If you have not heard of the Tesla Cybertruck, you must be living under a rock. Just look at this beast.
Cybertruck is definitely one of the most wackiest products in the history of the automobile industry. The specs on this thing are awesome, and saying the price to be cheap is an understatement but the looks, they single handedly polarised automobile enthusiasts all over the world. Some adore the truck, some think it’s brutal and rugged but everyone can agree it packs one hell of a punch to the eyes. Media also covered it extensively but for entirely the wrong reasons, apparently they kind of missed the narrative here(I am talking about breaking the unbreakable), they all thought that it was a big failure, a disaster and honestly, Tesla’s stock did drop a little.
But I am not here to talk about that. I am here to talk about the branding GENIUS it is. Let’s rewind a bit and see what Cybertruck is, a truck. This thing is a freaking truck.
For comparison, this is what traditional trucks look like;
Now, Elon (CEO, Tesla) did not try to take on the multi-billion dollar pickup truck market, but instead decided to create a new one instead. The design on the Cybertruck is iconic, it is not just some sort of little tweaks here and there or a different scheme of colors or lights, it’s a new design altogether, generally what you would call a concept car, only seen in a handful of events or movies, BUT Tesla is now shipping it. What did this move mean for Tesla?
Let’s say, we are on the streets and see a Lamborghini, What do we say? Look, a Lamborghini! Right? Now Imagine the roads with Cybertrucks, “TESLA” Cybertrucks, what will people say now? Getting the whole story? Moreover this move was not because Elon wanted it for the memes.
This was a very strategic move on Tesla’s part because to disrupt an industry as close knit as the pickup industry can be a very daunting task since people here are committed to their brands. If they own a Ford F-150 today then after it wears down they would go and purchase another Ford F-150, then another and then another. They don’t really care about the electric cars, so to convert these loyalists, something outrageous had to be done which Tesla did and thanks to the unbreakable mirrors, the media covered it more than anything else which garnered it the much needed attention. Just look at these youtube comments!
The public is just blown out by the design of the Cybertruck and as this design slowly starts to grow on people (which clearly is being indicated by the pre-order numbers), it is not long until the Cybertruck defines the industry standard for the pickup industry. This is one of the rarest instances in corporate industry, which takes a great leader to make such a bold move. From being non-existential in a market segment to grabbing hold of the segment and disrupting it requires a show of such impeccable branding strategies possessed only by a few.
Apart from everything else, I feel it just makes the “Elon Musk — saviour of the planet” brand stronger than anything else. He currently owns a space company which has reusable rockets, an electric car making company, a company that dig tunnels to make underground transport (The Boring Company), Solar City, Worlds’ Largest battery manufacturing unit (The Giga Factory), Open AI among quite a few other things. This shows that he has what it takes to make bold moves to reshape any industry he wants, to bring the Future today.