5 lessons marketing team can learn from Red Bull

Did you notice that Red Bull never mention their energy drink in their marketing? In doing so, the company sells more than 5 billion cans of energy drink each year. How is it possible? What can a marketing team learn from Red Bull? 

[1] Red Bull tells stories and they do very well

You probably know about Red Bull’s slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings.” All of their marketing efforts follow this slogan or concept. Their stories are all about sport, outdoor and extreme activities. Their social media has millions of followers. If you visit their Facebook page, you would feel that Red Bull does give you wings. 

Key takeaway: Any marketing team can adopt this storytelling concept. What does your product do to make customer’s life easy or different? You can create stories around those benefits. If you are selling carpets, ask yourself – what are the benefits of the carpets? What stories can you create around the benefits of the carpets? 

Red Bull marketing for small business

[2] Red Bull leverage the benefits of user-generated content

Surprisingly, not many businesses nor marketing teams actively encourage customers to share stories of how the products are consumed or used. I understand that doing this could be time-consuming. You also need to have some form of a database to keep customer records in order to reach out to them. But you know what the stories shared by customers are gold. When customers share their stories with your product in them, those stories not only create trust to new customers, they also spread the words about your brand. 

Key takeaway: The first thing you need is a way to keep your customer records. You can then send emails to ask them if they are satisfied with the product. If they are, ask them to either send feedback to you or share their experience on social media. It is a good investment for your future.   

[3] Red Bull has clear target markets

Red Bull uses guerilla marketing to put their brand and cans in the eyes and hands of its most likely drinkers: 18 to 34 year-old-males. The idea is to grab those customer attention and to build a perception of what Red Bull is about. These guerilla marketing tactics go underground, make the drink just edgy enough to grab the attention of their target users. Later, Redbull expands its target market to 35 to 65 crowd, both male and female. 

Key takeaway: Needless to say, you cannot be everything to everyone. If you don’t have a clear target market in mind, you will end up spending a lot of your marketing money or get nothing (if you don’t). It’s not hard to imagine who your best customers would be. Write their characteristics and behaviors down. When preparing marketing campaigns or communications, you only need to imagine that you only communicate with them. 

[4] Quality content gives you wings

Red Bull crafts content around its audience interests. Their content covers exactly those topics that interest its audiences, such as extreme sports and music festivals. Think of any place or event where you can imagine somebody drinking an energy drink and Red Bull will have quality content to support it. You need to know that you cannot create high-quality content if you don’t have a clear description of your target market. 

Red Bull marketing for small business

Key takeaway: The idea of doing content marketing is to offer great content as an incentive to your customers. By ‘incentive’, I mean the non-financial value you offer to solve your customer’s problems. 

[5] Their word-of-mouth marketing is top-notch 

Red Bull gets the audience talking, spreading the word about their product for free. A textbook example of word-of-mouth marketing.  Red Bull Stratos, the famous ‘mission to the edge of space’, was one of the most famous and highest-end stunts directed by Red Bull. This publicity stunt saw a man (Felix Baumgartner) being sent up 128,000 ft above the earth and had him free-fall out of his small ship. Along the way, he broke two world records and brought Red Bull immense publicity, as the entire world was watching it broadcast live.

 Key takeaway: Of course, a small marketing team cannot do something similar to Red Bull Stratos. But, there are many ways to trigger word-of-mouth for your product. You can use a formula called STEPPS suggested by Jonah Berger – Social currency, Trigger, Emotion, Public, Practical value, and Stories. 

A small marketing team doesn’t have the resources to invest in quality content creation in the same way Red Bull does. However, viable alternatives could intersect with your brand or product purpose and your target audience interests. While doing so, the best practice is to avoid directly referencing yourself or your product.

We could quickly sum up the entire Red Bull marketing strategy in one sentence – provide something of real value to your audience (just like Red Bull does), and the customers will find their way to your product and not the other way around.


Strategy in Bytes helps businesses create differentiation marketing strategies to  drive growth and increase profitability.

Leave a Reply