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  • Melissa Cadieux

How Tesla and Other Cutting-Edge Brands Combine Tech Marketing and Desire

What’s the key to marketing in an era of advanced technology? As Tesla marketers and similar companies show, it’s not just about old school features and benefits discussions. Tech marketing and lifestyle marketing aren’t all that different and understanding this subtle fact is the key to staying ahead of the curve in the current car sales environment. Want to pivot to a sales and marketing strategy that will serve you well for years to come? Learn from the very best of the best.

Tech as a Lifestyle Improvement Rather Than a Practical Tool

There are two ways to look at Tesla’s cars. On the one hand, they’re amazing technological developments that run on an innovative battery that might just put another nail in the fossil fuel coffin. On top of that most of these cars are packed with sensors and some of them may just drive themselves in the near future. The technology on display is impressive and it’s easy to want to market these cars with a focus on how much they can do from a mechanical standpoint.

However, it’s important to remember the second way you can look at a Tesla: As a luxury item. These autos are sleekly designed and the logo alone is likely to inspire envy in neighbors and random passersby on the street. The cars carry a high price point that shows the company’s real priority. They aren’t trying to save the world through electric cars, at least not as a primary goal. They’re trying to sell cars by making them objects of desire, which is working out quite well. Features and benefits aren’t just about how the car performs—that messaging is there, but it’s underneath lifestyle messaging that makes a Tesla car into a fantasy.

This strategy works well outside of the automotive industry in any business model and that provides more clues and inspirations for how to make this technique work for you. Apple manages to sell expensive phones with record-breaking price tags, often to people who, just a year earlier were, refusing to pay such a high price. How do they convert skeptics into eager customers? By making their new phones seem like the most amazing technology ever made and by adding some drama and intrigue to the proceedings. Do you think Apple just hates it when bloggers and tech fans on social media speculate about what the new iPhone is going to be like and share lots of content about it? No way. All that intrigue just makes excitement and anticipation skyrocket.

This is a “sexy” marketing business model in the purest sense and it’s all about making technology into more than just a tool. Yes, there’s a practical application for Face ID, but animoji is the major selling point. Apple is selling a product by telling a story about how it will make the user’s life more enjoyable, not by hammering on points about efficiency and technological achievement. In essence, they’re casting the widest marketing net possible and avoiding making their advanced products niche items for techies.

This is the core of what Tesla is doing as well. They aren’t trying to market their cars to techies and gearheads who care about a car’s performance stats. That information is available, but they’re going for a far wider audience than that. Almost all humans experience desire and they’re using that to their advantage.

What This Means for You

You don’t need to be an authorized Tesla dealer to make the most of this approach. In fact, no matter what kind of vehicles you sell, you can follow this strategy and tools and make the most of it, even if the cars you’re selling aren’t always particularly glamorous. The key is to make sure you’re focusing on brand appeal. Subtle marketing tactics such as framing, which allows you to shape the way an observer sees something before they even fully engage with it, will be most effective for you in creating a marketing plan with content that appeals to lifestyle and our natural desire for something great.

Every element of your online brand presentation and advertising campaigns have to match the needs of consumer behavior and be designed to make people think of the cars you sell as a lifestyle achievement. Don’t just use pictures of a car against a blank background. Show that car in front a beautiful house. This applies to your dealership as well. Bare-bones efficiency is fine if that’s the message you’re trying to send. But if you want to take the Tesla-style approach, you need to make sure customers feel like someone special from the moment they walk through your door—or even before.

This means that looks matter. Forget what you’ve been told about not judging a book by its cover. That’s a nice idea, but it’s not how things work in the real world. If that was true, marketing wouldn’t be as complicated as it is. People can easily be drawn into desire if there’s an aesthetic appeal. So don’t cut corners with any element of your branding. Everything from your Twitter header image to the font you use on your website to the pavement on your lot needs to look good. Build your brand, build appeal, and build your audience.

This is all pretty high level, but there’s a way to apply this concept in a more specific way as well. If you’re going to market a specific car, don’t just focus on the numbers. Focus on the things that make this car irresistible to a person who wants to improve their lifestyle. Hone your ability to craft inspiring but concise descriptions. Make use of framing to set a certain perception of a vehicle before the customer even starts looking at specific facts and figures.

You’d be surprised by how few dealerships realize just how important this branding strategy is. Some people just don’t realize the impact framing can have. Learn more marketing secrets and get better at hitting the points your competitors aren’t with our automotive masterclass. Sign up today to reserve your seat and send your sales into top gear.


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