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Red Bull Energy Drink: Marketing Plan Analysis

Executive summary

The marketing plan entails an analysis of the competitive advantages of the major players in the soft drink industry. These include Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Gatorade Company. A comparison of the competitive advantage with Red Bull GmbH is conducted. The plan also includes an illustration of red bull energy drink characteristics. The various factors which have contributed to the success of Red bull energy are also considered. These include creating product awareness through advertising, product sampling, and incorporation of sports sponsoring. Critical issues for the success of Red Bull energy drink in the competitive market are analyzed. The issues considered relate to brand management through various concepts such as brand image, brand identity, and brand culture.


Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of functional drinks which have been introduced in the market by the various players in the industry. One of the areas which have witnessed rampant competition includes energy drinks. Intense competition comes from major players such as Coca-Cola, Gatorade, and PepsiCo. These firms are introducing new forms of energy drinks such as tea and coffee drinks. The firms have a well-established distribution network which enables the drink to penetrate a large market. In addition, these firms have a wide range of energy drinks. This enables these firms to appeal to a wide range of consumer products through the incorporation of product diversity. The marketing strategy of these firms entails endorsement of the firm’s products by celebrities. This is made possible by the fact that these firms have a strong financial base compared to Red Bull GmbH. For example, in its 2009 financial year, Coca-Cola Company paid millions of dollars to Britney Spears to endorse its energy drink products (Starling, 2009, P. 1). In addition, the financial strength of these firms enables these firms to undertake various growth strategies such as mergers and acquisition (Meghan, Ellenbecker, Emily, Leslie & Kelly, 2006, p.3). This has contributed towards strengthening the brand of these companies due to a global reach. In creating product awareness, the management of Red Bull GmbH has integrated the concept of cost reduction. This is achieved through the use of upcoming talented youngsters such as hip hop musicians, athletes, and students. This has enabled the firm to be efficient in resource utilization and hence be able to undertake other projects.

Product offering

Red Bull energy drink has superior characteristics. These include the following:

  • Improving vigilance
  • Stimulates the rate of metabolism
  • Increasing performance
  • Enhances emotional status
  • Increases rate of reaction and concentration

Key to success

The management of Red Bull GmbH has considered several factors which have contributed towards the success of Red Bull energy drink. These factors include sampling, advertising, sponsoring of events and sports.


The management team of Red Bull GmbH has a policy that entails allocating a significant proportion of its annual budget towards creating product awareness. To achieve this, the management has incorporated product advertisements. This has enabled the brand to be globally recognized. According to Kerry (2008, p. 5), approximately 30% of the Red Bull GmbH revenue is allocated to the advertisement. This is relatively high compared to Coca-Cola Company which only allocated 9% of its revenue to the advertisement.

The management of the firm has incorporated flexible advertising mediums to ensure that the message is effectively communicated to a wide scale of the market. As a result, the print medium is disregarded in the firm’s advertising process. Advertisement mediums that have been integrated by the management of the firm include television, cinema, and radio. The concept behind the integration of these mediums relies on the fact that they create more interest and momentum amongst the consumers since they appear and go (John & Bridget, 2008, p. 6). The use of these mediums has enabled Red Bull to be effectively positioned in the market since they reflect a high value of Red Bull energy drink. In addition, its advertising strategy involved the integration of animated advertisements. The use of slogans in its advertisement strategy such as ‘Red bull gives you wings’ has enabled the management of the firm to create a strong image in the consumer’s mind (Starling, 2008, p. 1).

Product sampling

According to Starling (2008, Para. 3), one of the major factors contributing towards the success of energy drinks is the benefits that the consumer obtains upon consuming the drink. John and Bridget (2008, p. 6), assert that Red Bull is consumed for the effect that it creates in the consumers. This has been attained through continuous product sampling through the firm’s sampling team. Sampling ensures that the management of the firm proves the value of the drink before distributing it to the customers. The sampling team travels to various locations to market the drink directly to a specific target group. Through interaction with the consumers, the sampling team becomes conversant with the market response. This enables the sampling team to react accordingly by either changing the consumer’s misconceptions relating to the red bull energy drink or clarifying to the customers about the product. A result of the continuous sampling process has enabled Red bull energy drink to appeal to a wide range of customers. The sampling team is well selected through consideration of the best personalities such as a high level of confidence, flexibility, motivation, and capacity to reflect the drink’s image (John & Bridget, 2008, p. 6). The sampling team is well trained regarding the drink’s characteristics such as the ingredients, effects, price, and distribution. The sampling process entails giving free samples to potential customers so that they can experience the drink.

Incorporation of sports sponsoring

Sponsoring sports has been one of the factors that have contributed towards the success of various functional drinks especially energy drinks. The management team of Red Bull has recognized this and integrated sports sponsoring in its marketing mix. This is mainly undertaken after creating comprehensive market awareness. In addition, the management has to ensure that the product attains a substantial distribution in the market. The management of the firm has integrated developed a sports sponsoring program. Some of the sports that the management has considered sponsoring include, Formula One racing, snowboarding, and athletics. According to John and Bridget (2008, p. 6), the objective of integrating sports sponsoring includes product positioning, image building, and sales support. Through sponsoring sports, the Red Bull GmbH has been able to create effective product awareness. This is because the sports personalities endorse the energy drinks through their sports kit. In addition, the management of the firm has integrated several sponsoring events which are linked to the sports such as DHX online skating (John & Bridget, 2008, p. 7).

Critical issues

Brand management

The success of every brand depends on effective brand management. This ensures that the brand survives within an environment that is very hostile. Considering the competitive nature of the energy drinks market, the management of Red Bull GmbH has incorporated the concept of brand management in its operation. Brand management has been achieved through various mechanisms which include brand culture, brand image, and brand identity.

Brand identity refers to the promise given by the management to its customers about its products. Red bull has been able to deliver these promises to its customer. This arises from ensuring that the quality of red bull is high and that there is instant energy rejuvenation. This has also been achieved through the firm’s slogans. The firm has also managed to create a positive image amongst the consumers through constant advertising and the adoption of a consistent product theme. In producing Red bull, the management of Red Bull GmbH has been able to develop a strong brand culture through the integration of market research. This ensures that the brand meets the needs of the customers. In addition, the management of the firm has also adopted corporate social responsibility in its strategic management (Starling, 2009, p.2).


John, S. & Bridget, D.2008. Cases and concepts: red bull energy drink. Web.

Kerry, D. 2008. Billionaires: the soda with a buzz. (On-line). Web.

Meghan, D., Emily, K., Leslie, P. & Kelly, Z. 2006. Industry analysis: soft drink. (On-line). Web.

Starling, S.2009. Report reveals keys to energy drink success. (On-line). Web.


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