Up until a decade ago, the concept of energy drinks wasn’t present in consumers’ minds. However, the idea of people flying via wings after consuming a drink certainly caught everyone’s attention and that first mover advantage has been priceless for Red Bull. With the energy drinks market now more developed than ever, Red Bull can stretch its wings far by developing its own markets further.
Brand positioning and competitive advantage
When Red Bull first came out in the market such a product was very new for consumers and at that time it could have been called as breakthrough innovation since most of the world was not aware of such a beverage. Building on from that, Red Bull has positioned itself as a premium high margin brand along with it having a very ‘cool’ image in its customers’ mindsets. Such as image has won it popularity among the youth as the product is commonly found with college students whether they are preparing for a test or enjoying at a party.
What probably sets Red Bull apart from its competitors is its innovative marketing strategies. The focus that Red Bull has given to sports has certainly worked in its favor and is concurrent with the message that it wants to give to its customers. There is hardly a brand that has as many sports related sponsorships as Red Bull does. A few examples include the Red Bull Formula One team, Red Bull Soccer clubs scattered in different continents and many more extreme sports where the brand has its presence. Let’s take for example Red Bull Stratos, the world’s biggest jump by Felix Baumgartner sponsored by Red Bull. The jump was being followed by Red Bull fans in developing nations even and such stunts go a long way in increasing awareness for the brand.
Red Bull is consumed by people everywhere whenever they feel they need an extra boost to do whatever they are involved in. This can range from studying late nights to preparing for an important match to completing a long and hard journey. This shows that the message being given out by the ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ ads has been grasped by customers as the company wanted. The drink is not yet used as a means in daily routine; it would not be used in place of a morning cup of coffee which is understandable as it has not been positioned as yet that way. It is used comparatively less, but exactly how it was intended. The strategy being used by Red Bull hence is consistent with its market standing.
Product lifecycle stage and growth strategy used
Red Bull was created in 1987 which means that the brand is not very old and recent growth statistics show that the brand is very much in the growth stage and will remain there for the time being. The energy drinks sector in itself is expected to grow 86% in the next 5 years and last year Red Bull’s sales were up by 17% as compared to 2011. Along with this Red Bull’s efforts to win more market share, this shows that the market remains underdeveloped, that there is potential and Red Bull can capitalize on that by growing its business.
Cranberry, lime and blueberry flavors are new variants of Red Bull in the market and this strategy is a mixture of product and market development. Both strategies attempt to gather more share by the introduction of newer products and this is exactly what Red Bull is aiming to do. People have started using energy drinks for different uses now and in response to that increased usage the company’s aim is to attract more customers through its new flavors.
Branding involves the positioning to the product and its layout and Red Bull is quite differentiable from its competitors due to the company’s extensive efforts. It is known that the beverage is made in Austria only because the company wants to keep the taste uniform and the recipe safe. This means that all over the world a Red Bull tastes the same while the same cannot be said of other similar beverages. Talking about the advertisements, Red Bull has chosen to convey its message by usage of wings on people and now this image has become synonymous during a discussion of Red Bull. This too can be said of the metallic silver and blue color combination. All these efforts have been undertaken to occupy a unique image in the minds of consumers so that they can easily identify the product and ask for it repeatedly.
The core brand of Red Bull is to provide a beverage that energizes and enhances performance of the drinker and I believe it is doing a pretty decent job in maintaining that stance. The getting of wings on the back of anyone who tries a Red Bull is a creative way of portrayal of getting more energy and the collaborations with celebrities and different sports teams enhances its message further.
My opinion on the brand varies when we talk about its marketing abilities and the product itself. In my opinion the marketing efforts put in by the company are top notch and the way it has affiliated itself with various sports is something to be admired, especially for a sports lover as myself. On the other hand though I have never been a huge fan of energy drinks due to the doubts I have about the promise and the health risks they bring with them. For me juices and tea/coffee would always suffice and I would not replace them with a Red Bull to gain more energy.