Give Your Marketing Wings: Lessons in Marketing from Red Bull

Building a brand is a tough job. It requires hours of careful thought in order to consistently execute products, services, advertisements, etc that are “on brand.” Some companies go their whole lives without getting it right, others are “one hit wonders,” and a select few make it look easy.

Red Bull is one of the select companies to consistently make branding look easy. During the past few years, they have had campaigns featuring wingsuits, Rube Goldberg machines, and space jumps. In addition, the company sponsors many athletes and teams participating in both traditional and extreme sports (full list of sponsorships) as well as events such as the Red Bull Air Race and the Red Bull Flugtag. They even have their own record label

All of this to promote an energy drink in a blue and silver can.

So far it has paid off…big time! In 2012, Red Bull’s sales exceeded $2.95 billion and controlled 42% of the energy drink market. $2.95 billion! (Note: the $2.95 billion doesn’t include sales data from Walmart, so the real sales are probably over $3 billion- source) That’s a lot of energy drinks.

One of the reasons that Red Bull has recorded high sales numbers isn’t because it has the best flavor or the most variety; it’s because of the out-of-the-box marketing extremes that Red Bull goes through to put its brand in front of its target audience.

What can your brand learn from the success of Red Bull? Here are three ways you can give your marketing wings:

  • Know your audience-
    This should be obvious, but so many brands miss this fundamental point. Red Bull has an intimate understanding of who their target market is (young men), what they watch (sports), and what they like (adventure, danger, pushing the limits).
    Once you know who your audience is, you can speak their language and launch marketing campaigns that not only connect with them, but cement your brand as a part of their lifestyle. The two become 
    synonymous- a formidable barrier for any competitors to overcome.
  • Push boundaries-
    Red Bull does traditional advertising (TV, magazine, etc), but that’s not what has made their brand what it is today. What has made Red Bull an exemplary case study is their willingness to push the boundaries of what marketing is. I mean they sent a guy to the edge of space and told him to jump for crying out loud! It’s guerrilla marketing at its best.While your company may not be selling energy drinks with extreme sports, you can still find ways to mix things up in your market segment. Find out what gets your audience excited and then become a part of that. Stand out from your competitors by utilizing creative and non-traditional marketing channels to connect with your consumers. Once they feel like you are a part of their life instead of trying to sell them products, they are more willing to share your story, products, and content with others.
  • Have fun-
    One of the distinctives of Red Bull’s brand is the enjoyment they take in sharing their message. Would they still sell a lot of product if they didn’t spend all the money on their marketing? Probably, but where’s the fun in hoarding money when they can use it to build awareness, make people happy, and invest in the long-term health of the Red Bull brand?
    If you aren’t excited about what your company is doing, you probably should find something new to do. Why should consumers be passionate about your brand if you aren’t?

Don’t be a “one-hit wonder” brand. Take the time to do your research, try different things out, and build a brand that people rave about. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

-Lawson
Learn It. Love It. Live It.

Advertisements

About Lawson Hembree
Lawson is an entrepreneur, ministry leader, and outdoors enthusiast who also enjoys blogging about business, ideas, and theology. Want to continue the discussion or write a guest post? Let's Connect!

4 Responses to Give Your Marketing Wings: Lessons in Marketing from Red Bull

  1. Katlyn T. says:

    Lawson – This post provides a great example of successful marketing as well as what I believe to be the fundamental points of marketing. Knowing your audience should be the first step and foundation to any marketing strategy. Red Bull made an excellent move by using creative and stand-out-from-the-crowd guerrilla marketing. Without completely knowing their target market, they couldn’t have been successful with this approach. And, to the last point, I couldn’t agree more with your final statement: “If you aren’t excited about what your company is doing, you probably should find something new to do. Why should consumers be passionate about your brand if you aren’t?” The generation of their target market is aware when people are fake and full of it, and it’s obvious that isn’t the case with Red Bull.

    • Katlyn,

      Thanks for your feedback and thoughts!

  2. Pingback: Blog Post 1 | freddyassellblog

  3. Pingback: Assignment Week 6 | ohhaidavis .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: