What do you think of Tesla rebooting their referral program?

Kristen Tepper


Tesla has found major success (OVER 16 million in sales from 1 person) thanks to their referral program.

Do you currently utilize a referral program? Why or why not? 

Jared Hamilton

To me the more interesting thing is that tesla is already offering incentives to get people to buy telslas.  Considering their ultra low productcion, i wonder if this says anything about the demand for the brand.  I also find it interesting the 1200 credit the buyer gets towards their charger is a public facing incentives, more along the lines of ford and Gm and their rebate program, rather than keeping incentives strictly to dealers like honda and toyota.

Public facing and dealer facing incentives have very different impact on the market, I wonder how these public facing incentives will impact tesla over time.

Regarding the referral program, i dont see where it says it ws a big success - it might have been, but it doesnt say that, so I wonder how much success the program really was.  Having one person, the top referrer, help sell an addition 188 cars is huge for that one person, but it doesnt really move the needle for a manufacturer needing to sell tens of thousands of cars per year and generate multiple billions in revenue. 

Ron Henson

I have to wonder how much of the decision to begin incentivizng the brand was based on Consumer Reports essentially ending their love affair with Tesla by stating that it could no longer recommend the Model S because the car's predicted reliability is below average.  (Consumer Reports, Oct 20, 2015.)

To Jared's point, when wondering about the overall health of a brand, where there is smoke, there is usually fire.  Monitoring incentive programs usually leads to the smoke.

Shawn Ryder

There certainly may be issues behind the scense but also a lot of pride... living in Canada and having never seen one myself - know a few people that have sat in them - they are sort of unicorns to me.  Is there model of no real dealership flawed? Or just a matter of time before the concept catches on with the masses? 

Kristen Tepper

Love the feedback. Jared, good point! It is definitely focusing in on that 1 person. I have to wonder how many of those 188 people ended up following in the initial referrer's footsteps. If people are 4x more likely to refer when they were initially referred and a referred customer has a 25% higher lifetime value (Nielsen 04 10 2012/ Schmitt Skiera VandenBulte 2013) is tesla playing this out for the long haul? so I guess this might have to be a "only time will tell" review. 

I definitely agree with the smoke and fire to an extent... why? Paypal and Airbnb were STRUGGLING before they started their incentive referral programs but implementing their "give and get" programs helped them grow like a "wild fire" (attempt to be punny-ish) and now look at that them and/or uber. Granted other factors cannot be ignored, EX: airbnb started using high quality photos of places to post, etc. 

And as a millenial who does probably about 70% of my shopping online. I find the entire "no dealership" concept interesting but I don't think they do a great job of explaining the "process"  do i get to test drive it? how does that work? or do i need to find a tesla store? then test drive then order? Maybe it's just something you just "know" when you are at the place where you can afford a tesla... since i'm young and have no chance of affording a tesla, I just haven't done the research a real buyer would do.. good possibility. 

mark rask

Jared and ron have good points, What is driving Tesla to do this ?

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