In today’s blog we are going to take a quick look at a well known brand and analyse how they’ve been able to build up such a universally understood, admired and effective image. The answer, well it all comes down to association.
Its contents are not patented, and all the ingredients are listed on the outside of the slim silver can. Yet Red Bull has a 70 to 90 percent market share in over 100 countries worldwide. During the past 15 years, the drink has been copied by more than 100 competitors, but such companies as Coca-Cola have been unable to take market share away from Red Bull.
“Red Bull is an energy drink that doesn’t do well in taste tests. Some say it’s too sweet. Others just shake their heads, saying, “No.”
The traditional way of selling energy drinks, or any other kind of beverage for that matter, is to publicise how well it tastes, its advantages, how appealing the drink would be to people.
Red Bull on the other hand, decided to sell the idea of energy.
Red Bull’s universe is extreme sports and adrenaline-junky stunts. Sure, you’ll recognize the familiar twin bovine and sun logo on the skate ramp. And yes, you’ll spy the bulls on the back of the wingsuit. But there’s no mention of the actual drink, really. And there is certainly no cut to Red Bull’s now-iconic blue and silver can.
When we talk about “content marketing,” we mean the creation of storytelling material that attracts readers, viewers and listeners to a brand. Here are a few examples of the varied video content they’ve produced:
Everyone remembers the famous Felix Baumgartner jump from space, it was the very definition of a viral hit. Red Bull loves to sponsor stunts like this, but not in the same way other brands do. While watch or technology companies would just be hunting for the next hit, Red Bull only looks for events that represent their values of pushing to the limits, extreme sports and living on the edge. Over time, these have all accumulated and led to a very strong association in our minds between the drink Red Bull, and energy. Without them having to ever say it directly.
In fact every video or sponsored piece of branding contains the same 4 elements:
- Subtle branding that grabs attention
- An everyman theme
- Audience engagement and entertainment at its core
- High production quality without an overproduced look
The brand has also reached out to places few would ever tread, financing an entire feature film about snowboarding, with almost zero physical product placement. Have a look at the trailer below:
Even though their content is always vastly different from the last, there is always a sense of synergy. The selling of an association and idea to audiences and potential customers, can be far stronger than the product ever would. As long as the content is high quality and related to your brand thematically, it will drive engagement.
Their marketing translates to “We are with you and one of you,” rather than “Buy this because it’s awesome.” This strategy doesn’t only apply to an energy drink, with careful thinking it could apply to any number of brands.
For a closer look, check out the official Red Bull YouTube channel.