Introduction to Marketing: Red Bull

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Topic 1: Introduction to Marketing
Red Bull

1. The Product/ Competitors/Industry

1.1 Product
Red Bull is a sweet, caffeinated drink aimed to give consumers the high energy kick. Available only in rather expensive 250ml cans, 350ml bottles, with 4 packs and only two ‘flavours’ (original or sugar-free). It contains caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, and B vitamins. Founded in 1984 by Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull has become the worlds leading energy drink, a staple in many young, and active people’s lives.

Big global companies such as Coca Cola and Pepsi have introduced their own energy drink versions to their product base. Mother (by Coca Cola), Amp (Pepsi), V, Battery, 180, RedEye and Bennu being just some in the ever-growing energy drink market.

Competition also presents itself in original sports drinks, such as Gatorade (Pepsi) and Powerade (Coca Cola). Furthermore, premixed alcoholic drinks like the Smirnoff range form part of the competition.

Red Bull has becoming hugely successful and operates within the global soft drink marketplace. Within the soft drink industry its niche is the ‘energy drink’ market, of which Mateschitz was largely responsible for creating. Red Bull currently is the leading energy drink across the entire globe. It holds 70% of the market worldwide (Gschwandtner, 2004). Once the drink was passed by health ministries, Red Bull entered the Austrian market, soon thereafter then moved into Germany, United Kingdom and the USA by 1997.

2.Needs, Wants and Demands satisfied by Red Bull

There are three basic human needs that Red Bull satisfies, physical, social and individual needs. ‘Human needs are states of felt deprivation… marketers do not invent these needs; they are a basic part of human makeup…People in industrial societies might try to find or develop objects that will satisfy their needs.’ (Kotler et al. 2006)

Firstly, a physical need is when tired drivers are feeling the need to fall asleep due to fatigue; and this can compromise their safety. A driver needs to stay awake and alert when driving to avert danger and this need is satisfied by Red Bull. In fact it has become a ‘hot item amongst tired drivers stopping at gas stations.’ (Gscwandtner 2004).

A social need for example is where ‘humans have a social need for belonging’ (Kotler. 2004) and this need is satisfied by belonging to a group. A group could be people with the same interests eg extreme sports. Red Bull associates itself with energy, danger and youth culture, and markets its product through its sponsorship of youth culture and extreme sports events. Consumers who drink Red Bull are ‘automatically’ introduced to the Red Bull culture, and their social need is then satisfied.

The final need is individual. An individual may have a need for concentration or self-expression and this could be inhibited by fatigue or weariness. Red Bull realised that it could satisfy this need by ‘energising and stimulating the mind’ (Red Bull 2008). For example, if they are fatigued, a university student may experience an inability to retain knowledge and therefore show an inability to express themselves.

A want can be defined as ‘the form taken by human needs as they are shaped by culture and individual personality’ (Kotler et al. 2006)

Extreme athletes want to accelerate their performance and to revive themselves quickly after each event and this want is satisfied by Red Bull. Red Bull promotes its consumption ‘to increase physical endurance, improve concentration and reaction speed, improve vigilance and stimulate metabolism.’ (Red Bull, 2008).

‘Demands are human wants backed up by buying power and given their resources, people demand products with benefits that add up to the most satisfaction.’ (Kotler et al. 2006). Another way of putting it is that ‘demand for a product…is both a willingness and an ability to...
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