Tesla makes cars, big batteries, solar panels, and now tequila. But the few hours that the most recent product on that list was available shows that advertising isn’t needed to create brand loyalty or a strong consumer base. Instead, Tesla creates a great series of electric cars and sustainable energy systems. Pair that with an innovative CEO that people believe in, and you can sell basically anything: Just ask Tesla, or the Boring Company, for that matter.
After years of teasing a high-quality, agave-based liquor known as tequila that would dawn the electric car company’s name, Tesla Tequila finally hit the shelves after two and a half years of anticipation. It didn’t last long, though, as the $250 + tax bottle of booze that was shaped like a lightning bolt wasn’t available for more than a few hours. A company that has never made tequila, or any drinks for that matter, and spends 99.999999% of its time trying to figure out the world’s transition to sustainable energy sold out of its first batch in a relatively short period of time.
Not knowing the quality of the booze they were buying, nor whether it would be available again, Tesla fans flocked to the company’s shop and bought up to two bottles per person. Disappearing in a few hours, Tesla hasn’t stated whether a second batch will become available. But if you didn’t get one, bottles are still being sold on eBay for more than they were originally worth. But don’t expect it to have tequila inside.
Tesla has managed to sell a product that isn’t a car or a battery, all by Elon Musk making an April Fool’s joke two years ago. It is the latest testament to the company’s strange and unorthodox advertising campaign. The thing is: it’s only strange if it doesn’t work. And besides, that money is going toward product development, which is more important to the company’s future, anyway.
But it did work, and it isn’t the first time. In January 2018, Musk’s Boring Company sold 20,000 Flamethrowers for $500 apiece. Selling out in a few days, Musk vowed on the Joe Rogan Experience that they’ll never make more of them and that it was a horrible idea. “You shouldn’t buy one. I said, ‘Don’t buy this Flamethrower. Don’t buy it.”
But people bought it, and they bought them quickly. It isn’t a secret why, either. Flamethrowers are cool, they were limited edition, and they were something that was thought up by Musk, and fans wanted every part of it.
But on a more serious note, the same thing is going on with Tesla’s actual products. While the company has a concerted effort to create a massive volume of electric cars and energy storage systems, Tesla is working on expanding its production capabilities to keep up with demand. The Tesla Tequila and the Flamethrower are novelty items. However, these cars will keep the Earth free of fossil fuels and massive batteries that will keep energy available for outage occurrences.
The automaker is opening new production facilities in the United States and Europe and trying to solve the challenges that come with manufacturing. It turns out that electric cars are gaining momentum over their gas-powered counterparts, and Tesla didn’t need to buy any airtime or cool social media ads to convince people to drive their cars.
It all comes down to creating a product that people believe in. If you can build a solid base of customers who believe in the mission, you can sell anything. Advertising isn’t necessary, and Elon Musk and Tesla have recognized that.