Have you ever wondered the difference between an Energy drink and a Sports drink? Or did you even know there was a difference between the two? While both of them are a source of energy, there is a vast difference between the two. The former is a source of caffeine that affects the central nervous system and provides a type of short-term pseudo-energy, and the latter is a source of carbs and electrolytes that provides the type of energy that enables one to sustain physical activity for longer periods (Lohrey 2015).
Now let us consider the difference in the price of a can of Red Bull and a bottle of Powerade. A 250ml can of Red Bull can cost as much as $3 while a 600ml bottle of Powerade will cost you less than $4. The reason why the can is so pricey is because the company has adopted the strategy of Premium Pricing. Premium pricing or Prestige pricing is the act of keeping the price of an item artificially high to encourage favourable perceptions among purchasers based on price alone and is utilized to reflect exclusivity and high standards (Asiedu 2016). Red Bull employs this strategy to create a premium brand and depict uniqueness in its product. Their strategy also involves positioning the drink as a part of people’s lifestyle under everyday activities such as sports, study, party and leisure.
It is critical to define the target consumers and segment the market prior to choosing a positional strategy (Zoeller 2015). Red Bull identifies its target consumers based on the activities that require consumption. With clearly defined functions of the drink, the brand targets it consumers that can relate to various benefits the drink can provide. For instance, one function of the drink is to improve concentration, which can be related to studies, thus making students one of its target consumers. To improve reaction time and alertness can be related to sports, making athletes another part of its target consumers. One can say that Red Bull has very smartly targeted its consumers based on the benefits of the drink.
Recognizing that all customers are not the same, and the market is in fact not homogenous, leads to the process of Market Segmentation, where the consumers are split into groups with similar level of interest or set of needs (McDonald 2012). One such segment is the lifestyle, which also forms the basis of targeting their consumers. The psychographic segmentation followed by Red Bull is one of their most significant market segmentation technique. Age is another important factor for the segmentation of this market. The majority of the people who consume the drink are the youth who are aged between eighteen to twenty five. Most of Red Bull’s campaigns are also directed to them. University students are constantly being engaged with Red Bull’s events and activities to bring awareness of the brand. The students are considered to be the entry point consumers (EPCs) from Red Bull’s perspective since they become potential consumers in the time to come. The Student Brand Manager and the Wing Team Member Programs are initiatives adopted by them to promote the brand among the EPCs (RedBull.com). The company also segments its ‘health conscious’ consumers. Their marketing efforts are distinct for the Sugar free and Total Zero consumers.
Red Bull’s strategic marketing plans has helped them position their products in the most unique way and win over the customers. The entry of competing brands like Monster and Cloud 9 has in no way affected the growth of this brand. It continues to dominate the market and will most likely continue to do so.
Asiedu, E 2016, “How To Create and Sustain a Strategic Marketing Plan Through the 4P’s of Innovation: With Reference to Red Bull Energy Drink Company”, [online] Available at: https://www.academia.edu/5467046/How_To_Create_and_Sustain_a_Strategic_Marketing_Plan_Through_the_4P_s_of_Innovation_With_Reference_to_Red_Bull_Energy_Drink_Company [Accessed 2 Apr. 2016].
Lohrey, J. 2015, “Difference Between Sport Drinks & Energy Drinks”, [online] LIVESTRONG.COM. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/369461-difference-between-sport-drinks-energy-drinks/ [Accessed 2 Apr. 2016].
McDonald, M, & Dunbar, I 2012, Market Segmentation. [Electronic Resource] : How To Do It And How To Profit From It, n.p.: Chichester, U.K. : J. Wiley, c2012., DEAKIN UNIV LIBRARY’s Catalog, EBSCOhost, viewed 11 April 2016.
Red Bull Jobs : STUDENT BRAND MANAGER 2016, “Red Bull Jobs : STUDENT BRAND MANAGER”, [online] Available at: http://jobs.redbull.com/ky/en/student-brand-manager-5056 [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].
Stephen Zoeller’s Marketing Blog 2015, “Positioning Strategy for a New Energy Drink Brand – Stephen Zoeller’s Marketing Blog” [online] Available at: http://www.stephenzoeller.com/positioning-strategy-new-energy-drink-brand/ [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].
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