Innovation meets branding in Tesla Zurich

10 Juli 2018

An introduction to innovative thinking, successful branding strategies and a peek behind the scenes of Tesla

On July 9, 2018, Creative Supply hosted an exclusive event in collaboration with the EPFL EMBA program and Tesla at the Tesla store in Zurich. The topic of the evening was the connection between innovation and branding: only if the two go hand in hand can something truly unique be created. Leaders of different industries often emphasize the importance of constant innovation to stay competitive. However, the branding aspect and therefore the strategies how to make these innovations successful on the market, are often disregarded. To give our audience a better understanding of this interesting subject, we invited three speakers from different professional backgrounds to give an insight into their area of expertise.

Tilo Peters, executive director of the EPFL EMBA and director of the Innovation Strategy Centre in Lausanne, spoke about the importance of harnessing innovation to unlock new business opportunities. He explained how inventions alone do not qualify as an innovation – only by combining these discoveries with out-of-the-box thinking can groundbreaking innovations be created. Tilo gave current examples of recently graduated EPFL EMBA students that found solutions to long-time problems such as antibiotic resistance by asking the right questions that no one thought of before. At the end, he challenged the audience to use this approach more often in their everyday life to discover new possibilities.

Youri Sawerschel, Founder of Creative Supply, spoke about bringing innovations to market and positioning them in the mind of customers. Branding and storytelling often make the difference between a short moment of fame or a long-lasting success story of a new product. Youri further introduced the concept of a brand anchor to the guests: the core identity of a brand that defines what the company can or cannot sell to their customer base. By giving famous examples such as Adidas and Apple and using Creative Supply’s own storytelling-framework, the Brand Story Canvas, he explained how the usual storytelling-strategy which is used in advertising does not work when it comes to brands. A story of a brand should be designed in such way that there is no ending – the brand must live forever.

Lee Köppel, Sales Advisor at Tesla Zürich and a Tesla expert, shared his insights about Tesla branding. He explained how the company grew from a car producer to a global brand with a deeply loyal customer base. Tesla is successfully linking their innovations such as their state-of-the-art autopilot system or their worldwide charging network to effective branding. Lee showed the audience how Tesla’s vision to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” is combining two goals of the company: to offer customers the joy of driving a fast, modern car and at the same time reducing CO2 emissions.

After the insightful speeches, the guests were invited to join the networking apéro and use the opportunity to discuss with the speakers in a more personal setting. Simultaneously, guests could take different Tesla models for a quick spin around Zurich. It was a memorable event full of enriching conversations, new encounters and shared laughter.

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Picture credit: © Ruxandra Balea Creation Station