Elon Musk the PR genius who states he has never spent a dollar on advertising has used his influence and personal profile on Twitter to pioneer and change the fortunes of Tesla.
There is no denying the man, he revolutionised the motoring industry. The advent of Tesla electric cars has transformed the industry. You only have to look at all the electric cars made by BMW, Mercedes and others, they all similar focussed on aerodynamics, fast charging and interior ‘TikTok gimmicks’. Before Tesla, it was all drivetrain and lap times.
The PR genius of the man comes from having zero experience in the motoring industry to leading the way.
It is true the PR guru hasn’t actually paid for advertising for Tesla but he has invested millions into his social media platforms, his image and branding. ‘Never spent a dollar on advertising’ is his punch line, which infers the quality and genius of his products.
He is not stopping there, now he is determined to take a bite at Apple, with the Tesla phone being launched soon and the Tesla truck, which is also on the horizon.
From the brink of bankruptcy and being told by Apple CEO to ‘go away’ for his hubris and audacity in his attempt to become CEO of Apple, to lifting his fortunes to the richest man in the world in 2020.
Apple CEO tells him to ‘go away’
He is on his next mission; a new book is coming out about the Tesla CEO. releasing excerpts on Twitter. One story is that in 2016, when Tesla was in trouble, almost bankrupt, Elon Musk reached out to Apple’s Tim Cook, who he thought might want to buy the company.
But in return for selling his company, he wanted to be the CEO of Apple. Naturally, Tim Cook told him where to go after that audacious attempt fuelled by his own hubris.
This has left him on a warpath, a mercurial genius, fuelled by rejection, he is determined to make the Tesla phone dent Apple’s dominance, hoping to one day take over the company. He puts on a good show for the media but, make no mistake about it he wants to buy Apple Inc and ‘get his own back’.
Redefine his image – The Pr genius
Musk has measured Trump’s success on Twitter and is engineering his own fate in a similar way. He is trying to redefine his image, perhaps wanting to be compared to the much loved former CEO of Apple Steve Jobs, who was seen as more hands of curator of excellence rather than being compared to the billionaire owner of Amazon Jeff Bezos.
Referring to himself as an engineer rather than a businessman is one piece of the jigsaw and is very flippant about the business side of the business. It is way sexier that way.
Behind the nervous showman, he is as shrewd as they come. Using every opportunity to advertise and market his brand, with stage appearances and cameo’s where ever anyone will have him.
Driving Tesla forward
That he is repeatedly saying he doesn’t want to be CEO will worry some investors. Love him or loathe him, Musk’s vision and force of personality has driven Tesla’s incredible success.
Americans are far more serious about personal branding than their counterparts in the UK and Europe. Twitter has become the go-to platform for billionaires, it’s less pretentious than Instagram and Facebook and significantly the worlds media all monitor it 24-7.
Whilst talking about being CEO of Tesla, Musk was on record and said: “I rather hate it and I would much prefer to spend my time on design and engineering.”
He also gave a reason for why he continues to be Tesla boss: “I have to or, frankly, Tesla is going to die.”
Tesla is by far the most valuable car company in the world and yet it is striking that running that company isn’t enough for Musk.
He’s the boss of Space X – which was in October floated at $100m and was awarded a contract by NASA to put people onto the moon.
Musk is never far from controversy
If you want to become noticed you have to make waves and he is never far from a controversial tweet. Playing with the future of companies at will. A tweet from Musk could in fact kill a company.
He was investigated for tweeting ‘insider information’ and has recently become the speculator of the fate of Bitcoin and Dogecoin.
He is currently being sued by shareholders who claim the carmaker’s money was wasted on buying SolarCity, which – they say – was running out of money and he defrauded his investors, all that has just added to Elon musk’s net worth.
Think Marylin Monroe, we all remember the same thing, people knew the image before they knew Marylin Monroe. Musk is the same except he is using Twitter.
Elon Musk net worth
At the time of the deal, Mr Musk owned a 22% stake in both Tesla and SolarCity. Elon Musk net worth has skyrocketed since; during the pandemic temporarily he became the ‘richest man alive’.
With SpaceX’s value floating at over $100 billion, according to its October funding round, Musk’s 48% stake in the rocket-maker, plus cash and other assets, brings his total net worth to around $276 billion as seen on Forbes.
In 2018 he agreed to step down as Tesla Chairman after tweeting that he was considering taking Tesla off the stock market and into private ownership. A tweet to showcase his value or increase the stock price.
Elon Musk may be the second richest person on the planet, but, strangely, he doesn’t feel he has the freedom to do what he wants, Irony is wasted on Twitter but he may be the second richest on paper but he is definitely the most influential on Twitter, well especially since Trump was banned.