How Red Bull's Unconventional Marketing Made It The Energy Drink Giant

Posted on 05 Mar 2023 10:33 in Inspiring Stories
by Fatema Electricwala

Photo by Jesper Brouwers on Unsplash


The story about the energy drink giant we know today as Red Bull dates back to 1984. When the company was brought to light, the competition was cutthroat. The market already being saturated, Mateschitz, the sole proprietor, decided to play by his own rules. 


This led him to separate Red Bull from other soda brands and create a unique brand. It did start low-key with a small budget of traditional marketing, targeting men in the 18-35 age range. What helped them stand out was their unique marketing budget - "anti-branding" and "anti-marketing". Red Bull insisted on a distinctive cylindrical can and a premium price approach that helped them set the product apart from competing beverages and helped them stand out even more in the beverage sector. 


The company always focused on standing out from the crowd. Mateschitz's business philosophy was not to bring a product to the consumer but rather to bring consumers to the product. They never relied on mass-marketing campaigns and stood by their consistent well-known slogan, "Red Bull gives you wings". 


More than an energy drink: A way of life
Red Bull knew that authenticity attracts consumers. Red Bull decided to use brand evangelists—students who receive free energy drink samples and spread the word to their community—instead of lengthy advertisements from large firms since they realized that young people frequently don't connect with them. This was a simple, affordable, and reliable method of reaching additional customers. Then gradually, Red Bull started investing in sports. 


Surviving a downturn
The global financial crisis of 2007 was one of the most significant shocks businesses experienced in the 2000s. As a result, many enterprises failed, economic activity decreased, and a recession followed. The global crisis affected Red Bull, yet the brand managed to sell more cans than it ever had before. 


Red Bull today 
Red Bull sells around 7.5 billion cans worldwide, with strong growth in emerging markets like Brazil, India, and Africa. The company also introduced a new range of organic sodas, three with natural ingredients and no caffeine. Today, their strategy is founded on five key pillars: Content creation, publicity stunts, sponsoring events, user-generated content, and influencer marketing. 


Despite a rollercoaster ride, Red Bull has managed to keep their foot down strong and grounded to sustain itself in this industry. Red Bull was a trailblazer in the energy drinks category. Red Bull is a beautiful example of how to modify your marketing strategy while keeping the focus and mission of your business. Red Bull has developed an unrivalled content marketing strategy focusing on extreme sports, user-generated content, and influencer marketing.


About the author

Fatema Electricwala  

Create your new website or blog for free.