3 Executive-Branding Lessons We Can Learn From Elon Musk
“I hate the whole idea of brands and branding.” Elon Musk once tweeted this statement in response to a follower’s suggestion that the Tesla Motors brand was too luxe to consider producing an electric truck. Yet despite the high-profile blunders that have contributed to Tesla’s reputation as a volatile stock option, Musk has maintained his position as an indisputable tech visionary.
Dubbed the world’s first “Influencer CEO,” Musk has embraced strategic branding tactics and the irreverent culture of social media to share his personal philosophies and transformational leadership style. The polarizing 48-year-old entrepreneur extraordinaire consistently manages to excite, rattle and assuage employees, investors and shareholders alike as he executes his vision.
Love him or hate him, here are three branding lessons every executive can learn from Elon Musk.
1. Stick to the mission.
Musk has justified his business decisions by referencing his “mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy, which is important for all life on Earth.” Even if it’s in the form of a memo discussing employee cuts sent in the middle of the night, Musk is always reiterating that his primary focus is the relentless pursuit of developing technology that best serves humanity.
Musk has had to make tough calls that many executives face, including firing colleagues and prioritizing personal projects over contracted commitments. But despite the occasional tweet-storm, outlandish statement or tantrum, Musk has achieved icon status among the Millennial generation because of his positions on renewable energy and investing in the future of the world. Simply put, he has a vision and a mission that he sticks to, and has earned loyal followers who appreciate his dedication.