applespears

If you haven’t heard the news already your answer might be nothing. That certainly would have been the case less than 15 years ago.

On Friday, Elon Musk unveiled the new solar roof tiles that Tesla and Solar City are bringing to the market (Tesla is due to take over Solar City).

Why will you buy a car and roof tiles from the same company? Once it’s clear that we’re talking about electric cars and solar roof tiles from Tesla, the answer seems obvious, but that wouldn’t have been the case just a couple of decades ago. After all, it was just 2001 when a computer company successfully launched and started selling what’s become the most successful mp3 music player, 2 products that on paper, you wouldn’t buy from the same company.

The real questions should perhaps be, what do Tesla and Apple have in common? The answer is they both know their why. Apple believes in thinking differently, in designing products that aren’t just beautiful but also easy to use. That’s why they can be a computer shop, a music shop, a phone company and a watch company at the same time.

Tesla also knows its why, they want “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. What they believe in determines and inspires what they do, that’s why buying a car, a home battery and solar roof tiles from them presents no contradiction.

Don’t get us wrong, brands are not the latest church, with followers that congregate around a shared belief blinding following their leader. Noble principles are not enough, ultimately, if your product and/or service isn’t as good or better than the competition, saying that you’re trying to save the world won’t keep you in business.

In an age where consumers are better informed and more marketing savvy, old gimmicks and superficial improvements will no longer cut the mustard. People want and respond well to genuine innovation. If that innovation is rooted in trying to make the world a batter place, that’s even better in our book. Good luck Tesla, we mean it.