It’s always blown my mind the success of the Red Bull brand considering it pretty much produces one product…… OK, technically it is in 8 different variants…. but it is still one product.
Red Bull has achieved runaway success with 56% of the worldwide energy drink market. And not only is it a globally recognised brand, but it has surpassed being a beverage company to become a lifestyle icon. And it has done so by using an extremely effective strategy in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC).
Iacobucci (2013) explains that IMC is about conveying a marketing message seamlessly across multip
le platforms of media. An example of this would be, a Brand’s message may start on TV, continue through the brand’s social media channels and finally conclude on the brands website. While each media platform conveys an individual message strengthening the brand, an even greater enhancement is fulfilled when the powers of all the media channels come together. Like the Mechanical Lions are to Voltron, or the
Planeteers are to Captain Planet!
In Red Bull’s case, they arguably took Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) to another level. In fact, the IMC could stand for Infiltration Marketing Creation!
I just made that up myself.
Red Bull didn’t enter markets, it created markets: To quote Dietrich Mateschitz, “If we don’t create the market, it doesn’t exist.” It steered away from traditional advertising strategies and instead identified its segment of mainly 18 – 34-year-old men and infiltrated it. It spent valuable time discovering its wants and needs, realising its hopes and dreams and learning its language. Instead of giving its customers reasons to buy its brand of energy drink, Red Bull had stepped into its consumer’s shoes with the message, “You guys are cool! Let’s hang out together.”
Red Bull began with sponsoring little known extreme sport athletes and finished with creating world renowned champions. These were niche sports with little branding presence and each one Red Bull picked had strong audiences and followers who fit its target profile. They created special events in support of their freshly found brand ambassadors with each event new, innovative, and image building, pulling their audience in rather than pushing messages out. Who could ever forget the jump seen around the world:
Red Bull has continued this formula of bringing their audience to them rather than having to sought them out.
Red Bull has created three soccer teams, an Air Force, a race track in Austria a V8 team in Australia and its eponymous Formula 1 team. It has created its own world tour in Freestyle Motorcross it’s own sporting championship known as the Red Bull Air Race and now it’s own charity fun run concept, the Wings for Life World Run.
In the lead up to the Formula 1 season Red Bull Racing created a quirky yet simple brand promotion titled “Places You don’t expect an F1 Car,” in which images were posted on their Instagram of their F1 car located in unique out-of-character settings. You didn’t have to be an F1 fan to appreciate the simple yet effective brand promotion riding on the back of the lead up to the new F1 season.
This was but one example of Red Bull’s social media presence which is monumental. Its brand isn’t just recognised through creating it’s own direct Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter feeds but also through the feeds belonging to the teams it owns, the athletes and artists it endorses and the events it creates. Red Bull’s integrated marketing communications will continue to grow for as long as they keep giving wings and fulfilling dreams.
Oh, and by the way, apparently they sell an energy drink?