Red Bull Bullies The Competition Online & Off
Exhilaration, fun, cutting edge performance are all words that come to mind when you think of the brand, Red Bull. Even their website and social media engagement conveys these buzz words. When you go to the website for Red Bull, it looks like you have ripped the headlines of the most extreme sports page instead of a beverage manufacturer’s site. You think you can do anything. Are you tired? Drink a Red Bull. Do you need a boost of energy? Drink a Red Bull. Do you need a mental life? Drink a Red Bull.
Let’s examine in real-time the brands heartbeat of their consumer. According to Facebook, the customers are primarily young adults ages 18 to 24. With over 44 Million likes on their Facebook page, it is clear why Red Bull is noted as one of the top five most engaged brands in social media. A look at their Facebook page will give you the strategy of the now touted media conglomerate. They show it. They focus on the lifestyle of Red Bull rather that talk about it. Red Bull will rarely every post things like go and drink a Red Bull. Outside of sharing their slogan, Gives You Wings, Red Bull will post about living life to the extreme by posting photographs of skateboarding, surfing, race car driving, and snowboarding all done in an extreme manner. Social Media has given voice to Red Bull’s loyal customers and allowed their brand evangelist to have their say.
Instrument, a creative design agency out of Portland, is the agency of record for producing the digital strategy for 2013’s globally integrated “World of Red Bull” campaign. Their #GivesYouWings hashtag campaign was the perfect opportunity for customers to convey their Red Bull experience. They could be as creative in their “What’s happening?” post on how the brand fuels their life ultimately giving them the wings they need. The campaign also allowed for visual expression through imagery on Instagram. As a result of the campaign, there were over 1.5 Million likes on Instagram, and a 524% increase in #GivesYouWings mentions on Twitter
“Thousands of personal ‘Wings Statements’ were created and shared – connecting the Red Bull brand and Give You Wings message to sport, adventure, music, art, and lifestyle through the voice of the fans themselves.” Social Media has removed the barriers and allows for marketers to speak globally. This campaign wasn’t targeted to any specific socioeconomic group, race, sex, or location. It was merely targeted to the Red Bull consumer.
Red Bull has partnered with the world’s athletic elite for their product endorsements: Felix Baumgartner, Blake Griffith, Ian Hart, Maya Gabeiro, and so forth. One of these partnerships landed in worldwide exposure, literally. Daredevil, Felix Baumgartner, jumped from earth on a helium balloon into the stratosphere. This fete was for the 2012 Red Bull Stratos. “Red Bull’s Facebook post-jump photo of Baumgartner gained almost 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and over 29,000 shares within 40 minutes, and half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter were related to Red Bull Stratos.”
Red Bull is a bold, risky brand. They have been so successful at listening to their customer that they excel at content marketing. So much so that other companies should take note. This is one of their strengths. The company has been able to align themselves with their customers who talk the most, share the most, and ultimately have been able to utilize this to retain their status as the leader in the global energy drink market in both volume and value terms.
Red Bull’s marketing strategy has worked tremendously for them as shown in global profits yet they fail to openly engage other demographics. Keller points out that Red Bull has not identified a “specific demographic or psychographic segment target market.” Red Bull’s Group Marketing and Sales Director is quoted as saying, “We have only two dimensions: people who are mentally fatigued and people who are physically fatigued or both.” Red Bull’s Facebook page has garnered the number 4 position in ranking behind McDonald’s (U.S., & Danmark) and number 1 Coco-Cola, according to Social Rank Gate. They are in the right company. A lawsuit was recently settled against Red Bull regarding false claims but for this Red Bull fan, no thanks on the refund. I know the claims to be true, #GivesMeWings.