Blythe (2008, p.9) stated that Marketing mix comprises of 4 Ps, known as, production, pricing, placement and promotion. Development of an appropriate and effective marketing mix leads to greater probability of growth, sustainability and competitive edge in the market.
Red Bull carries the strong belief of maintaining uniformity in production. This means that the ingredients and the products as a whole are exactly the same, wherever you buy and wherever you drink. Active ingredients of Red Bull include 27 g of sugar, Vitamin B-complex, 80 mg caffeine, water and Tourane (an amino acid). Being an energy drink, red Bull`s active ingredients have to be such that they boost the energy level and therefore the amount of caffeine is almost the same as in one cup of coffee and twice more than that in one can of cola.
According to Japanese researches, Taurine is an ingredient that improves the cardio vascular performance. It tastes like citrus and herb and in 2006 diet version was also introduced followed by a cola that had combination of both Red Bull energy ingredients and cola. Globally red Bull only has 250 ml cans (except the cola 335 ml) and does not have any other retailing container denomination which also adds to the uniformity and consistency of Red Bull.
Red bull belongs to the functional drink market and in precise it competes in energy drink segment. The dynamics of the market and the nature of the product are such that it allows Red Bull to follow the premium pricing strategy. Premium pricing strategy means higher profit margins resulting from higher retail price. Red Bull, on an average sells its cans for €2. This makes its sale price almost 5 times more than the price of a cola can.
Red Bull believes that its product supports the fast growing 24/7 life style demanding extra efficiency and composure in long working hours and therefore its utility to boost energy and get rid of lethargy allows it to charge at premium pricing together with the brand image that sets it as a fashion item. The premium pricing of Red Bull is also advocated to be appropriate when it is seen that by the end of 2006 avg. price/ litre of carbonated and soft drink was around US $150 while hat of energy drink was US $ 5.78.
The unorthodox patterns also stay fir when it comes to placement as well. This is because when red Bull enters a new market, it does not go for big distributors with greater reach rather it prefers small distributors that may shape in to Red Bull`s distributors only. These distributors may act as independent ones or in partnership with Cadbury Schweppes`s distribution network. It targets bars, restaurants, and small stores initially and provide them cooling equipment to chill the cans. In later stage, big retailers and stores automatically start asking for Red Bull.
Kotler (2011) describes promotion as means of expression about the product in the manner and to the extent organization desires. Promotion and advertising construct the most attractive and worth focusing attribute of Red Bull. Following table exhibits what Red Bull prefers to do and what it restrains itself from doing.
|Promotional / Advertising activities|
|Red Bull`s YES||Red Bull`s NO|
|· Cartoon drawing based TV ads highlighting “Gives You Wings” slogan.
· Ads in late night shows to target young audience.
· Delivery to Hollywood movie sets where celebrities and crew used it
· Supplies to bar tenders in US for their own consumption
· Sponsoring DJ competitions
· Hosting Red Bull Flugtag (flying day) where participants fly in their own machines with water cushion below.
· Owning football team like Red Bull Salzburg in Australia
· Owning two F1 racing teams.
· Mobile energy teams comprising of college students, driving specially designed Red Bull mini coopers. These students visit all kinds of events and collect samples on energy drinks too.
· Using advertising to serve as a reminder to the target audience.
|· Print media advertising as part of promotional campaign.
· Taste testing and sampling
· Hiring brand ambassadors
· Celebrity endorsements
· Using advertisings to enter the market.
· Putting too many ads on TV and spending a lot on them.
When Red bulls promotional strategy is viewed, it becomes eminent that it is surely and atypical one in nature. Unorthodox promotion is the name of the game for Red Bull and it literally throws the conventional advertising out of the window.
Blythe, J. & Zimmerman, A.S. (2005) Business to business marketing management: A global Perspective : cengage learning EMEA, pp: 84
Kotler, P. (2011) Marketing Insights from A to Z: 80 Concepts Every Manager Needs to Know: John Wiley and Sons, pp: 108