Stuff Isn’t Software.


Pent-up demand is a marketer’s dream.  But it can be disruptive. The fact that Tesla Inc. did not manage it well for its automotive business is no secret. When Elon Musk, in order to get his cars to buyers around the country, began manufacturing his own auto-hauling trailers and subsequently purchased three trucking companies, you had a clue planning was incomplete. It doesn’t bode well for his space travel or subterranean tunnel companies, either if you ask me.  You can’t do logistics 90% of the way; manufacturing isn’t the software business.

As a brand strategist, production logistics are on my radar, but only when a problem.  A key to marketing is creating demand after manufacturing logistics are in place and future proof. If you can’t scale your supply with the demand, start smaller. Do a regional launch. Tesla in California and a couple of close by states would have made more sense. In the 70s, people drove cross country with cases of Coors because it was a regional brand, making it that much more desirable. A well-designed marketing plan.

(As software and Internet entrepreneurs venture into the “stuff” business, they often learn some retro lessons.)