Intro

Hey, what’s up, guys? This is Brand Breakdown, and I’m your host, Matt Young. Brand Breakdown is a show where we take a company, breakdown its brand perception, and paint a picture of how people came to perceive it that way. If you want us to review your brand, drop a comment or email me at matt@forwardvibe.com.

Background

Today’s company is Red Bull. Their ENTIRE brand can be summarized in one word, “hype.” Red Bull doesn’t just sell energy drinks.

  • They own 37 sports teams and a record label
  • Remember “Sail” by Awolnation in 2014? Red Bull Records
  • In 2011, Red Bull sponsored Travis Pastrana’s no parachute skydive
  • In 2012, Red Bull sponsored Felix Baumgartner’s Supersonic Space Jump
  • Their YouTube is full of extreme stunts like heliskiing

They were originally founded in Austria in 1987 where they created the energy drink market, and now they sell over 6 billion cans every year.

They started by going to college parties, libraries, coffee shops, and bars where men ages 18-35 congregated and handed out free cans of Red Bull. They still do this at many events today.

Speaking of events, Red Bull sponsors music festivals, film festivals, and more obscure activities like extreme cliff diving.

Objective

The whole goal of the Red Bull brand is to bring their tag line to life, “Red Bull gives you wings.”

You might be thinking to yourself, “What does any of this have to do with selling energy drinks?” That’s exactly the point. They sell their brand first and the product second.

Think about it: if you love what they do and what they stand for, you’ll buy Red Bull before you buy any other energy drink, and that’s why they dominate 43% of the market.

Obstacles

Of course, we have to look at what obstacles they had to overcome as well. In 2016, Red Bull paid out over $600,000 in settlement fees for a class-action lawsuit to people who actually thought that drinking Red Bull would give them literal wings.

Another scandal is when RB Leipzig (a soccer team financed by Red Bull) became known as the most hated club in the German league for their sneaky business tactics, notably getting around a rule which involves the fans owning over half of the team and tactically sweeping up the young German talent from the developmental league.

What makes Red Bull such a special company despite hiccups like these is its proficiency in media and branding. They consistently push the boundaries of what people perceive to be possible, and they keep themselves in the public eye. 

Outro

Do you drink Red Bull? Why or why not? Drop a comment below. 

If you like our content about branding, want us to review your brand, or want to work with us, please let us know in the comments or by emailing me at matt@forwardvibe.com. This has been Brand Breakdown with your host, Matt Young. Peace.