How should Red Bull market its brand in the future? I think, although Red Bull has been extremely successful in the past, times have changed and the company and products should change with it, otherwise we probably lose market share to the tremendous increased number of competitors in no time.At the height of early mornings and late nights, Red Bull energy drink became the fuel of choice for people from all walks of life. So how is Red Bull marketing its brand to meet the changing needs and budgets of its customers? How will the privately owned Austrian company expand its product line beyond the silver-bullet beverage that “gives you wings”? My conclusion is that we should focus on what the consumers want, need, and can afford and different marketing techniques.
Red Bull founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, introduced his “tonic drinks” to the Austrian market in 1987. “Red Bull got off the ground in no time flat, giving people wings right from the start.” It wasn’t until ten years later, Red Bull charged into the United States, launching a new category of non-soda energy drinks aimed at burned out high school kids, college students, and overworked individuals. In my opinion Red Bull should focus not only on low cost marketing, but also areas of mass marketing. Red Bull is an energy drink with an amazingly clever marketing strategy, but could use an extra shove in areas.
Since its inception, Red Bull has shunned print advertising in its marketing strategy. Red Bull has also chosen to eliminate billboards, banner ads, taxicab holograms, blimps, and Super Bowl spots as a form of advertising.
It has not created one web-marketing campaign, and it hasn’t nipped or expanded its product line. This could be a good area to begin. Promoting the drink with prints or web-marketing campaigns could add to the many satisfied consumers. Red Bull’s website could also use renovations. The website, http://www.redbullusa.com/start.html, does not include an in-depth analysis on ingredients contained in the drink, whereas Dark Dog and Red Devil do. If consumers wanted to learn what was contained in the drink and how they benefit from the product, the information should not only be available, but in abundance. Also, Super Bowl advertising has proved to be very beneficial, with more viewers than any TV program. Advanced communications technology is creating a generation where many individual can be touched by one visual. However, Red Bull chooses to use advertising that cost little or nothing.
Red Bull has also adopted another form of low cost advertising. Red Bull sets its grassroots ethic into motion with a simple, yet masterful marketing force, student brand managers. In Europe, collegiate buzz junkies have been successfully addicting friends and classmates for years thanks to a foolproof branding plan; Red Bull provides the student representatives with free cases of its energy drink and then encourages the kids to throw a party. Red Bull could also use this technique with older individuals in high stress occupations. This will not only spread the word quickly and cheaply, but to more individuals of different ages. This would allow Red Bull to expand its target.
“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 and author of Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers’ Trust from Wedgwood to Dell (Harvard Business School Press, 2001). “Red Bull is building a beverage brand without relying on the essential equipment of a mass-marketing campaign. Perhaps the indispensable tools of marketing aren’t so indispensable after all.” With the little advertising Red Bull uses, an extra push in one of these areas could prove very beneficial for the company.
Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers’ Trust from Wedgwood to Dell (Harvard Business School Press, 2001)