Bringing greater personalisation to the branded experience – lessons from Uber and Telsa


A look under the bonnet at the role personalisation has played in creating the world’s fastest growing company Uber and Telsa, a company which dreams and executes big, headed by the world’s next Steve Jobs, Elon Musk.


By Louise Kelly of Hearts and Minds a brand focused customer experience consultancy and founder Thought Leaders Circle.

In today’s marketplace, data driven personalised experiences are defining the stellar growth of the world’s most disruptive brands, take the learnings from Telsa and Uber as a case in point.


Uber’s personalisation lead to a lower cost to serve and greater choice.

The success of Uber and other platform based business models is not from their use of big data, but rather their excellence in leveraging micro data using behavioural and profile data to personalise each customer experience.

Uber’s personalisation delivers value on a number of levels. In the first instance the star ratings systems that quantify service satisfaction for each provider, offers a built in performance review and ultimately, a “lean meritocracy”, where only the fittest survive and thrive, all without being managed by middle management.

Uber’s rating system also bypasses, to a degree, the cost of sales and marketing, as other customer’s become key influencers and the ratings system functions as a built in net promoter mechanism. A significant source of brand equity is also generated from the star ratings system, which, just as a strong consumer brand would do, when all other factors are equal, becomes the deciding factor between two brands. Just like a strong consumer brand, the star rating system can overcome fear of trial, as comments from “people like me” significantly reduce the customer’s perception of risk.

Personalisation increases relevance, which is paramount because relevance is one of the key factors in brand equity. Relevance spear heads your brand more deeply into a customer’s world. Being more relevant means being a better fit with a customers’ needs. Uber’s platform model enables them to offer diversity as unique as each provider without the cost and risk of carrying inventory and wages. Uber’s diversity of choice through drivers and vehicles, breaks the monotony of the cookie cut corporate mould and allows customers to create a more relevant solution.


Telsa’s personalisation creates a more values based customer experience, the values of sustainability, safety and ease.

Telsa don’t see themselves as an automaker but as a mission to create a sustainable energy solution for our planet. Telsa’s personalisation innovations are driving towards these goals. In Telsa’s own words


 “Tesla is not just an automaker, but also a technology and design company with a focus on energy innovation.”

Telsa is creating a safer and easier driving experience using data about your personal driving circumstance. Telsa’s cars use sensors, radar and software to monitor behaviour, road and traffic conditions responding with a better driving experience. Telsa is moving leaps and bounds towards the driverless car. Currently Tesla’s autopilot features include assisted steering and parking, Telsa already claims that their self driving capability, under certain conditions, is already twice as good as humans.

Through personalization Telsa have also redefined the service experience. Telsa have broken through the boundaries of bricks and mortar service centres, by designing car servicing at the customer’s home address. At the customer’s home, mobile technicians can view and fix the problem wirelessly.

Even more personalization in generated through customer creativity achieved through Telsa’s online design studio where customers  can create their own car through a catalogue of choices,

Through relentless innovation Telsa made it on to Interbrands top 100 most valuable brands in 2016.

The opportunities of personalisation are as endless as the individuals on the planet. When designing your personalised customer experience, take heed from the successes of Uber and Telsa and seek insights about your customers deeper emotional and functional needs.


Self portrait

Louise Kelly

Managing Director

Hearts and Minds

Founder Thought Leaders Circle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s