Today’s blog is about Elon Musk who is probably my biggest role model and inspiration.
We’ll focus on his insane antics and the manner in which he is able to market a multitude of brands without spending a penny on advertising.
Elon is an absolute genius in the field of marketing and he does so without ever doing market research because he believes that understanding a consumer is great, but if you build something by ignoring your likes and only focus on satisfying consumers you end up with an incomplete product. According to Elon the key to building a brilliant product is to be authentic and to do what you love and let the world decide if they love it too.
Many believe Henry Ford said, "If I asked the people what they wanted, they'd have said faster horses." Some refute he ever said it; whether or not he did, the sentiment remains true. Inc. View Source
To be frank as much as this method defies everything we know about marketing, it seems to work for all his businesses.
Lets dive even deeper into the world of Elon and his marketing philosophies.
If authenticity is how to connect with an audience, controversy is how to multiply an audience. Musk is the master of controversy: He smokes weed with Joe Rogan, sells flamethrowers, blasts a Tesla into orbit, tweets 10 times a day and then when it’s finally time to launch a real product he’s already got your undivided attention.
Imagine any other automobile company attracting the world's media to a launch event, smashing two windows on live TV, cuss and laugh it off and then proceed to sell 250k+ units upfront. (That's the story of Cybertruck if you aren’t aware)
Competitors spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a 30 second commercial to play during a basketball game while Tesla sits back and watches their fans make videos for them. At any given time you can find an army of YouTubers explaining “Why I bought the new Cybertruck” which is a far more sincere way of marketing as compared to what any commercial could provide.
It’s important to note that just because Musk doesn’t battle it out for the best advertisements on the market, doesn’t mean there’s no strategy behind his approach to advertising. I personally think that his style could be categorized into 4 meaningful points.
1.Maximize Opportunities at Low to No Cost
Social media is one advertising platform Musk has masterfully maximized. He understands that his words spread like fire especially about anything interesting going on at Tesla, or any of the other ventures he has his hands on. If we look at the SpaceX launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018, ( Probably one of Humanities 10 greatest achievements) we can see a perfect example of how Elon made the most of every opportunity. Musk’s decision to put his own Tesla Roadster on board as the rocket’s payload was unique, and he maximized a resource he already had on hand. The end result being probably one of the most iconic moments in recent time. With this one act he managed to convey his message and vision loud and clear: “We’re heading into the future. You should come too – in a Tesla.”
2.Endeavor to Solve Real Problems
While most of Musk’s projects do endeavor to solve a real problem, this is also one of the reasons that helps him gain fans. Where some may say he lacks social grace, he is undeniably honest in his desire to improve the general state of the world. Apart from building electric cars to reduce our carbon footprint, Elon has gone out of his way to make a difference with incredible gestures such as planting a million trees and changing his name to “TREELON MUSK” on twitter, to trying to solve Australia and Costa Rica’s power problems with his battery and solar wall technologies. Musk brilliantly puts his products to use in real world situations, and lets the media spread the word for him. Plus, the fact that his reputation precedes him, Elon is able to build a loyal following. By doing so he doesn’t have to worry about fighting over airtime so that he can broadcast his good deeds with catchy slogans.
3. Appeal to dreams
All Elon Musk’s ideas seem far-fetched at first, but are very recognizable dreams people have had for ages. Listening to Musk is almost like watching a science fiction movie unfold. All the ingredients are there: travel with the sound of a light electric buzz, a payment system that eliminates the traditional ideas of money, a solar-powered world, and exploration beyond the limits of planet earth. When listening to Musk, you can’t escape the feeling that he’s crafting a better future for you. His ideas tie seamlessly with promises of a better future that are as old as science fiction itself. Through his products, he sells a future powered by clean energy, where travel is made smoother and faster. This appeal to dreams is a classic marketing strategy, one that Musk blows up to far greater proportions
4. Build Anticipation, and Don’t Be Afraid to Self-Promote
One thing Musk seems to have perfected is knowing his audience. He understands just what it takes to make people feel special. Owning a Tesla makes you part of a community, in a way that not all car companies can achieve. In fact, Tesla boasts the most loyal customers of all car brands. Consequently, Musk has harnessed this loyalty, and continues to master the art of building anticipation with social media. With 29 million followers, a vague poetic Tweet with a beautiful picture can have fans on fire for weeks. Musk also seems to have mastered the art of self-promotion. Anyone can ramp up their self-promotion tactics at low or no cost. With Musk, the key is authenticity and honesty. That balance is something to strive for, as it truly matters with customers.
While not everyone can rise to the level of a ‘real-life Tony Stark’, the Elon Musk way of gaining followers and loyal customers is worth studying. Also it’s definitely worth looking up to a person that defies the odds and lives up to the hype that surrounds everything h3 touches. Elon Musk, you sir, are a legend. (I’m sorry, I can’t stop fanboying him)