If there was any doubt regarding the ability of Elon Musk to mesmerize his groupies, just look at the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley group. These starry-eyed Tesla owners are actually volunteering to help the EV giant – a $40 billion for-profit company – achieve its end-of-quarter delivery targets.
“We love the Tesla brand. Unfortunately, the media is cutting them down any chance they get. It’s like kicking a horse that’s down. We do small things like volunteering at the delivery center and giving donuts to show our appreciation.”
This is part-and-parcel of con man Elon Musk’s ability to charm the pants off of, and get money from, Tesla fanatics.
Elon Musk ginned up his cult followers towards the end of September last year, when Tesla enthusiast and “Ride the Lightning” podcast host Ryan McCaffrey offered to help, and Elon Musk happily agreed to accept the free labor.
Only a modern-day P.T. Barnum like Elon Musk could get Tesla owners to engage in unpaid labor to benefit the EV maker’s bottom line.
There’s certainly an argument to be made that this kind of consumer behavior is actually demonstrative of incredible brand loyalty. How many companies would be able to have a boatload of volunteers descend onto manufacturing facilities and do anything other than complain?
The primary marketing goal of any company is to create an emotional connection with the consumer. People who receive Tesla vehicles that are in good working order, and which don’t spontaneously combust or auto-drive their owners into fatal crashes, become evangelists for the cars.
Teslerati quotes McCaffrey to that effect:
“It’s the products. No one would care as deeply about Tesla as many in the community do if the products weren’t incredible. It’s why one test drive is all it takes to convert so many new owners. It’s an instant, oh-my-goodness-this-is-amazing experience.”
His experience does mirror the anecdotal stories I hear from other Tesla owners.
Evangelists and brand ambassadors are the best things a company can ever have, and that is particularly true of a company like Tesla that is constantly being hit with negative coverage – even if it is deserved.