What We Can All Learn From Tesla’s Success Story
Tesla has skyrocketed to success since the launch of the first Model S cars a decade ago, this year.
The infamous EV manufacturer was able to foresee and utilize the same fundamentals that are the craze in business these days while also making use of techniques from the future that have helped the manufacturer gain worldwide recognition without paid advertising.
10 years ago when they launched the first Model S cars, Tesla started a journey that would eventually take the company to worldwide recognition and the highest valuation of any car manufacturer. The company only truly gained traction sometime around 2015 with the launch of the first dual-motor performance model, the ‘P85D’. The release of that model along with the Model X SUV the following year, and then prototypes for the more affordable Model 3 really helped put Tesla on the map. Governments around the world saw the potential in EVs. Other manufacturers scrambled to release their own EV prototypes by either modifying existing models in their lineup to an EV, or by starting from scratch. Within a few years, everyone was suddenly talking about EVs as the glorious future of humanity. The second coming of cars if you will. A second coming that might help pull us out of the mess we’ve made and take us into a new future that we can justify to ourselves.
How did they do it, and how do they continue to do it despite the many challenges and shortcomings of the company? Tesla faces many setbacks, delays, build-quality issues, questionable business practices, and yet they thrive and grow all the time.
The answer is community funnels.
Tesla is secretly a funnel based company similarly to how we use funnels in our businesses. Only, Tesla has managed to foresee and use community funnels before anyone else saw them coming. When the pandemic came and turned the world upside down, entrepreneurial minds quickly perceived new opportunities that would come from this. Virtual meetings, events and conferences became a thing. Suddenly launching a product online and switching between different speakers became a common practice with companies around the world. Zoom meetings skyrocketed.
Yet, despite this, few companies have managed to pull off what Tesla does. Tesla uses the mass movement principles I talk about in THIS article to scale up and show new more efficient and lean ways of doing business.
To quickly recap for those unfamiliar with what I’m talking about. The mass movement principles are as follows:
1. A charismatic leader
2. A future based cause larger than life
3. A new opportunity
The charismatic leader, is of course Elon Musk. Most of the world is familiar with the determined, slightly awkward, stuttering, yet amazingly persuasive and somewhat crazy South-African CEO and investor of the company.
The future based cause is the transitioning from dirty transportation to sustainable transportation. An urgent topic in a world that is running out of time to prevent a looming climate catastrophe.
The new opportunity is the electric car that Tesla offers to the market. They take a customer ‘out of one vehicle (quite literally) and puts them in another which is better, faster, cooler and most important of all, cleaner’ then the old one they’re used to.
But Tesla doesn’t stop there. Tesla knew back then, and they certainly know now, that if you just sell a product then you’ll be out of business pretty quickly. Everyone sells products, and because products are commodities, the companies that sell them become commodities too. They become noise in an already hectic and noisy world. Tesla puts itself on the map by making an offer to its customers. They offer their amazing cars, but they also add several valuable things that complement them. Tesla has its own charging network, for example. Tesla offers OTA (Over The Air) updates. Tesla offers fun acceleration, easter eggs, video games and other fun things that customers love. Tesla makes an offer with each car it sells. Until recent years most other manufacturers simply sold a car and then the relationship ended.
With these two positioning techniques, Tesla is primed for free PR and reputation from its customers. People are hooked on the mission and the dream of a new future. Tesla has created a mass movement of raving fans lining up to buy whenever a new Model is unveiled… And this is exactly what makes them untouchable. This is what a community funnel is. Tesla threw a ‘hook’ out into a blue ocean niche (electric cars) years ago and managed to craft and present an amazing offer coupled to a future based, larger than life cause, and with a charismatic leader persona in charge to persuade people to joing the ‘Tesla family’. This cult-like mentality, when stimulated, can hook a person and keep them hooked for life.
When Tesla is preparing a product launch event, they can simply announce it on their website, on social media, or send an invitation through email, and people WILL show up. After the presentation, the people at the event are then offered a ‘call to action’ where they can pay a deposit to reserve a spot for the new product. This is very similar to how we sell our products when we host webinars. The only difference is one of scale. If Tesla can keep innovating, deliver value AND stick to their own roots, then they can pull this off indefinitely.
So, what can entrepreneurs like us, who still pay for our exposure to the market, and who use funnels and expert marketing techniques learn from this? What is the future of funnels and marketing? Well, like Russell Brunson said; “The fundamentals are the same — whoever can spend the most money to acquire a customer wins” To do this in the coming years, means a shift from simply driving ads to an offer and then breaking even. More individualized community-based business conduct is going to be the way forward. Meetings, events and product launches are going to happen online. Business owners will learn how to create anticipation for their new offers, and they are going to become much better at finding new unheard-of ways to do things, which will then be crafted into offers that can be sold at the end of a product presentation during an event.
The future of business lies in storytelling and immersing the customer in a subjective experience centred around the main future-based cause that a business serves. Those who manage to adapt and execute on this have a bright future ahead of them.