Red Bull has been the leader in energy drinks segment in the US for many years now. In a hard fought industry, the company has managed to hold its position owing to huge investments in marketing. Since it is a privately traded company, exact spending on marketing is not known. But the extent to which Red Bull markets the brand through F1 Teams, Sports Teams, television ads, music, etc. Is overwhelming, and it shows probably a very large sum going out through the marketing department. Red Bull is the king of content marketing (Mashable). It has created a whole lifestyle around the brand and created one of the most loyal customer bases.
So, how do we go about calculating the Marketing Metrics of a brand that completely depends on marketing?
Since exact spending of the company on marketing activities is not known, it becomes difficult to guess how much effect marketing spends has had on profits. Also, the kind of lifestyle branding that Red Bull does, doesn’t lend itself to be easily measured in a specific time period (Sharp 2013). It is a rolling investment that goes on every year, every month, and every moment. Consider the Red Bull Stratos event where Felix Baumgartner created a record by jumping from more than 24 miles up in the air, or stratosphere, if you will. Red Bull invested more than $64.8 million on that stunt, which was watched by more than 8 million people on YouTube (Sports Business). Although the event surely improved Red Bull’s brand image of association with extreme sports, how do you find out exactly how much that stunt had paid off for the company?
For these situations, we need to look at some other metrics which are more easily found out.
Brand Image Association is the perfect way to measure how much successful the marketing strategy has been successful in portraying an image of the brand. An interview conducted with respondents using projective technique found out that respondents associated Red Bull with the image of a guy, with word associations like Sporty, Strong, Out-Going, Fun-Loving, Risk Taking and Playful. The Red Bull guy is supposed to be involved with extreme sports and party at clubs and bars. Below is a personification of the Red Bull guy as per the brand image associations:
Figure 1: The Red Bull guy
Customer Profiling is another way of measuring whether the marketing guys are getting it right. Customer demographics data can tell us who are actually buying our products. If it matches with the brand image that the marketing department is trying to portray, we can consider the marketing effort to be a success. Red Bull’s demographics show that majority of the buyers are males and heavily concentrated in the <34 age bracket. Also, income bracket for red-bull buyers is mostly below the $40K level.
Figure 2: Red Bull customer demographics
This data shows that Red Bull has been able to achieve what it targeted. It has a primary male buyer base that is young, which also explains the low-income group predominance.
The data also shows people also going for Marlboro cigarettes and Monster Energy drinks along with Red Bull. Although the association with Monster Energy is perfectly in line with the product, Red Bull may want to focus on distancing itself from unhealthy cigarettes!
Figure 3: Basket affinity of Red Bull
Brand loyalty, another way reported metric is important for Red Bull, as this is what companies engaging in lifestyle marketing hopes to achieve. As the name suggests, it means customers remaining loyal to one brand. Red Bull scores quite high in this regard. The following data shows only 16% of customers will go for another brand in case Red Bull is unavailable at a store.
Figure 4: Red Bull brand loyalty
Overall, Red Bull really has got wings!
Sharp, B 2013, Marketing Metrics Marketing: Theory, Evidence, Practice.,Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia
O’Brien, J 2012, How Red Bull Takes Content Marketing to the Extreme, Mashable, retrieved 22 May 2016, <http://mashable.com/2012/12/19/red-bull-content-marketing/>
SportsBusiness 2012, Red Bull Invests $65M On Space Jump As More Than 8 Million Watch On YouTube, American City Business Journals, retrieved 22 May 2016, <http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Global/Issues/2012/10/16/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/Red-Bull.aspx>
Figure 1: The Red Bull guy, retrieved 22 May 2016, <http://redbull-brand.blogspot.com/2011/09/red-bulls-brand-association-and.html>
Figure 2: Red Bull customer demographics, retrieved 22 May 2016,<http://infoscout.co/brand/red_bull>
Figure 3: Basket affinity of Red Bull, retrieved 22 May 2016, <http://infoscout.co/brand/red_bull>
Figure 2: Red Bull brand loyalty, retrieved 22 May 2016, <http://infoscout.co/brand/red_bull>
Sabbb 2011, ‘Red Bull’s Brand Association and Projective Technique’, Blogpost, weblog post, 22 September, retrieved 22 May 2016, <http://redbull-brand.blogspot.com/2011/09/red-bulls-brand-association-and.html>
Red Bull Stratos – World Record Freefall2012, YouTube, Red Bull, 15 October, retrieved 22 May 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOoHArAzdug>