Red Bull and their Marketing strategy

We all are familiar with Red Bull. Red Bull is an energy drink sold by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH, created in 1987. But what makes it so prominent?

Its not just the quality of the drink procured that determined its success in the drink but huge role of its success goes to its Marketing strategy. In the early 1980s, while working in sales for the German household products company Blendax, Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz discovered the natural Asian “tonics” available in Chaleo Yoovidhya’s small pharmacy. While the pair made a mutually beneficial deal to manufacture Red Bull, Mateschitz is responsible for the extreme success of the Red Bull we know today.

Red Bull has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world, with approximate revenue of 6.03 billion euro in the year 2016. “In terms of attracting new customers and enhancing consumer loyalty, Red Bull has a more effective branding campaign than Coke or Pepsi,” says Nancy F. Koehn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School .Rather than following a traditional approach to mass marketing, Red Bull has generated awareness and created a seductive ‘brand myth’. When we look at their marketing approach, Red Bull remains unsurpassed in their ability to grow, innovate and adapt in a world of content. Their strategy has not focused on promoting the popular energy drink, but instead creating a brand that embodies a distinct lifestyle and audience. Their advertising objectives were to create a brand preference for Red Bull within Generation Y’s young active males ,as their primary source of income for invigorating the body and mind , To communicate Red Bull’s lack of exclusivity and instead an availability to all fatigued customers. To attract and maintain the secondary target market of older males needing energy to maintain their heavy workloads and to ensure the customers are aware of the negative effects when used excessively with alcohol .

Red Bull went guerilla to put its brand and cans in the eyes and hands of its most likely drinkers: 18 to 34 year-old-males. These guerilla marketing tactics went underground, made the drink just edgy enough to grab the attention of their target user, subtly and flawlessly executing on Wing 1 of the Dragonfly Effect model. The cynosure of their advertisements was subtle branding that grabs attention, An everyman theme, Engagement with the audience and High production quality without an overproduced look.

Red Bull’s 2011–2012 marketing strategy states intent to increase awareness among the 35 to 65 crowd, both male and female. Perhaps the most impressive content marketing stunt that the company pursued has been the sponsorship and leadership role in Red Bull Stratos. Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere, breaking the record for highest-ever jump and being the first person to break the sound barrier during freefall, was a huge project and success story for Red Bull. The most important aspect of this project was that the athletes were in their 40s. In addition to engaging emotionally with both its original and second target demographics, Red Bull subtly invites both to take action and fulfill the biggest dreams they’ve ever had. This strategy employs wings three and four of the Dragonfly Effect model without ever making it obvious. Instead, the strategy is to make life exciting and fun, no matter what a person’s age. Another dazzling advertisement is The Athlete Machine which makes splendid use of multi sports to engage the customers .The strategy executed is simple forward yet exclusive as it varies simple trick shots to drifting sports car which makes your blood pumped up and you get this urge to drink Red Bull .Another feat attempted by Red Bull is the 2nd Red Bull Rampage in the year 2013 .Drifting mountain bikes across great canyons and cliffs which is dangerous enough and will certainly make your heart beat stop for a moment but that’s what makes the audience believe that Nothing is impossible as this feat of theirs is one of the best moment this sport has ever seen .

The most remarkable thing about Red Bull’s 8.3-ounce can is not its size or sex appeal but the fact that it’s the company’s only offering. One size. One color. One sticky, sweet taste. That’s all, folks. At a time when Starbucks is hawking ice cream, bottled Frappuccino, and airplane coffee, it’s shocking to hear of a successful company not exploring brand extensions left and right. “We are one of few companies around the world that can stay focused on one product,” Cortes says in defense of Red Bull’s narrow strategy. “We do what we do best.” A private company with a hands-off founder, Red Bull doesn’t feel financial pressure from investors and board members. It can take its time with the brand, and Koehn says that it should. “Red Bull is establishing itself as a very powerful mover in a relatively new and evolving category,” she says. “To do that, they are trying to get their knitting exactly right before they start weaving.”

Entrepreneurship Development Cell, BIT Mesra

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EDC BIT Mesra is a non profit student run organisation that aims at encouraging enterprising at student-level and creating an entrepreneurial environment.