Al Ries has this to say about Tesla, and branding in general, in the 9 months prior to his passing:
“Prospects don’t file brands in alphabetical order. Or in timely order. They file brand names in categories. And they often list them by reputation or sales. Here is a typical example of how one prospect might file some automobile brand names.
Most prospects file Tesla in “electric cars,” especially first-time electric-vehicle buyers, who don’t remember any electric-vehicle brands except Tesla.
But where do they file Chevrolet?
General Motors made a serious error by not giving its’ Chevrolet electric vehicle a different brand name. The same mistake being made by almost every major automobile company in the world.
A new category demands a new brand name.”