Brand Building

2015 Brand Planning: Tesla Motors and the Future of Marketing

My obsession with Tesla Motors is growing to the point where I wonder if my two sons really need to go back to college this fall. I think they’ll understand when I explain it to them—“Boys, instead of paying for school this year, we’re going to buy a new Tesla. It’s going to be a hands-on learning experience for all of us. I might even let you drive it.”

In many ways, letting them experience my new Tesla would be more instructive than taking classes. There are a couple of key points in my Tesla University real world curriculum to emphasize. After all, the Tesla curriculum is useful across an entire spectrum of life and business—especially when it comes to 2015 Brand Planning.

1). Simplify Your Engine
Whatever drives your business forward—focus relentlessly on that, and cut out all the rest. The Tesla engine and drive train is an object lesson in radical simplicity. After growing up watching Back to the Future, one might expect to open up a Tesla and see some sort of atomic-looking flux capacitor with wires and tubes tangled in all directions. The reality, though, is just the opposite—the Tesla motor and drive train is the size of a golf-bag. No transmission, no pistons, no radiator, no oil change—just three moving parts. (Seven moving parts if you count the four wheels).


2).  Streamline Everything Else
The drag coefficient of the Tesla S is just .24, the lowest in the world according to Car and Driver Magazine. Tesla is so committed to producing a sleek and energy-efficient design that even the door handles retract seamlessly! No energy is wasted with unnecessary diversions. The car cuts through the air with absolute efficiency. The combination of the electric motor and streamlined design allows the Tesla to go from 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds! Acceleration in the Tesla is like flipping a switch. Imagine if your brand marketing could be optimized with as little drag as possible.

3).  Surround Your Customers With Awesomeness
So the engineering that goes into making the Tesla is tremendous—but how is the actual user experience? In this regard, Tesla takes things into an entirely new dimension. The interior cabin of the Tesla looks like a combination of an Apple Store and the bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise. The largest touch screen you’ve ever seen provides more control over the car than you can possibly imagine. Not only is the driver given a multitude of navigation, music, and climate options, but—because there is no engine or transmission—there is a ridiculous amount of space available for the passengers, as well as a front and back trunk. Of course, the Tesla safety ratings are also off the charts.

So, there you have it. It’s a practical and straightforward curriculum for 2015 Brand Planning, backed by the most advanced engineering and marketing in the world:

  • Simplify Your Core Business
  • Streamline Your Processes
  • Surround Your Customers With Awesomeness

Tesla University is now open and accepting students. I know my boys can’t wait to start. Now all we need is a football team, cheerleaders, and a really cool mascot!

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Jim Walker

Jim Walker

Jim Walker is Director, Marketing Strategy at Cadient, a Cognizant Company. Jim provides innovative marketing insights for a wide range of clients, as well as leading Cadient’s content marketing strategy. He is particularly interested in helping brand teams effectively leverage their digital content. He can be reached at
Jim Walker

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