This story is part of STYLE's Inside Luxury column. A luxury brand’s value is not only decided by the quality of its products or their price tags, but by the storytelling around the brand. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Elon Musk Now (@elonrmuskk) on Dec 28, 2018 at 10:45am PST One of the best storytellers alive is Elon Musk. Tesla’s ascent to become the world’s most valuable car company is not only driven by its continuously increasing lead in creating electric cars, but also by some of the best storytelling of any brand. Unpacking that Kanye West and Elon Musk bromance pic Tesla’s ambition is to accelerate sustainable transport – this makes it the only larger car brand focused on this single purpose, while other brands talk about sustainability as one of several objectives. As long as other car companies are still invested in fossil fuel engines, they can’t compete with this purity of focus. Tesla’s message is much simpler and more powerful than if a traditional brand says, “we believe in sustainability and have the objective to sell 80 per cent of our cars as electric versions by 2030.” Tesla can say “we are electric”, versus “we would like to be electric but aren’t yet – please bear with us.” View this post on Instagram Desert Supercharger by @dinokuznik A post shared by Tesla (@teslamotors) on May 1, 2019 at 11:34am PDT The more straightforward a story is, the more value is created. Now Tesla is more valuable than Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW combined. This should be a wake-up call for incumbent car companies to change from lip service and PR stunts towards action and dramatically improved brand storytelling. If the story is not simple, they will lose relevance and as no one likes a story they’ve heard before, copying is not an option. Would you buy the Cyberphone, an iPhone that looks like Tesla’s Cybertruck? View this post on Instagram Step by step guide to parking a Tesla: Step 1: Initiate Autopark A post shared by Tesla (@teslamotors) on Mar 5, 2019 at 6:40am PST Another critical factor in storytelling is how entertaining it is. Musk stated on Twitter that, “Tesla will make fabulous short shorts in radiant red satin with gold trim.” He followed it with a second tweet, “Will send some to the Shortseller Enrichment Commission to comfort them through these difficult times”, a jab at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with whom he has feuded for years. Limited edition short shorts now available at https://t.co/5EmNcTBvJv — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2020 Jeff Bezos and 10 other US billionaires who got richer during the pandemic The result: when the short shorts launched earlier this month, in the promised shiny red colour with “S3XY” (a tribute to the four models Tesla is currently selling) written on the backside, the website collapsed due to the traffic. The shorts sold out in minutes for a price of “US$69.420” – another nod to the SEC, as he took Tesla private in 2018 at a stock price of US$420. Resellers are already offering the shorts at prices closer to US$200 and I expect prices to climb further as demand grows. Assuming production costs will be negligible, the value creation through one simple story is impressive. Geely’s virus-proof car vs Tesla’s ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’ Luxury is the ability to create extreme value and that is maximised through storytelling. No one would ever think of buying the short shorts without the story. They might have ended up in a clearance sale if they were simply shorts made by a fashion brand without any story. But with an entertaining, witty, provoking story, Musk showed the world again how extreme value is created. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .