Red Bull: A Brand In Transition.

Man in Redbull Wing Suit

We all know the in’s and out’s of Red Bull. Whether you agree it gives you wings or not, you have been an observer to the growth of the brand. However the company behind the energy drink, the one you sometimes believe to be water, has been changing the way they communicate with consumers.

We see this with a movement to direct company efforts towards consumer’s passions. They have shifted away from a strong basic brand positioning and directly to a passionate, inspirational consumer oriented vision. We will leave their sponsorship of various athletes and operations to be talked about later and rather concentrate on the efforts to build stories, feeling, and content around the product.

Try and watch the video below and tell us you dont feel provoked to get up and try a backflip off of your bed. This is what we are talking about. They are building a emotion, a memory, an inspiration around the product that really has nothing to do with the can and beverage inside of it.

Building off of our earlier post that content is the new essential currency in the marketing industry, we can see that Red Bull has taken this upon themselves to build content surrounding their product to provoke inspiration and brand image. Whether it is the ‘Red Bull Crushed Ice Event’ in Quebec or the immensely documented ‘Red Bull Stratos Jump’ these events created content across many different blogs, social media outlets and distribution channels.

Although the focus was directed towards the athletes and the events themselves, the fact is that they were viewed by millions and millions of viewers in real time. This means the product itself was also viewed by the same number and in the same context. You must also take into account the buzz that was associated with these events. Onlookers wanted nothing more than to have the courage and the audacity to feel themselves what those daredevils felt.  What was their closest alternative? Consuming the very product that brought together so many like minds.

There are countless examples of how Red Bull has shifted gears in the marketing industry, however what is clear is that they have created a lifestyle around product. Consumers do not just associate Red Bull with the energy drink industry, but also with the extreme sport lifestyle. They essentially have created a ‘Product as Hero’ campaign and revolutionized it into a way of thinking. Their successful attempt to shift from a beverage company to a media company is the most important transformation in today’s marketing society.

So why is this all important? All brands must start to operate, think, function and work towards a transformation. Their abilities to provide a great product or a great service are not enough anymore. It is their ability to provoke thought, belief and inspiration in their community of consumers that is compulsory. Our future is heavily invested in technology, it is time brands start making the same investment.

However, it is not right for us as consumers to expect companies to wake up over night and become budding media darlings. We must in the meantime enjoy the adventure that such companies are on; exploring the digital potential of marketing where content is king.

Example in a nutshell:

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