Corporate branding refers to overall marketing and public relations strategies that define an organization’s public image. Branding is often used to identify an image that is appealing to the target market, and then catering advertising and press releases to further associate this image with the brand. For Red Bull, the main branding emphasis over the last decade has been on cultivating an image associated with extreme sports, such as skateboarding, snowboarding and skiing, mixed martial arts, off-road racing and others (Gorse et al., 2010).
Red Bull associates its product with improved mental clarity and physical performance, which is why branding itself as a company associated with extreme sports athletes is effective: athletes often need to demonstrate split-second decision making along with physical prowess involving dexterity and strength, which are all attributes that Red Bull wants to associate with its product (Hein, 2014). Furthermore, extreme sports events are often televised and reach numerous spectators, which offers Red Bull a way to further advertise its brand via strategically placed logos and displays throughout the sports venue, along with sponsorships provided to athletes in exchange for logos and branding worn on the athlete’s body or equipment.
Red Bull’s current branding can be considered successful, as it remains the most popular energy drink of its kind. Extreme sports are popular among its core market, which would be males aged between 18-35. Thus, branding itself as a company that appeals to extreme sports athletes has the additional value of appealing to fans of these sports, many of whom admire athletes that Red Bull sponsors. Using athletes to promote a product is nothing new, but Red Bull’s decision to focus on extreme sports in particular has provided the company with an area of exclusivity that has only grown more popular over the last decade. The sponsorship of both athletes and events has also provided the company with additional ways to promote the Red Bull brand beyond traditional print or media advertising methods. The more popular these events and athletes become, the more visibility Red Bull will achieve.
- Gorse, S., Chadwick, S., & Burton, N. (2010). Entrepreneurship through sports marketing: A case analysis of Red Bull in sport. Journal of Sponsorship, 3(4), 1-7.
- Hein, K. (2014). A bull’s market: the marketing of Red Bull energy drink. Brandweek, 28.