By students, for students.

Sixty-second case studies: Red Bull

In Marketing on October 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm

My first memory of Red Bull was in the changing room of the local swimming pool. After a primary school swimming lesson, one of the boys proudly produced a blue and silver can. The drink seemed illicitly adult and (despite the vague idea it was related to bull testicles) I held my classmate in higher estimation for his swaggering possession.

Red Bull created and dominated the energy drink market with a single, expensive product, challenging Lucozade and surpassing offerings from Coca Cola, Pepsi and Asda/Wal-Mart. Even before I was old enough to constitute part of their target market, I had been exposed to Red Bull’s ‘anti-brand’ marketing strategies.

Red Bull is impressive in its ability to circumvent the cynicism of ‘millennials’. Red Bull recruited opinion leaders as Student Brand Managers and the Wing Team to launch their product in new markets. Empty cans were left in fashionable bars and clubs. Word of mouth both broadened Red Bull’s appeal and made it more left-field, the company’s target consumer segment dubbing the drink ‘liquid cocaine’ and ‘speed in a can’.

The versatility of Red Bull’s promise to ‘give you wiings’ is evidenced by its parallel adoption by truckers and young professionals. The company has broadened its draw with sugar free alternatives and stunning viral campaigns including the “Way Back Home” video.

Thanks to the brand’s evolution, a child today is as liable to become aware of Red Bull through one of its 21 million fans on Facebook as from a classmate swigging from a 30 oz. can.


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