When Elon Musk joked about launching ‘Tesla Tequila’ on April Fool’s day in 2018, most of us laughed along with the idea. It turns out, he was serious! While most of us pondered over such a venture’s viability, any skepticism was soon quashed as the highly expensive Tequila ($250 a bottle!) was sold out in a matter of days! This brings an interesting question to light. How?
How can an electric car manufacturer completely bamboozle with a totally unrelated product and turn it into the coolest thing on the market? The answer is simple: Solid brand development!
Tesla has positioned itself as an innovator in the auto industry, a problem-solver. Their generation-defining electric cars make us feel like the future is already here, and we’re driving it! While they have forced the hand of the likes of BMW’s and Mercedes’ to rethink strategies, they have also entrenched their futuristic brand image in their audience’s minds.
They are the new “cool”.
Add to this the unique and visionary personality of its founder, Elon Musk, who gives out the aura of a man leading humanity’s race to Mars, and you get the perfect mix of brand identity.
Elon Musk’s true personality reflects in his brand – innovation & unpredictability, while his USP is the future.
What is the next thing he’ll come up with? His audience might wonder… And before you know it, the guy goes and drops a ‘Tesla-quila’ on the market, and it is the bomb. What allowed him to be this successful with it? His investment in the brand.
When you successfully build your brand, you may leverage that brand image to expanding into unique industries, just like Tesla did with its tequila, just like Ferrari does with its merchandise.
In 2019, Ferrari’s total revenue was $3.8 billion, of which $2.5 billion was from merchandise sales! They sell more merch than they sell cars! That’s the power of a brand.
Take Apple, for example; they’ve cemented their Brand position as that of trendsetters in tech. Now, if they came up with a pair of shoessporting an Apple logo that changes its glow, there’s a chance you’d see them on every foot. Just like Nike could give Gatorade a handful if it decided to enter the sports drinks market.
Every successful business takes its branding seriously because doing that wins people’s approval.
Since these companies have “proven” themselves in their respective niche, they automatically generate a positive response whenever they venture out in a different niche.
Many people don’t know this, but Colgate wasn’t a toothpaste company until 67 years after it was founded. They were initially into selling soaps and candles. Nintendo was a card company in the 18th century, now a mainstay in the video-gaming world.
The reason why most businesses fail to grow is because of a lack of long-term vision and evolution. They don’t invest as much in building their brand identity and personality. As a result, they remain just “another” business out there. One that customers are likely to forget as soon as their need is met. One that is waiting to be trumped by another business that positions itself more effectively.
Businesses that effectively distinguish themselves from the rest, who strive to build a “brand” rather than a business, have more chances of making a lasting impact, thus growing and evolving more rapidly.
So “Just Another” business owners, ask yourself this:
- Does your business effectively reflect your honest personality?
- Does your business sell a unique story?
- Does your business provide a worthy experience?
- Does your business market content consistent with your business ideals?
- Are you tapping your online potential with modern websites and dedicated mobile apps?
- Are you marketing to the right audience, at the right place, at the right time, with the right message?
Once you satisfy yourself with viable answers to these, you will have accidentally, almost innocently given yourself the solid foundation to build a “brand.”
Then it’s only a matter of time before your business fortunes transform and you win the approval to venture out with perhaps your own brand of tequila?