Red Bull is an energy drink and it is an adaptation of the Thai energy drink Krating Daeng, which translates as “Red Bull”. Based on market share, it is the most popular energy drink in the world i. e. it has 70% market share.  Red Bull cans are branded with the tagline ‘Vitalises body and mind’ and consumers think that drinking Red Bull can alleviate tiredness. Some people consider Red bull’s branding as revolutionary and call it an ‘anti-brand’ strategy. This is because the company did not use the usual marketing means and instead relied on a term called ‘buzz marketing’ which is basically word-of-mouth.
The brand image that was created was majorly associated with the youth culture and this strategy involved targeting the Generation Y or the ‘millenial’ i. e. people born after 1981 and who did not believe in traditional marketing strategies. Targeting the youth led Red Bull to recruit ‘student brand managers’ and their job was to promote the brand as much as possible, whether that be on campus or by throwing parties. This type of marketing strategy is known as ‘viral marketing’ where a company may rely on the target consumers to create the need for the product and spread its reputation. Red Bull also opted for a marketing strategy that used operant conditioning by making sure that the brand was visible on the street by using BMW Mini Coopers with huge dummy cans of the drink attached on the cars so that they would be eye-catching and also the expensive cars would further reassure a “cool” image on the brand and raise brand power. This gave subliminal messages to the consumers that the product exists and that they should try it. Also free samples were distributed to people to make them realize that they needed the after affects of the drink.
The slender and well-designed can of the drink further strengthened the look and feel of the drink. But, even though all these strategies have made Red Bull the leading brand in this category all over the world, its sales in Pakistan have been low and there are a few reasons for this from what I understand. Firstly that a variety of other energy drinks very instantly launched all over Pakistan which not only copied Red Bull’s branding strategies but were also much cheaper and people felt they were in power of their decision of what to consume and used those drinks as an alternate to Red Bull.
Examples can be Sting and Speed. In fact, there are more than 150 energy drink varieties apart from Red Bull all over the world. The second major drawback that the company faced was the negative publicity which included many reports that stated that the drink contained traces of cocaine and large amounts of caffeine and people where left puzzled whether they should really even consume Red Bull.
The third reason was that the mass population was cut off from the marketing strategy and this is where Red Bull lost most of its potential consumers and the other local brands gained from this. Human behavior is linked to our needs which are linked to our memories and this behavior determines the success of a product. In Pakistan, this human behavior does not work in favour of Red Bull as the costs of consuming the product are far greater than the benefits and satisfaction achieved by consuming it.