Let's review it using 🌸 Evita Cult Community Scorecard.
Metaphysical Thesis"Exiting the fossil fuel era is good for humanity." Looks good, but it's too specific and easy to argue. Even Tesla's website says there's more CO2 produced during the manufacturing of Tesla than a typical gas vehicle. Plus, they cheat with competition evaluation: BYD sold 548k units only in China in 2021, while Tesla's website says it's less than 400k. Ouch... So, Tesla earns 50 out of 100 for this.
Clear vision of the bright futureTesla has launched their annual presentation, a good tradition since Steve Jobs's events. But there are no famous cultural artifacts about the future vision of Tesla except a few memes with Tesla 3 in space.
Plus, it doesn't feel human-ish. Tesla's website has almost zero photos of people, even on the pages about their impact and mission. And the future environment looks like Mars: no humans, red half-desert, solar panels, and self-driving cars. So, 25/100.
NarrativeMany articles describe the history of Tesla, but they're mostly framed in complex business language. Some books about Tesla written by different authors have tiny amounts of reviews (20-700) and mediocre responses from critics. One, Two, Three, Four. Benchmark: Steve Jobs' bio book has 12k+ reviews and a solid industry critics' response. 25/100
Giving hopeWe couldn't find any significant emphasis on personal hope, but there is some positive future narrative around ecological impact.
However, considering the information about more significant CO2 emissions from Tesla cars manufacturing compared to gasoline ones and controversies regarding the lifecycle of batteries/solar panels, it's hard to build a solid vision of Tesla's bright future. 25/100
Emotionally supportive communityLocal Tesla clubs are mostly run by independent enthusiasts while their communities are quite nice. 50/100
Shoutouts to the peopleThere's zero-to-no public shoutouts to Tesla owners or activists on Tesla's or Elon's Twitter accounts. 5/100
SecretsThere are no specific secret features or events available to the loyal fans. 0/100
People feel the powerTesla's management routinely votes against shareholder proposals. 0/100
ScapegoatsElon is dumping on both gas car producers and even American EV competitors which looks inconsistent with their mission. 25/100
IconsElon Musk is definitely an icon. There are tons of memes about him and a popular book with 17k+ Amazon reviews. But let's leave 100 points for the guys like Jesus. 75/100
Internal motivationThere is definitely some irrational motivation in buying Tesla because it's more expensive and less comfortable than many peers. But when it comes to the community contribution — the majority of Tesla owners are just users, and active club participation is not big (see "Local physical chapters" part for more info). 10/100
SymbolsThe logo is pretty clean, but it's used differently on different devices and accessories. While people barely wear Tesla's logo on their bodies like they apply religious symbols or fashion monograms. 50/100
Active peer-to-peer collaboration to solve vital issuesThere are some forums for Tesla drivers to solve issues with their cars but the amount of people there is quite small (the largest forum has less than 50k registered users). 25/100
Active peer-to-peer collaboration to have funThere are 20-30 active Tesla club chapters in the US, Europe and Asia where people gather annually/quarterly. But the overall activity looks limited and semi-private. 25/100
Structured network of ambassadorsWe haven't been able to locate any active ambassador networks sponsored by Tesla. The last puublic activity was back in 2013 and hasn't gained much outreach. 0/100
Celebrity + followersThe No1 celebrity supporter of Tesla is Elon Musk which is a massive asset. 100/100
Local physical chaptersTesla has a directory of local branches of owners clubs. Some of them (like in Silicon Valley Club) are quite popular and active, and the most of them are tiny. 75/100
Global outreachTesla clubs are almost everywhere except LatAm and Africa. 75/100
MechanicsWe haven't been able to find any of these:
- System of achievements / ranks / social statuses
- User-generated content (UCG)
- Random events (raffles, lotteries)
- External (paid) motivation.
Okay, there are some rare cases of UCG , so this parameter gets 5/100. While the rest are zero.
OnboardingYou just buy a car online, and get it delivered. Sometimes you have to wait for a few months due to the supply chain issues. But in general — it's absolutely non-personal and humanless. 0/100
Daily ritualsYes, people drive their cars almost daily, so they interact with Tesla very often. 100/100
Weekly ritualsWe haven't yet found any of these. 0/100
Monthly ritualsWe haven't yet found any of these. 0/100
Quarterly ritualsOnly quarterly financial reports which are boring. 25/100
Annual ritualsTesla started their annual shows and they get a lot of public excitement. 100/100
IntegrationHere's where Tesla is really good.
Collaboration with governmentsCollaboration with the US government is essential for Tesla as they've earned almost all the profit from government credits for years. Tesla also establishes deep connections with local administrations where the factories are located. 75/100
Collaboration with media/cultureCollaboration with media is fantastic: all media outlets buzz about every step of Elon or Tesla. 100/100
Collaboration with large businessesTesla is mostly contrarian to other brands while it sometimes shares technologies. 25/100
Collaboration with scienceTesla spends a lot on R&D but doesn't have its own research lab at major universities. 25/100
Collaboration with other communitiesTesla is mostly contrarian to other brands and is building a vertically-integrated holding, while it sometimes acquires startups. 25/100
CommercialAnd their business results are awesome when it comes to squeezing out maximum dollars out of the marketing budget.
Revenue / Marketing budget rateInfinite: Tesla spends $0 on marketing. 100/100
YoY revenue growth rate / Marketing budget rateInfinite: Tesla spends $0 on marketing. 100/100
5-year retention rateTesla is not a leader among car makers by brand loyalty in the US. And the long-term retention rate looks like less than 50%. 50/100
1-year retention rateTesla has 90%+ 1-year retention rate. 100/100
60-days retention rateTesla has 90%+ 60-days retention rate. 100/100
Community growth YoY in number of peopleTesla sold x2 units in 2021 compared to 2020. 50/100
Summary: Tesla is a great Corporation, but is not a CultOverall Evita Score: 11,315 out of 27,400.
Evita Community Grade is: 🧑💼 Corp.
Tesla has incredible brand power compared to other corporations, but it's still a corporation that doesn't feel human. Even their website feels plastic and creepy because there are zero to no people.
So, we have a huge potential to grow the Cult-ness of the brand:
— more human vision of the bright future
— shoutouts to the community members
— peer-to-peer mutual communications
— the network of ambassadors
— regular rituals.
Here's the Evita Radar for Tesla:
Would love to discuss this on Twitter.
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