Q1: Explain how Red Bull has been able to arouse and activate the consumer decision-making process.
Initially, Red Bull made consumers realize that they need this kind of energy drink by physiological arousal. For blue-collar in Thai such as taxi and truck drivers, they usually have to combat mental and physical fatigue that are their bodily needs at that moment. Red Bull used and interprets these physiological cues to arouse related needs about energy drinks. After consumers recognized the needs, Red Bull evoked consumers to link energy drinks to their product according to the function and prices. People tend to perceive things they need or want (Schiffman et al., 2014). Thus consumers will remember Red Bull. After success in Thai, Mateschitz refined the Red Bull and created a strong brand image in energy drinks market. They use ambush and compelling advertising to put its brand and cans into audiences’ mind.
Visual perception enables people to experience the existence of Red Bull as well as its color, design and function (Padgham & Saunders, 1975). Red Bull became the one of most globally recognized brands that this brand might arouse consumer to purchase. This is what we call product-specific goals. As Red Bull become popular, its products usually are the first choice of energy drinks when people doing pre-purchase search. Because consumers’ purchase decisions are influences by their sociocultural environment, which are all familiar with Red Bull. That’s how Red Bull arouses and activates the consumer decision-making process.
Q2: Why do you think Red Bull has been able to be successful in entering the evoked set of consumers?
Red Bull does well in market segmentation. Their target market are 18- to 34-year-old males. Because this group has the common needs of energy drinks and does similar purchase decision-making process, Red Bull could satisfy their needs and understand their psychology easily. Red Bull has clear positioning that consumers could separate it from its competitors. By the use of global social media, sponsorship and event ownership strategies (known as ‘ambush advertising’) to create a specific image or perception of product into audiences’ mind which are their target customers (Schiffman et al., 2014). These help consumers develop enduring perceptions about Red Bull (Batra et al., 2009). Red Bull has strong brand personality to make customers remember it and separate it from its competitors.
Red Bull’s brand image is a red bull with the blue cans. The design is unique and link to the brand name and its product. All these factors create a image of Red Bull to customers. As consumers subconsciously exercise selectivity about which aspects of the environment they perceive (Schiffman et al., 2014), Red Bull could enter the evoked set of consumers as long as it could catch customers’ insights. Besides the unique brand, Red Bull handing out free samples of the product and sales teams driving Minis with a Red Bull can strapped on top of the car. These actions catch consumers’ insight and attract them to purchase. All these elements make Red Bull are able to be successful in entering the evoked set of consumers.
Q3: What could influence a consumer to stop purchasing Red Bull?
If consumers do not notice products, they will not be able to purchase them (Jansson-Boyd, 2010). However, in this case, Red Bull is a well-known brand. Therefore this is not an ideal method. If the value of the product cannot match customers’ expectation, consumers might stop purchasing Red Bull even though this is a famous brand. In a marketing context, people tend to perceive products and product attributes according to their own expectations (Schiffman et al., 2014). Different customers have different expectations. If some consumers’ expectations are too high and Red Bull cannot satisfy their needs, those customers will feel disappointed and stop purchasing next time. For example, if a customer do not like sweet drink but Red Bull is sweet, then this customer might stop purchasing it.
Consumers’ experiences could influence their decision making because it links to consumers’ perceptions. A previous experience to the stimulus is an important element to form a perceptual pattern that will subsequently be stored in memory (Jansson-Boyd, 2010). If consumers have a terrible experience with Red Bull’s product, they might avoid purchasing it automatically next time. Another element could influence a consumer to stop purchasing Red Bull is the compelling advertisements. Although compelling advertisements could help Red Bull arouse consumers and influence consumer decision-making, sometimes consumers might choose to ignore it because it is lousy. That is perceptual defence.
Q4: From a consumer decision-making perspective, how has Red Bull been successful in maintaining brand loyalty in the energy drink market?
First of all Red Bull’s product must be ‘good’ to make customers remember and trust it. That is not only the quality of product is good but also consumers believed the product is good. Individuals make decisions and take actions based on what they perceive to be reality (Schiffman et al., 2014). Thus Red Bull makes its products satisfy consumers’ perceive value according to using compelling advertisements and unique package. Customers have many chances to notice Red Bull in their life such as TV advertisements, the Red Bull mini cars and the logo of Red Bull appeared in the match. Especially when consumers notice that a famous people drink Red Bull, most customers will perceive that Red Bull is good. Consumers may rely more on the image conveyed by the brand than its actual attributes (Schiffman et al., 2014).
All these compelling advertisements and the unique package help Red Bull to create an image that Red Bull is good and worth to buy it to customers. Thus when consumers want to purchase energy drink, Red Bull is the first thing that comes to their minds. The other important element to make customers loyalty is the price. For most consumers, price represents quality and value. Generally, customers believe that the higher the price the better the quality. Red Bull is three to sic times more expensive than Coca-Cola and is usually the highest-priced energy drink in the market. Inevitably, consumers perceive that the quality of Red Bull is the best in energy drinks. Customers look for value when buying (Dodds, 2003). Red Bull create the value to satisfy consumers’ need, thus it make customers loyalty in its products.
Batra, S. K., Kazmi, S. H. H. and Batra, S. K. (2009). Consumer Behaviour-2nd. New Delhi: Excel Books India. Dodds, B. (2003). Managing Customer Value: Essentials of Product Quality, Customer Service, and Price Decisions. Colorado: University Press of America. Jansson-Boyd, C. V. (2010). Consumer Psychology. England: McGraw-Hill International. Schiffman, L. G., O’Cass, A., Paladino, A., Carlson, J. (2014). Consumer Behaviour. Australia: Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd.