Tesla Marketing Process

  • January 30, 2013
  • Scott

Paul D’arcy’s blog (Science of Revenue) discusses the disruptive marketing of Tesla:

Tesla is creatively using marketing to upend the auto industry business model:

  • There are no Tesla dealers
  • There are no commissioned sales people
  • Tesla cars are marketed and not aggressively sold
  • Tesla transactions are conducted online
  • The price is the price: no negotiation
  • There is no inventory: the Tesla Model S is built to order
  • You can’t test drive a Tesla unless you put down a $5,000 deposit
  • In many parts of the country, you can’t see or drive the car before you buy even if you place a deposit
  • You have to wait in line for months or years to get a car

And the marketing challenges are incredibly difficult:

  • They are building a new luxury brand from scratch
  • They are evangelizing a new type of vehicle: an electric car
  • They are selling a $60,000 – $100,000+ car that can’t go on a road trip
  • They must sell an entirely new model of buying and owning a car

It is quite the challenge.  Paul goes on to explain why the Tesla approach makes sense for Tesla.  It is a straightforward process, in a sense, but it turns traditional auto marketing on its head.  And that’s fantastic for the auto industry in the long run.

You have to give Tesla credit for re-examining all the normal ways the automotive business works, and not automatically following in the footsteps of the big three, and the big Japanese automakers who have built out dealer networks here. “Essentially, Tesla is selling cars the same way Apple sells the iPhone.”

And they’ve borrowed from the high tech business by selling at the high-end early-adopters first-  and letting those customers fund further development down-price-point.

Get out the popcorn, it will be a good show.

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