Millennials Love Elon Musk, Here’s Why

7 months ago by Steven Loveday 32

Elon Musk

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in TED interview.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has wooed people all over the globe with his unique style, insight, foresight, authenticity, and innovation, but it’s millennials that make up his biggest fan club.

Why does Musk appeal so much to millennials? How can one become so popular without traditional marketing and advertising?

If you haven’t realized it already, Elon Musk does things different. He doesn’t spend his money to get famous, or to get Tesla additional publicity. He doesn’t sell his cars at traditional dealerships. He readily admits his mistakes, confusions, shortfalls, and what he doesn’t know for sure. Most of all, he puts humanity and the future above himself.

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk behind the wheel of one of his multiple Teslas.

Musk has firm opinions about global warming, and the fate of humanity. He believes wholeheartedly in the future success of renewable energy. His ideas regarding artificial intelligence, automation/robots, underground tunnels, and space travel are unique, and some may even say far-fetched.

Theses are the type of concepts that interest millennials. It’s a very hard group to please, and an even harder group to market to. But, Musk seems to have it figured out. He takes to Twitter for his announcements, and Tesla uses social media as its primary method of communication. Millennials feel secure and engaged on the internet. Buying a vehicle from Tesla is also an internet transaction, something that millennials do often.

In terms of the whole “saving the world” part, this is another key ingredient to Musk’s success with the age group. Millennials seem to be all about conservation, green friendly tech, saving animals, and any other “tree hugger” type mentality. Musk shares his ideas about which direction he thinks our planet is headed, and how he thinks we can fix the problems. Millennials totally buy into this type of marketing. Solar energy, solar roofs, electric cars, the machine that builds the machine, reusable roockets, cars on electric sleds traveling underground … these are all millennial-friendly products/ideas.

Added to all of this, Musk doesn’t profess to know everything, although to some he sure seems like quite the genius. Instead, he tells it how it is … or at least how it is inside his head, and people tend to believe him. It’s as if millennials think that Musk can see the future.

Musk uses a combination of fear and excitement, through the means of highly anticipated product announcements, cliff hangers, and late-night Tweetstorms. It’s almost like a millennial-friendly soap opera of sorts. The group appears to always be tuning in to see/hear what’s up next.

The most important part about Musk is that he doesn’t seem to be purposefully manipulative. Rather, he just openly shares what’s in his head, acts like a human being, is respectful, charming, brilliant, and overly compassionate. We don’t see a whole lot of this in this day and age, and especially not company CEOs that have themselves out there chit-chatting on social network about everything from favorite poems, to their lovelife, to admissions of product fails, etc.

Musk is just Musk and people (especially millennials) love him. He has become one of the most celebrated business leaders in the world, and his companies aren’t even largely successful yet. All of this achieved through very unorthodox means, and really without even trying. Whether a fan or not, most are compelled to give the man some much-deserved credit.

Source: Forbes

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32 responses to "Millennials Love Elon Musk, Here’s Why"

  1. mx says:

    Millennials don’t watch, and aren’t fooled by Fox News.
    Old People are their biggest audience and they suck it up without question. This Country has gone down hill when the middle class started being fooled by Corporate News, Since Reagan.

    That’s just the facts.

    1. SparkEV says:

      If you’re going to blame the media, it was always the problem. Remember the Maine?

      But in modern times, it’s the transformation of media from left leaning to mouthpiece of the Democratic party that accelerated since about late 1960’s that is the problem. Faux news is only one major outlet on right while ALL major outlets are dominated by the left.

      As for Millenials, tell them that you’re a socialist, and they’ll identify with you as having something in common. Some (many?) seem to think socialism is about using social media1!

      1. Paul Stoller says:

        BS the media is not at all left leaning, it is corporate leaning. Most of our media is owned by a handful of corps, and they are pushing their agenda not that if the left.

      2. Mad says:

        It’s not the media that is at fault. You’re right. If you look through history, there has always been media propoganda.

        Instead, the media is a reflection of ourselves. Fox News can make up stories because people who watch Fox News are willing to believe those stories without checking their facts.

        No, it isn’t the media. I believe it’s an entire generation (right wing boomers) that grew up despising intellectuals. They despised white collared workers who used their intellect rather than their hands. Over time, they have become more despised of intellect and now see anything intellectual as liberal lies.

        Millennials are the most intellectual generation alive right now. There is a reason they despise anti-intellectuals and Fox News. Elon Musk is an extreme intellect. That is one of the big reasons millennials love him.

        As far as socialism and millennials, the truth is many millennials are sick of being screwed by the “great capitalism” that most Boomers love. When they don’t make enough money to buy a house (after going to college and getting a white collared job), the usual answer is “stop buying avocado toast and work harder.” Which, quite frankly, is a BS answer. Millennials are much harder workers (think uber and the side-hustle) then their parents and get less for their work. They are figuring this out and are not happy about it.

        1. ffbj says:

          I can see why they might be unhappy, at least we know, and so do they, that Social Security will be kaput, by the time they retire.

          Yeah, Millennials, you’re screwed, no, if ands or buts, about it.

          1. FISHEV says:

            “I can see why they might be unhappy, at least we know, and so do they, that Social Security will be kaput, by the time they retire. Yeah, Millennials, you’re screwed, no, if ands or buts, about it.”

            SS is doing fine, running a $5T surplus over last 35 years while Reaganomics discretionary budget ran a $20T deficit. Currently still a $2T surplus in SS funds good until 2035. SS is easy to fix as its only problem is that Reaganomics shifted income to top 10% who pay very little of their income to SS vs. 7% for the bottom 80% at less than $120K. Simply apply SS to all income including the top 20% where 50% of US income has gone and SS funding is secure. We could likely even have an overall rate reduction for everyone.

            So millennial are only screwed on SS if they let themselves get screwed by voting for GOP.

            Same really is true for EV’s, GOP opposes them so don’t vote GOP in state and local elections unless the GOP candidate supports tax credits and rebates for EV’s. Amazing that none in the GOP support EV’s or the things Musk stands for yet 37% of millennials voted Trump and even greater percentage vote GOP at local level.

        2. TomArt says:

          Yep, that’s about right.

        3. scott franco says:

          Oh, bad news socialist millennials.

          Elon is a capitalist.

      3. FISHEV says:

        Faux news is only one major outlet on right while ALL major outlets are dominated by the left.”

        Never was the case. All US main media has always been owned by largest corporations. Today the ownership is 90% corporations with very far right views of the owners Disney, GE, Comcast, Advance, Viacom, Sinclair and of course the prince of darkness, Murdoch and News Corp.

        Immediately post WWII US news operations were a non-profit loss leader and given autonomy with journalistic integrity again with the WWII legacy. As news was required to produce a profit, that gave way to news matching the corporate views of the owners and current state of affairs with right wing domination of news and resulting GOP right wing shift in US political system.

    2. La'amata says:

      Musk, The only CEO on the planet that buys his “own” stock, with his own money and never yet took a Penny nor a free share to run Tesla..This goes Beyond Dedicated, Honesty , Loyalty ,Honor , Sincerity etc:,He’s in it Body, Mind, and soul with No Hidden agendas like all other CEO’s…Virtually Unheard Of..

    3. FISHEV says:

      “Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has wooed people all over the globe with his unique style, insight, foresight, authenticity, and innovation, but it’s millennials that make up his biggest fan club. Why does Musk appeal so much to millennials? How can one become so popular without traditional marketing and advertising?”

      Musk has not “wooed” anyone simply stated his views and acted.

      As far as appealing to “millennial” the buyers and supporters of Tesla cars are mostly older, white demographic.

      As far as “marketing” Musk gets huge coverage from media so people are aware of what he does and says, true for lots of people, Trump for example who got 37% of the millennial votes which is fair to say is a vote against everything Musk stands for so it’s not exactly a monolithic group.

  2. Stimpy says:

    These all read to me like reasons anyone of any age should admire Musk.

    1. L frennia di Mamata says:

      +1000

      1. stimpacker says:

        Yup!

        Shame on Mr Loveday for writing this:
        “…any other “tree hugger” type mentality”

        If you believe that, you shouldn’t be writing for InsideEVs.

  3. SJC says:

    Marketing is finding out what the market wants, not sales nor promotion. This is a common mistake.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      I think, especially with Tesla, one needs to apply the more modern definition, for “marketing”. Telling people what they want, rather than discovering genuine desire.

      You want:
      air suspension
      center-mounted display
      full-autonomy’s image

      When you are the only seller of what is bringing many through the door (compelling electric drive), you get to define all sorts of things as the “market”. You are uniquely positioned to disregard what “the market wants”.

      1. theflew says:

        You make some good points. The questioon is as others come to the market whether Tesla will still be in the same position. If they are then the sky is the limit for Tesla. If Tesla starts being compared to the others then they will have to move into traditional marketing channels. It’s already started with range comparisons with the Bolt and autonomous driving with the Leaf’s Pro Pilot.

      2. SJC says:

        No one ever said they wanted pop out door handles nor falcon wing doors.

  4. Breezy says:

    That explains it. I’m not a millenial.

    1. Well, I have been born, and I am Alive, less than a Millennium, so I guess I am not a Millennial, either, but I like the directiins Musk is driving, for most things! Not so sure we have desires to buy a ‘Supersonic, Vertical Takoff, Electric Jet’, though!
      ;*)

  5. Paul de Wit says:

    Perhaps this canbe explained that younger people tend to be more altruistic and vote more liberal. This quickly changes when they accumulate some wealth and get scared to lose it. Their actions are then based to “conserve” what they got. And so do their actions.

    I’ve read this some while ago an article in the Guardian (UK newspaper) that had all the numbers with it. It gave this as an explanation why the conservatives got mulled in the last UK election that they called in order to smash the labour party when there were down according to the polls, basically because for the young got bothered to turn up to vote. Can’t remember for the life of me what they are.

    Of course conservation of the planet is sóó important that it should transcend age or political inclination.

    1. TomArt says:

      The demographic game is one of the reasons why trump won the 2016 election – everybody likes to blame the rural poor for trump’s electoral success, but it had just as much to do with the voting turnout from middle-class whites as it did poor whites.

      I live in an upper-middle class part of Northern Virginia (Fairfax county), and there was a very surprising number of front yards with trump/pence signs. I was disappointed, to say the least.

      Never underestimate the powerful combination of the selfishness and ignorance of the middle class, and the desperation of the poor.

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Why do people, especially younger people, love Elon Musk?

    Short answer: Because he promotes an optimistic view of the future. (Same reason Classic “Star Trek” attracted such a loyal fan base.)

    Of course, the fact that he’s very rich and very famous doesn’t hurt! In fact, I think a lot of the posts we see slamming Musk are motivated by jealousy.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      I personally felt the world was going to look like Soylent Green in that the world was going to be very dirty polluted place with oil running out.

      Elon Musk’s companies do address some of the things that could avoid a world like in Soylent Green.

      The EV Cars and Solar panels taking the stress of two to three billion oil burning cars off the planet.

      The next thing is Tesla digging tunnels to bypass some of the world’s worst over crowded roads.

    2. Mister G says:

      Yes, Cory Johnson of Bloomberg Tv is always hating on Elon, I looked up his bio and Cory Johnson was a hedge fund manager, in my book he is no better than a crack cocaine dealer in the eighties.

  7. ffbj says:

    There’s, Like Tesla, Model 3 Owners Club, Teslanomics, Tesla Time News, and a bunch of other ones, all touting Tesla products.

    What other company even has a shadow of this type of loyal following whose mission is to spread awareness of Tesla and their products.
    In essence the Tesla fanbois you’ve heard tell about.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      You left out the most dedicated fan base, the Tesla Motors Club forum… altho I’m sure that not everyone posting there, or even everyone posting frequently, would describe themselves as a fan of Elon Musk.

  8. Ocean Railroader says:

    As a Millennial the biggest thing I like about Elon Musk is all the ideas he has tried to carry out or at least get the right people together to work on it.

    A example is Who killed the Electric Car GM is so worried about being the oil industries slave that they went out of their way to wreak the EV.

    Elon Musk goes out and makes a EV and basically makes his own rules.

    SpaceX Elon Musk now wants to send rocket with people in it around the moon.

    Well you go to the Kennedy Space Center in real life and 90% of the place is devoted about NASA living their glory days of the 1960’s. Up past 1980 till Elon Musk came to town space missions where to earth obit and back and where big bulky and expensive.

    Now Elon Musk wants to go to Mars in five to ten years.

    NASA keeps making excuses and pushing the Mars Mission back and back to the late 2030’s and 2040’s.

    1. TomArt says:

      NASA has to play the political game because Congress holds their purse strings. The so-called “conservative” majority in the House is a continual headache when it comes to funding…all the GOP wants to do is cut funding for everything except the military.

      NASA has to be cautious, and they have many programs besides human exploration to fund. Do you realize how many times Hubble funding was going to be wiped out? Or for the James Webb Space Telescope (almost finished)? US’s participation with the ISS? The Mars rovers?

      The increased domination of selfish, ignorant “conservative” politics since 1980, particularly in Congress, has really made it very difficult to do anything worthwhile in a timely fashion. NASA never knows from one year to the next what sort of funding they will get for the following year. It is very difficult to make plans and contract out work when you don’t know where your next meal will come from.

      1. Robert Middleswarth says:

        I wouldn’t let Nasa off the hook that easily. There budget year of year is around 18 Billion whereas SpaceX is under 1 Billion. Part of the issue is Nasa is doing way more than space. Maybe if they put their money into space and less into what looks like Government pork projects maybe we would be doing manned missions to Europa already.

  9. Mister G says:

    I’m in my mid forties and I admire Elon Musk for taking action and putting his money where his mouth is…unlike many other millionaires.

  10. scott franco says:

    Humm…. what is the point of the article?

    Wait, I know! “Old people suck”.

    Right.