International Marketing. The Tesla Brand

Term Paper, 2018

20 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Table of Contents


List of Figures

1. Global Marketing Management
1.1. Evaluation of the underlying growth drivers
1.2. Outline of the complexities that underpin its strategy in its quest to exercise market power in a very competitive automotive market place

2. Customer Relationship Marketing
2.1. Assessment of how the Tesla brand has been able to connect its customers as prominent iconic luxury brand
2.2. “Blue print” model on how Tesla can build and embrace a customer driven marketing strategy aimed at building tighter bonds with its loyal customers and delivering added value


List of Figures

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Figure 2: Tesla’s global locations (America & Europe) – Stores/Service Center/Supercharger/Destination Charging

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Figure 3: Tesla’s global locations (Asia, Australia & New Zealand) – Stores/Service Center/Supercharger/Destination Charging

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Source: 96,d?search=store,service,superchamer,destination%20chamer.

Figure 4: Sales trend of electric vehicles

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Source: studien.htm.

Figure 5: Learnings about Tesla’s customers

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Source: Self-creation.

1. Global Marketing Management

1.1. Evaluation of the underlying growth drivers

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, together with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, are probably the greatest entrepreneurs to date. Besides Tesla, Elon Musk also coordinates the companies SpaceX, Hyperloop and SolarCity. To understand Musk’s ambition and goals we need to see all of these companies as one unit and approach. Each company underlies the concept of the usage of renewable energies or to achieve sustainability with the unified goal to protect or safe our world. In terms of SpaceX this is established due to the goal to colonize the mars as a living alternative to our earth, SolarCity aims at creating homes fully running with solar energy, Hyperloop is an approach to shift and accelerate traffic and transportation under the ground and lastly, Tesla is manufacturing electric vehicles in order to reduce CO2-Emissions. As it could be seen, all these companies, founded or coordinated by Elon Musk, are operating in different areas, but are combined in their unified goal to make the world better. Therefore, we must say that Elon Musk is the greatest and most important asset or capital all of these firms possess. This explains, why the majority of the American citizens have high hopes in him and for what reason business analysts are rating Tesla in the range of general motors and ford, some well-established car manufacturers since years, as stated in the case study. Nonetheless, some people are wondering why Tesla is meant to have such a bright future despite of their recent struggles in terms of production difficulties, which made them neglect their forecasts and demands, and occurred accidents due to failures of their autonomous driving software. The answer to all this, and why Tesla doesn’t have to deal with severe downgrading of Tesla’s stock price, is due to the fact that to a high percentage the ratings are dependent on their CEO Elon Musk.

If we now set the focus on Tesla on its own, we can identify several recent and future growth drivers. As stated earlier, their biggest advantage is their human capital, not only talking about their CEO. Nonetheless, he is the one who sets the tone and functions as an example to never give up, overcome difficulties and in the end to create radical innovation. As it will be mentioned later on, they had to overcome difficulties like accidents, delivery problems and technological or physical problems regarding the range or duration of their batteries. Due to his tremendous intelligence, endurance and openness or acceptance of failure, he led by example and was able to make his employees follow and belief in his visions, which can only end up being success. As stated earlier, Tesla doesn’t get that good of a rating because of its tremendous successful operations. Mainly, the company is rated that good because of Elon Musk. All this gave Tesla an increase in awareness and a strongly positive brand reputation.

Another essential growth driver is the high and early investment rates in Research & Development. As it can be seen in Figure 1, Tesla was spending three times as much in R&D as Volkswagen and BMW in the year 2015 cf. (Pressman, 2016). More impressive is the fact that, back in 2015, everyone was aware of the view that electric cars are going to be the future and gasoline cars are already overtaken. The benefits of this intense and maintaining R&D strategy were to be able to differentiate the company from others in the industry regarding their products, in terms of quality and innovative content.

Furthermore, due to their vision, Tesla created their own environmental surrounding for their products, relying on renewable energies. This creates strong and maintaining dependencies, which set the fundamentals for continuous success and competitive advantage. Recently, Tesla earned a lot of criticism for acquiring SolarCity. SolarCity was founded by Elon Musk’s cousins and financed with his money. It is America’s first full-service solar provider by performing the entire process reaching from permission to installation and providing ongoing monitoring and repair services cf. (SolarCity, 2017). The portfolio of solar panels, solar roofs and “powerwalls” provides a great addition to Tesla. Combining Tesla with SolarCity provides the possibility to store energy produced by solar panels or solar roofs for the household use via “powerwalls”. This saved energy could as well be used to recharge the battery of your electric vehicle, which constitutes a great addition to or upgrade of Tesla’s product portfolio.

1.2. Outline of the complexities that underpin its strategy in its quest to exercise market power in a very competitive automotive market place

Besides their strong growth drivers, Tesla pursued very intelligent strategies to gain market power in a very competitive automotive market place. Since their foundation in 2003, Tesla is mainly operating in the USA. All of their three manufacturing sites are therefore located in the USA. In the origins of their company, they primarily were doing national marketing. This means they just concentrated on their domestic market and customers by adjusting their product development according to them. Furthermore, Tesla used kind of a “Market Penetration Strategy” in its initial years. A market penetration strategy is characterized by a quick penetration of the market and building up strong long-term market position through positive carry-over effects and brand loyalty, which helped them to frequently gain market share and to increase their popularity cf. (Rathnow, 2014, S. 21). To choose this kind of strategy has some downsides too. Tesla’s difficulties to deliver their electric cars in time can be interpreted as one of those resulting disadvantages.

Over the course of the years they moved towards an export marketing strategy. In that process, they targeted markets with low entry barriers. Markets characterized by this attribute turned out to be in Europe, China, Australia and New Zealand. As illustrated in Figure 2 and 3, Tesla mainly targeted these countries by building stores, service centers, supercharger and destination charging at these destinations. Those two discussed approaches national and export marketing are called ethnocentric orientation. In the early stages Tesla decided to drive this strategy in order to keep focus on their core businesses R&D and technology, as well as overcoming production difficulties.


Excerpt out of 20 pages


International Marketing. The Tesla Brand
International School of Management, Campus Munich
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Tobias Hinterwimmer (Author), 2018, International Marketing. The Tesla Brand, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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