Red Bull is the most popular energy drink in the world, selling over three billion cans annually. Started in 1987 by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull pursued an aggressive yet different marketing strategy to grow their brand globally. Red Bull met an untapped need within the beverage consumer market and the strength of their carefully cultivated brand provided them leverage to market themselves in a non-traditional manner. What were the key Brand elements for Red Bull?
A brand element is trademarkable device intended to identify unique goods or services and differentiate themselves from their competition. Brand elements are designed to enhance brand awareness by cultivating brand associations that are memorable, meaningful, and likeable. Red Bull possesses three key brand elements that helped create points of differentiation (POD) for the Red Bull brand; therefore positioning Red Bull as the world’s dominant functional energy drink. Brand Name – “Red Bull” - Red Bull is an energy drink that promises to “revitalize body and mind”. Recognizing that Red Bull does not have a distinct target demographic, Red Bull concluded that all people need energy and promoted Red Bull as consumption for energy and health, not for enjoyment. Red Bull Mystique - By positioning Red Bull with influential people and places, ccurious and adventurous customers tried the brand and spread the word. Red Bull promoted a "cool" public image to raise their brand power and used a slender container to suggest a "sexier" image than their competitors. A mysterious position created a sense of need and urgency to the everyday consumer. Slogan - “Red Bull gives you wiiings!!” - Red Bull is marketed as a product that can refuel a person and create sharper minds. The combination of six different ingredients (taurine, glucuronolactone, caffeine, B-group vitamins, sucrose, and glucose) enables Red Bull drinks to contain more energy than any beverage in the marketplace. Red Bull also used humorous animated cartoon characters to demonstrate the safety and fun-loving virtues their energy drink. This slogan helped create worldwide brand recognition. How did Red Bull’s marketing activities contribute to Brand equity? Brand equity is defined as achieving a different outcome resulting from the marketing of a product or service because of its brand name, compared to the same product or service without the brand name. Red Bull built their brand equity through strategic marketing initiatives involving the product, price, placement, packaging, and promotion of the Red Bull functional energy drink. Product – Red Bull was designed to improve physical endurance, stimulate metabolism, improve overall well-being, improve speed and concentration, and increase mental alertness. The flavor, color, texture, and ingredients of the drink were markedly different from a traditional carbonated beverage. The energy drink beverage category did not exist - Red Bull created it and was able to generate tremendous brand equity by marketing the product in shroud of mystery. Consumer felt they HAD to try a Red Bull. Price – Red Bull pursued a premium priced beverage strategy from the beginning. By adding 10% to the most expensive competitor’s price, Red Bull tried to position itself as a best in class product because of the added energy-enhancing functionality. Pricing above the competition, Red Bull positioned their brand to be unique, one of the tenets needed for creating strong brand equity. Placement – Red Bull used product placement to build brand equity by containing their distribution and selectively choosing the events, venues, and advertising medium to display their product. By limiting the amount of product available at hand-picked locations, an aura of exclusivity was engineered. The “cell” philosophy of expansion and growth by dividing key markets into targeted geographic segments allowed Red Bull to strengthen their brand from bottom up,...
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