How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (2024)

The corporate branding strategy that led to selling one in four drinks

How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (1)

After visiting Thailand in the 1980s, Austrian-born Dietrich Mateschitz developed the Red Bull energy drink and cofounded Red Bull GmbH with Chaleo Yoovidhya, a Thai business tycoon who developed Krating Daeng. They sold their very first can of Red Bull on April 1, 1987, in its home market of Austria.

With more than 32 years of history, Red Bull marketed itself through advertising, events (Red Bull BC One, Red Bull Flugtag, Red Bull Rampage), music (Red Bull Music Academy), sports teams’ ownership (Infiniti Red Bull Racing, New York Red Bulls, FC Red Bull Salzburg, Team OG) and endorsem*nts (Eminem, Shaun White).

How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (2)

Red Bull has now become the leading energy drink brand in the U.S. with 24.9% of the market share (dollar sales) and is one of the world’s leading brands in energy drinks, selling 7.5 billion cans worldwide in 2019.

Its trademark logo, the two red-colored bulls with yellowish highlights along with the bolded red words “Red Bull,” can be seen prominently on their tall and slim blue-silver flagship product, the Red Bull Energy Drink.

To understand Red Bull’s corporate branding strategy, an understanding of its positioning, target market, and gaps between them (if any) has to be established first.

Red Bull’s target market can be identified as young urban males that live on the edge or aspire to do so. They’re also generally interested in extreme sports and challenging recreational activities.

The positioning Red Bull takes has shown it understood its target market well — as it made it's brand aspirational through the various events it organized described earlier on. By doing so, it allows Red Bull to connect well with its target market, hence making Red Bull’s positioning effective.

Red Bull also managed to be consistent, clear and constantly communicating to its target market through the various events it organized.

They have been consistent through the repetition of its value proposition “Red Bull gives you wings,” which signifies how Red Bull can boost your cognitive and physical performance, as this is what the target market is looking for. The message is also clear as they’ve used the same slogan, “Red Bull give you wings,” repeatedly since the start and revolved their advertisem*nts around that slogan.

How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (3)

Red Bull also manages to constantly communicate its message by utilizing various platforms like advertisem*nts, endorsem*nts, and online channels.

After analyzing Red Bull’s positioning and target market, it can be deduced there’s almost no gap to fill as Red Bull is able to communicate its positioning in a consistent, clear, and constant manner to its target market.

To evaluate the corporate branding efforts of Red Bull toward its brand equity, the Corporate Image Dimensions framework will be used to evaluate Red Bull’s contribution to its brand equity based on Keller’s Brand Equity Model.

Under the dimension of the Corporate Citizenship Image, Red Bull has performed well by establishing a positive image. This positive image is formed by their concern with the environment, shown through the emphasis of their 100%-recyclable aluminum cans.

The display of concern for the environment is very evident from the fact it’s prominently displayed together with their significant company information, like the company’s history and product, on their main website.

By doing so, it develops the second tier of the Brand Equity Model, both the Performance and Imagery blocks. In terms of the Performance block, by having 100%-recyclable aluminum cans, it reduces the weight of the can.

This makes it easier to hold, lift, and consume and makes it even lighter to carry around, especially in bulk. The aluminum cans are also oxygen-proof and neutral in taste, so the drink stays fresh, giving it top quality for a long time — making the drink taste good. Hence, the associations from both the lightweight can and the good taste help Red Bull develop its Performance block positively.

When looking at the Imagery block, one would perceive Red Bull as a responsible corporate citizen for its efforts in going great lengths to ensure its carbon footprint remains as minimal as possible throughout the entire life cycle of the can. With that, Red Bull is able to positively develop its Imagery block, too.

Next, when looking at the dimension of Corporate Product Image, Red Bull is evaluated to have done well.

One good example of its corporate branding efforts to develop this dimension would be the Red Bull Stratos campaign. Launched in late 2012, the Red Bull Stratos campaign features Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner ascending to the stratosphere on a helium balloon before jumping off in a pressure suit, freefalling for over four minutes until he deployed his parachute, allowing him to land safely back to Earth.

The success of this event can be associated with the high quality of the Red Bull brand through the Red Bull sponsored equipment, which didn’t malfunction when achieving this novel feat. The Red Bull brand is also able to associate itself as being innovative through this first-of-a-kind feat, breaking the record of the highest altitude free fall.

How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (4)

The Red Bull Stratos Campaigns, thus, develops the entire brand equity pyramid of Red Bull, from base salience to resonance.

First, the salience is improved by the mainstream press and the sharing of the video of this campaign. Secondly, the Performance block is developed by the success of this Red Bull event. Thirdly, the Judgment block is developed by the high quality and professionalism — the Red Bull event was completed successfully in one try. Fourth, the Imagery block is developed by the audience who’d associate such a novel Red Bull event as cool. Fifth, the Feeling block is developed from the excitement of the Red Bull event. Lastly, the audience feels resonance by being engaged and affiliated with the Red Bull Stratos campaign.

It can be said this high-profile campaign is one of the key events in the year that contributed to the 8% increase in Red Bull’s brand value in 2012. It saw a lower 6% increase in 2013, and in 2011, a year before the Red Bull Stratos campaign, it only showed a 4% increase.

Moving on to the next dimension of the Corporate Service Image, the evaluation for this dimension is Red Bull is doing well in engaging with its fans and consumers. This can be seen on their social media page — where they actively engage their fans, replying to their comments and conversing with them.

The warm, friendly image Red Bull maintains through their effort in engaging with the feedback of their fans positively impacts the brand-building blocks of Performance and Imagery, whereby fans will associate Red Bull’s image as a subject-matter expert in its performance and someone they can relate to for imagery.

How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (5)

The last dimension, the Corporate Credibility Image, can be divided into three parts — expertise, trustworthiness, and likability. Red Bull has done well in this dimension, too, as it manages to improve the whole brand-building pyramid.

One of the ways in which Red Bull has done well is it endorses many skilled athletes. By endorsing skilled athletes, Red Bull associates itself with experts of the various sports.

This gives the image that Red Bull supports the athletes and thus is able to concoct a product of outstanding quality to support the skilled athletes. This develops the Performance and Imagery blocks of the brand-building pyramid.

How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (6)

According to a news article written by Geraint Smith, there were three deaths linked to the consumption of Red Bull. Even though those tragic events happened, Britain’s Food Standards Agency said it didn’t plan to launch an investigation as Red Bull’s spokesperson reiterated there was rigorous scientific testing even before the drink came out on the market and it had had a safe record stretching back 14 years.

In light of this, it can be seen that Red Bull is trustworthy as they had a long safety track record, and the officials didn’t further pursue the matter. This reassures Red Bull’s consumers that Red Bull is reliable, professional, and cares about their customers, developing the Feelings and Judgment blocks of Red Bull’s brand-equity pyramid.

Red Bull also cultivated a plethora of events (Red Bull World Cliff Diving Series, Red Bull BC One, Red Bull Rampage, and Red Bull Flugtag) that run successfully every year.

This wide array of events are aligned with the passion and interest of its target market, which allows Red Bull to be more likeable — as the audience shares the same passions as the brand. This develops Red Bull’s Salience block from the wide number of events and also the Resonance block from the engagement of its passionate consumers.

Based on the evaluations above, Red Bull has strategically positioned itself in a target market where its corporate branding strategy is synergistic. This allows Red Bull to accelerate the growth of its brand equity, which, in turn, enables Red Bull to command a premium on its products and compete with its competitors.

By consistently innovating and conducting high-profile events, as well as sponsoring teams and athletes, Red Bull will be able to continue churning out meaningful content that builds brand value, which will ultimately enable Red Bull to dominate in the energy drinks market for years to come.

Found this article useful? Support my writing here.

How Red Bull Dominates the US Energy Drink Market (2024)


How did Red Bull became successful in marketing its brand? ›

Sponsoring or creating events: Red Bull proved its marketing prowess by taking its product and associating it with things its audience loves by sponsoring or creating events for them.

How is Red Bull so successful? ›

Says Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, “If we don't create the market, it doesn't exist.” Mateschitz's secret to creating a $16 billion worldwide stampede for Red Bull lies in a highly ingenious “buzz-marketing” strategy that herds consumers to exclusive and exciting events that get high media coverage.

What marketing strategies does Red Bull use? ›

The Marketing strategy of Red Bull is a combination of high quality content across all digital channels, sponsorships of extreme sports that drives brand awareness and word-of-mouth, Guerrilla Marketing, a humoristic advertising approach, as well as powerful and consistent branding.

How does Red Bull segment the market? ›

Red Bull has divided its customer base into different segments based on the following variables – geographics, demographics, and psychographics.

How does Red Bull use direct marketing? ›

Red Bull Places Their Customers First

They don't directly promote their product often, but when they do, they always promote it in a way that entices their target audience. The clearest example of this can be seen in their slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings.” Red Bull gives you wings.

Is Red Bull a market leader? ›

Red Bull was the leading brand within the United States energy drinks market in the 52 weeks ending on May 15, 2021 responsible for almost one half of all sales.
Market share of the leading energy drink brands in the United States in 2022.
CharacteristicMarket share
4 more rows
26 Oct 2022

Is Red Bull the leading energy drink? ›

In the U.S. retail landscape, Red Bull was ranked as leading energy brand in 2019, based on sales.
Leading energy drink brands in the United States in 2022, based on sales (in million U.S. dollars)*
CharacteristicSales in million U.S. dollars
4 more rows
13 Oct 2022

Who is the target market for Red Bull? ›

The target audience for Red Bull is independent professionals with an average to higher income. Red Bull markets their product by appealing to the consumer first, then sales. This brand has grown from being the only energy drink on the market to being in more than 170 countries around the world.

What are Red Bull's greatest strengths? ›

Established in 1987, Red Bull is an established beverage company. Red Bull, who specialized in energy drinks, greatest strength is its unique marketing strategy and alignment with distributers. Its dominance can be attributed to the organization's capacity to focus on its strengths while compensating for weaknesses.

What is Red Bulls competitive advantage? ›

Unlike of many companies of similar sizes, Red Bull is a private company, not a corporation. As such, the management is free from shareholder pressure for short-term profitability and the company's strategy can be directed towards achieving long-term growth of the business.

Who is the target market for energy drinks? ›

In the U.S., energy drinks are the most popular supplements for teens and young adults. The majority of these drinks are consumed by men between 18 and 34. This growth is attributed to increasing awareness and an increase in sports activities among the younger population.

What goal and values are the consumers of Red Bull trying to achieve? ›

Now, the consumers are familiar and consider themselves part of the brand. They want to live an energized life, with lively culture which considers adventure as their main aspect of life. Red Bull give them wings because these people believe they can fly. Red Bull's lifestyle is all about thrill.

How much does Red Bull use on marketing? ›

Red Bull's marketing strategies are a success story of making a specific drink well-known, especially among young people. The brand spends 84% of its profits on marketing.

What is the market value of Red Bull? ›

In 2021, Red Bull had an estimated brand value of 15.99 billion euros, up from 15.11 billion the year prior. The energy drink manufacturer remained Austria's most valuable brand by a significant margin.
Brand value of Red Bull worldwide from 2016 to 2021 (in billion euros)
CharacteristicBrand value in billion euros
5 more rows
14 Oct 2021

How much of the market does Red Bull own? ›

How much market share does Red Bull have? As of 2020, Red Bull had a very strong 43% of the global share of the energy drinks market. With Red Bull and Monster accounting for a whopping 82% combined market share of the global market.

When did Red Bull became popular in the US? ›

In 1987, the company sold its first can of Red Bull in Austria. In 1996 Red Bull began operation in the United States and has seen steady growth ever since.

Who is the leader in energy drinks? ›

Red Bull

Where does Red Bull sell the most? ›

The popular energy drink Red Bull sold 9.8 billion cans in 2021 worldwide, up from just over four billion cans in 2011. Red Bull is one of the most popular energy drinks in the United States, controlling about 42.5 percent of the market.

What is the most effective energy drink on the market? ›

Here is a look at some of the best energy drinks for health:
  • Monster Energy Zero Sugar. Monster Energy Zero Sugar is one of the most popular energy drinks on the market, and for good reason. ...
  • Red Bull Sugarfree. ...
  • Rockstar Zero Carb. ...
  • Amp Energy Original Sugar Free. ...
  • NOS High Performance Energy Drink.
18 Sept 2022

Who are the highest consumers of energy drinks? ›

Men between the ages of 18 and 34 years consume the most energy drinks, and almost one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years drink them regularly. There are two kinds of energy drink products.

Which country consumes the most Red Bull? ›

Red Bull is headquartered in Austria, which is also the country with the highest level of consumption globally.

Who is Red Bull's biggest competitor? ›

Red Bull competitors include PepsiCo, Keurig Dr Pepper, The Coca-Cola Company and Monster Beverage . Red Bull ranks 1st in CEO Score on Comparably vs its competitors.

What is Red Bull most known for? ›

Red Bull is a private company based in Salzburg, Austria, primarily known for its energy drinks and ownership of sports teams.

What is Redbulls unique selling point? ›

The unique selling point of red bull is the energy it gives people. Also it is one of the first energy drinks to come out. Its also the most bought energy drink as it is reliable and actually gives of the energy.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Red Bull? ›

However, this energy drink may also have some risks and side effects that you should be aware of before you drink it. Red Bull side effects can include weight gain, insomnia, tooth decay and possible increased risk of osteoporosis. Red Bull health risks also include interactions with alcohol and some medications.

Why is the energy drink market growing? ›

The global energy drinks market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% through 2030, due to consumers' increasing focus on wellness, endurance and alertness, according to Acumen Research and Consulting.

Why are energy drinks becoming more popular? ›

This has been brought about by a growing focus on fitness and health by consumers. Energy products are sold as a replacement for carbonated beverages. In recent years, thus, the number of people moving away from carbonated drinks to energy drinks has increased significantly.

What is the main objective of energy drinks? ›

Energy drinks are intended to boost your energy, alertness and concentration. People of all ages consume them and they continue to grow in popularity. But some health professionals have warned that energy drinks may have harmful consequences, which has led many people to question their safety.

How does Red Bull make so much money? ›

Beyond sponsorship, Red Bull owns several extreme sporting events including Flugtag (an acrobatic flight competition), the Red Bull Air Races, and teams in multiple sports including F1, NASCAR, soccer, and ice hockey.

Why do people drink Red Bull? ›

They're widely used as an alternative to other caffeinated drinks like coffee to provide an energy boost throughout the day. Red Bull and Monster are similar in many ways but have slightly different ingredients and flavor profiles.

Is Red Bull popular in the USA? ›

Red Bull was first introduced in 1987, by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH. They are the leading energy drink brand in the United States, as of 2021.

How big is the energy drink market in the US? ›

Monster was the second leading energy drink brand in the United States that year, generating sales of 1.76 billion U.S. dollars.
Energy drink sales in the United States from 2017 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
CharacteristicSales in billion U.S. dollars
4 more rows
27 Jul 2022

When did energy drinks become popular in the US? ›

The first energy drink appeared in the U.S. in 1949 and was marketed as “Dr. Enuf”. In Europe, they were launched for the first time in 1987; then the market expanded throughout the world, becoming very popular after the launch of Red Bull in 1997.

How has Red Bull made so much money? ›

They have essentially taken a low-cost, carbonated, caffeinated syrup and made it into a household name. Perhaps the most successful drinks brand since Coca Cola – and Red Bull didn't need cocaine in its recipe to attract customers!

How is Red Bull making money? ›

Red Bull makes money by selling its energy drinks at a massive margin and reinvesting the bulk of its massive profits into its marketing campaigns, Red Bull maintains consumer awareness of its brand, boosting its sales.

Why is Red Bull famous? ›

Thus it is famous for its insane publicity stunts. They sent a man up 128,000 ft above the earth in a small ship and helium balloon and had him free fall out of it. This stunt, commonly known as the Red Bull Stratos Jump ( broke two different world records.

Why is Red Bull doing so well in F1? ›

Red Bull's current straight-line speed advantage gives it “very good protection” over the rest of the Formula 1 teams, according to Ferrari sporting chief Laurent Mekies. Red Bull clinched its first F1 constructors' championship since 2013 after winning Sunday's United States Grand Prix courtesy of Max Verstappen.

How much money does Red Bull spend on marketing? ›

In total, Red Bull spent 1.6 billion euros on sponsorships and advertising in 2020, or about one-quarter of its annual revenue; in years not disrupted by the pandemic, the percentage was closer to 30%. Monster, by contrast, spends around 21% of sales on marketing.

How valuable is the Red Bull brand? ›

In 2021, Red Bull had an estimated brand value of 15.99 billion euros, up from 15.11 billion the year prior. The energy drink manufacturer remained Austria's most valuable brand by a significant margin.
Brand value of Red Bull worldwide from 2016 to 2021 (in billion euros)
CharacteristicBrand value in billion euros
5 more rows
14 Oct 2021

What is Red Bull main business? ›

The Red Bull Energy Company makes money by selling its signature drink, Red Bull. It is a product that meets the needs of its customers. They also profit from the extensive promotion and marketing of the Red Bull energy drink, which promotes sales.

How is Red Bull different from its competitors? ›

Red Bull has a competitive advantage over its competitors

Red Bull has a continual international marketing strategy by sponsoring a variety of great sports to promote a “cool” public image and enhance brand power. The product has remained the top energy drink throughout its growth due its effective marketing strategy.

Who makes more money Red Bull or monster? ›

Red Bull continues to dominate as the energy drink leader, with Monster (original) being the second most popular drink.
Top Selling Energy Drinks 2021 (USA)
Energy Drink BrandSalesChange (Year on Year)
Red Bull Editions 80 mg caffeine - 113 calories - 8.46 fl oz$594,059,197+111.7%
4 more rows
20 Mar 2022

Why do people prefer Red Bull? ›

Red Bull utilizes its caffeine, sugar, and taurine components to boost your physical and mental energy. In addition to the caffeine and taurine in Red Bull, it also has B vitamins, which offer a short-term energy boost for it helps the body convert carbohydrates from the food you eat into glucose.

What country is Red Bull most popular in? ›

Red Bull | Company Overview & News. The brand that gives you wings sold 6.8 billion cans, up 8%, across 171 countries in 2018. Top growth markets included India (+30%), Brazil (+22%) and Eastern Europe (+22%).

Why is Red Bull so fast 2022? ›

This is because at the rear, Red Bull has more space than the other teams, allowing the possibility of dropping down. ''When stationary, the Red Bull has the highest ground clearance at the rear, and the lowest at high speeds,'' Mercedes engineers told AMuS.

How much do Red Bull pay their F1 drivers? ›

As you might expect, Lewis Hamilton is estimated to have the largest salary of the F1 drivers on the current grid. The seven-time world champion featured in 8th on Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in 2021.
F1 driver salaries in 2022.
DriverMax Verstappen
TeamRed Bull
Salary (GBP £)£20m
Salary (USD $)$25m
19 more columns
5 May 2022

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Golda Nolan II

Last Updated:

Views: 5685

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Golda Nolan II

Birthday: 1998-05-14

Address: Suite 369 9754 Roberts Pines, West Benitaburgh, NM 69180-7958

Phone: +522993866487

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Shopping, Quilting, Cooking, Homebrewing, Leather crafting, Pet

Introduction: My name is Golda Nolan II, I am a thoughtful, clever, cute, jolly, brave, powerful, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.