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PERSONAL BRANDING

Have Elon Musk’s ongoing antics become a negative for the Tesla brand?

By our News Team | 2022

He made Tesla a household name. But a tangled private life, provocative comments and the Twitter no-deal may be taking a toll on the brand.

By making Tesla and himself so synonymous with one another, Elon Musk has put the company’s increasingly valuable brand at risk. This is according to a recent report by news agency Bloomberg, which says the CEO’s public persona – once a big asset – is increasingly a liability in the electric vehicle (EV) supremacy race.

The news agency acknowledges that Musk’s star power, built in no small part by his activity on Twitter — the same forum where he’s become such a lightning rod — has contributed immensely to Tesla, especially since it’s shunned traditional advertising

Personal Branding

Photo by Steve Jurvetson via Wikipedia

“His steady stream of online banter, punctuated with the occasional grandiose announcement or stunt keeps Tesla in the headlines. During the company’s earlier days, the trolling and glib comments were a feature, not a bug. They allowed Musk to shape media coverage and made him the ringleader for Tesla’s legion of very-online fans,” Bloomberg notes.

Musk and Tesla synonymous with each other

“But after making Tesla and himself so synonymous with one another, Musk has waded into political conflicts, attempted to buy one of the world’s most influential social media platforms and struggled to bat back unflattering coverage of his personal life, putting the company’s increasingly valuable brand at risk.”

According to the news report, Creative Strategies – a California-based customer-experience measurer – mentioned owner frustration with Musk in a study it published in April. A year earlier, research firm Escalent found Musk was the most negative aspect of the Tesla brand among electric-vehicle owners surveyed.

“We hear from Tesla owners who will say, ‘Look, I love my vehicle, but I really wish I didn’t have to respond to my friends and family about his latest tweet,’” said Mike Dovorany, who spoke with thousands of EV owners and potential buyers during his two years working in Escalent’s automotive and mobility group.

Janine Hills, Founder and CEO of Africa-based communications agency, Authentic Leadership, calls it “a classic example of a brand being built around a person”.  

She writes in a LinkedIn post: “Leadership within an organisation is vital; not a person but rather a team of professionals. Limit the risk; share the messages and the stage.”



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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.