Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

Building A Powerful Brand Through Earned Word-of-Mouth: 8 Reasons Why Red Bull Is Freaking Awesome

Red Bull is one of the most interesting brands around, in my opinion.

Here’s why.

1: Youth – Red Bull has only been around since 1987.

Artem Silchenko - Action

The company’s only been around since 1987, a full century after Coca-Cola was introduced to the world. The drink only reached the US in 1997.

It entered an incredibly saturated market, yet it promptly carved itself a niche by creating not just a new product, but an altogether new product category.

2: $$$ – Red Bull is the most expensive non-alcoholic drink available in any convenience store.

red-bull-expensive

This usually isn’t immediately apparent, but the reason is because there’s less drink per can.

3: Quantity – Red Bull sold 5,200,000,000 cans in 2012 alone.

redbull-cans

They sold 5,200,000,000 cans in 2012 alone. Combine this with the previous fact, and you’ll realize that they make quite a bit of of money.

What do they do with all that cash?

4: Red Bull’s youth driver’s program was so successful, they had to buy a second F1 team just to fit them in their rosters.

red-bull-car

In 2012, they won both Best Driver and Best Team.

They did this despite competing against more established and heavier-spending competitors such as Toyota, Ferrari, McLaren, Honda, BMW and Renault, all of which have had decades of head-start!

5: Red Bull had a guy skydive from the edge of space.

felix-jump

It’s safe to say that Red Bull has gone higher, literally, than any other brand in the world. Felix Baumgartner fell so fast he broke the sound barrier without any form of engine power. It was a 24 mile (39 km) drop, and it took under 10 minutes.

“I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are… I’m coming home now.” – Felix Baumgartner

The project was a triumph of both science and emotion: The data gathered was invaluable for research into space-travel safety (which will have positive spillover effects for many other extreme environment workers). Over 8 million people watched the jump live as he took the leap. It was a wonderful moment of unity, support and excitement for everybody witnessing it.

That’s what Red Bull does with the money it makes selling energy drinks. Pretty cool.

6: Red Bull organizes all kinds of crazy extreme sporting events:

Brazil Air Race World Series

Buying billboard space through sponsorships is too passe and dreary for an energetic brand like Red Bull. They get directly involved and organize events itself. The annual Flugtag. Cliffdiving. Wakeboarding. Breakdancing. Music Academies and Studios. DJ events. They support extreme sports events and athletes all over the world.

Google “Red Bull Events” and see the phenomenal list for yourself.

Read: Contests, Conferences, Festivals and Launch Parties – 32 Examples Of Marketing Using Events

7: Red Bull supports spinal cord research.

wings-for-life
(Quick geek moment- that’s the spine! What an awesome logo.)

Wings For Life is a research foundation that’s working on making spinal cord injury curable. It’s a wonderful cause and very consistent with the general Red Bull spirit of being active, energetic.

It has an incredibly clear and focused target, too. No pussyfooting around on this one.

Bonus: We’ve put together an exhaustive word-of-mouth course in 4 emails to help your business get talked about. Check it out here.

So how did Red Bull get so awesome in such a short period of time?

1. It works: The product delivers on its value proposition.

You can’t build an empire on a product that doesn’t work.

Red Bull started out as Krating Daeng in Thailand, where it became immensely popular among truck drivers who needed to stay awake on long drives. Dietrich Mateschitz, the Austrian co-founder (and current CEO) discovered the drink when travelling through Asia, and found that it helped him with his jet lag. He approached the founder to expand the company. (Learn more about Dietrich’s business thinking here from this 2011 Bloomberg article)

“It is a must to believe in one’s product. If this were just a marketing gimmick, it would never work.” – Deitrich Mateschitz

2. They overdeliver: The brand puts its money where its mouth is. And then some.

Calling the Stratos Jump a “marketing stunt” completely misses the point. It was far too audacious to be anything less than an expression of deep conviction and commitment. Few brands, if any, would be willing to risk so much money and effort on a project that could potentially go wrong.

In a world where brands often struggle and flail in embarrassing attempts to latch onto passing fads, Red Bull earns legitimacy for sticking to their guns.

It’s never crowded along the extra mile, and Red Bull goes where few other brands dare to.

The market recognizes this.

3: They’re focused: They don’t bother with what doesn’t matter.

They don’t care about how their product tastes.

“It’s not just another flavored sugar water differentiated by color or taste or flavor,” said Mateschitz. “It’s an efficiency product. I’m talking about improving endurance, concentration, reaction time, speed, vigilance, and emotional status. Taste is of no importance whatsoever.”

Red Bull doesn’t apologize for the fact that their drink is more expensive than any other drink. You have to pay a premium if you want to be a Red Bull drinker. It’s not elitist or exclusionist like Abercrombie & Fitch– anybody can buy it if you want to. But they don’t compete on price. Or taste.

In Red Bull’s eyes, they have no real competitor.

4: They’re cool: They deliver a great proposition without being needy.

Buy our drinks, or don’t. It’s totally cool. We’ll even give them to you for free when you’re tired and thirsty. We’ll use the profits from this money to create spectacular, awe-inspiring events that help science. We’l support and sponsor athletes (no contracts, only verbal agreements!). And we’ll fund spinal cord research while we’re at it.

How could anybody not love a brand like that?! Spend some time Googling them yourself- there isn’t enough space in a single blogpost to communicate just how awesome this brand is.

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Learn more about how to amplify your brand’s word-of-mouth.

Bonus: We’ve put together an exhaustive word-of-mouth course in 4 emails to help your business get talked about. Check it out here.

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Visakan Veerasamy

Visa is ReferralCandy's Blog Editor. He also co-founded Statement.sg, a fashion ecommerce label selling witty t-shirts. He's been thrice named a Top Writer on Quora. He hopes to enjoy a glass of whiskey onboard a commercial space flight someday.

7 comments

  • I wonder there are no comments already. It’s a great brand and definitely a great beverage. A brand that has the balls to get a man skydive off space and there could not have been a better way to establish what the brand is all about. Anything could have gone wrong there, and I haven’t seen brands taking a bigger risk than to risk their hard earned equity over time. The right balance of community, content marketing, witty distribution strategy and more than anything else a brand that has a personality that shines through. Great example for everything that’s right to follow.

  • Cool blog. Lots of information that’s new to me about the company. I have to point out what seems to me to be a total contradiction though; if “Taste is of no importance whatsoever” then why were there three new flavors released a few years ago? They don’t claim to have any new changes to performance or produce a different result and they don’t even cost more/less than the original. They just taste different.

  • I appreciate companies that don’t apologize. Anyone who talks trash about someone who drinks Redbull has something in their life that can be equally trashed. ( Not to mention they are being negative anyway) The first time I tried a Redbull I thought it tasted like dissolved multi-vitamin in slightly carbonated cough syrup. I’m sure the formulation has changed a little over the years but I’ve grown to love the taste. Acquired it. I don’t base my selection off promotional propaganda but it makes my choice in energy drinks that much more satisfying knowing the insane price I pay is doing more than lining pockets. I’ve tried many different brands at half the price but I keep coming back. As I type this a 20oz. is within reach. Say what you want but my body likes as much as I do. Call it addiction if you must. I might just agree with you.

  • Ive tried other brands but redbull definitely works best for me than the others on those occasional sleep deprived days! Well worth the extra dollar or two.