that understands people’s needs.
Brand Image and Promotional Mix
Tesla’s position in the automobile market resonates with the expectations of its target audience. It focuses on appealing to other people who might need to embrace the brand as part of their lifestyle. On many occasions, overcoming competition requires corporations to develop a series of approaches that can be used to resonate with people’s expectations in the corporate world (Wieland, Hartmann, & Vargo, 2017, 930). By targeting high-end clients, Tesla has grown to become a reputable car manufacture in the business environment, which offers quality to its customers by providing them with value for their money. For this reason, understanding the issues that take place in the business environment requires individuals to immerse themselves in company operations and develop a series of outcomes that represent the position of the organization.
Unlike other corporations, Tesla has a zero-advertising budget, which has become its primary selling point because of the company’s ability to deflect from traditional tactics that resonate with the market trends. Direct marketing is done by its customers, which Tesla converts them to be their greatest marketers and supporters (Rarick, Angriawan, & Firlej, 2017 32). Compared to the past, where organizations invested heavily in developing marketing strategies that resonate with the people’s needs, Tesla has adopted a policy where it indirectly sells its vehicles to other people through word of mouth. Eliminating publicity, sales promotions, and public relations has equipped Tesla with a competitive advantage that allows the EV manufacturer to develop on other aspects that influence people’s needs in the market.
By converting customers into fans, Tesla has become a model marketing success that explains the significance of exploring options that surpass the market trends and conventional procedures. Tesla’s approach in the market has equipped the corporation with a competitive edge over other industry players who have ventured into the EV market. Its ability to develop effective electric batteries has enabled Tesla to operate above the market standards and connect to a group of people who are not impressed by the traditional marketing strategies. Hence, adopting an approach that appeals to people’s needs has enabled the corporation to overcome various issues that affect growth and development in the contemporary environment.