Red Bull and the Baumgartner Bandwagon

This week Red Bull cemented its position as the most impressive content creating brand of the last decade. Over time Red Bull has built one of the most recognisable brands of today by harnessing risk, strategically investing in booming sponsorship opportunities and pursuing content marketing with unmatched ambition.

Red Bull Stratos was really a natural extension of Red Bull’s superior branding and content marketing strategy. This is an incredible truth – how many brands out there that can establish credible links between their brand values and a fully-funded quasi-space mission?!? Here’s a quick exploration of the philosophy behind Red Bull’s astounding content marketing strategies that you’d do well to replicate in your own business.

In case you somehow missed it, world-renowned and Red Bull-sponsored daredevil Felix Baumgartner set multiple skydiving world records earlier this week. Baumgartner jumped from a helium balloon at an altitude of over 128,000 feet to set a new record for the highest and fastest skydive ever made. Clearly, the guy has proverbials the size of grapefruits.

But what about Red Bull, the financial backer of the highly risky and live-streamed world record attempt? Only the slightest malfunction would’ve vapourised Baumgartner instantly, broadcast live for the world to see.

Where many brands out there keep their blinkers on and concentrate solely on their core product offering, Red Bull goes the next step in its marketing strategy and instead focuses its energy on the experiential elements of the brand. Red Bull creates experiences by producing content that is designed to bring the brand to life, make the brand values tangible and capture the attention of the target market.  Red Bull has taken content marketing to the next level by completely destroying the line between core business activities and engaging consumers through content creation. Essentially, the content marketing strategy of Red Bull has completely re-oriented the entire purpose and mission of the business.

Red Bull Stratos is just the latest in a long line of incredible content marketing initiatives that Red Bull has implemented to build its brand. Baumgartner’s skydive broke records worldwide by attracting over 8 million viewers to the live YouTube stream. That’s more eyeballs than the inauguration of Barack Obama as president.

Previously Red Bull has topped iTunes download lists for its own extreme sport movies, attracted millions of spectators to its sponsored sporting events worldwide and has achieved unprecedented levels of social media channel engagement.

Along with the content initiatives, there has been significant ongoing marketing investment that has established the brand in the global beverages market. Since the company’s foundation in 1987, the Red Bull brand has positioned itself by leveraging sponsorships in key growth market segments. Red Bull has invested heavily into booming extreme sports like snowboarding, cave diving, rock climbing, motor racing and skateboarding that have grown over the last couple of decades to become incredibly popular sports. Red Bull has also invested in more traditional sports, for example buying an F1 racing team and buying the naming rights to the New York MLS soccer team. But even in these more traditional and conservative sponsorship markets Red Bull has only sought out opportunities that reflect the values of the brand. In golf for example, Red Bull sponsors young guns Rickie Fowler and Lexie Thompson who go against the golf stereotype and are captivating a new generation of golf fans.

To say that Red Bull is only an energy drink manufacturer completely misses what the brand is setting out to achieve. Sure, your business may not have the buying power of this media creating marketing juggernaut – Red Bull pours millions into its marketing strategies every year. Red Bull’s differentiator is its uncompromising dedication to delivering the highest quality content to inspire its consumers. There’s no reason that your business can’t adopt the same philosophy to engage consumers in your own content marketing strategies.

JB

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