Financial Data
Updated 30 Sep 2020

How to market like (Elon) Musk

Why Tesla has never needed to advertise ever.

GG van Rooyen, Entrepreneur, 17 June 2016  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

“A lot of companies get confused. They spend money on things that don’t actually make the product better. For example, at Tesla, we’ve never spent any money on advertising. We put all the money into R&D, manufacturing and design to try and make the car as good as possible. I think that’s the way to go. Ask yourself: Are the efforts you’re expending resulting in a better product or service. If they’re not, stop those efforts.” - Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk

This quote shouldn’t lead you to believe that Elon Musk places no value on marketing or public relations. In fact, it can be argued that he is particularly adept at attaining exposure for his endeavours. If Tesla has never launched a large advertising campaign, it’s because it’s never needed to.

Related: Elon Musk’s secrets to mega growth

The fact that both Tesla and SpaceX are at the bleeding edge of modern technology, and socially very relevant, means that these companies rarely need to pay someone to write about them. Just about everything Tesla and SpaceX do is newsworthy.

Elon Musk is also good at generating excitement around these two brands. How? By making sure he feeds the media and the public just enough to ensure that they remain interested, yet hungry for more.

Musk, who boasts a not-insignificant 3,5 million Twitter followers shared this enigmatic tweet last year:

Elon Musk Tweet

Predictably, the tweet generated a lot of interest and speculation. It is a tactic that Steve Jobs also used to great effect.

Whether by luck or design, Musk has a cult-like following that is similar to the one Jobs enjoyed (Musk has even been called ‘The Real Iron Man’), and he is leveraging this into tons of free publicity. He has realised that his name is as much a part of the Tesla and SpaceX brands as any car or spacecraft. He doesn’t seem particularly comfortable in the spotlight, but he has managed — mostly though Twitter — to turn celebrity into a marketing strategy.

Related: What you can learn from great investors

Entrepreneur Mag Logo

Copyright is owned by Entrepreneur Media SA and/or Entrepreneur Media Inc.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our editorial disclaimer.

Rate It12345rating

About the author

GG van Rooyen, Entrepreneur

Introducing the theft & fidelity protection for your business

Theft and fidelity cover are often confused with each other. Bryan Verpoort discusses the difference between the two and why your business should be putting measures in place for both of these risks.

Login to comment