Red Bull has come to be the most popular energy drink around the globe. This has been attributed by the fact that the company was among the pioneers in this industry hence had the ability to attain a substantial market share. However, the consumption of the product is declining due to health factors associated with its contents. Opportunities available for Red Bull are the increased consumption of energy drinks in Africa and Middle East. Major threats are emanating from competition being posed by other companies involved in the industry. In its new IMC, Red Bull should try and target the emerging markets and the female segment which has been neglected since the product’s introduction into the market. Long-term marketing objectives should involve establishment of consumer loyalty in all the markets of operation. IMC objectives on the other hand, should aim at delivering a new product image. This would be in terms of its enhancement of brain energy, reduced prices, increased health benefits, natural ingredients, multi flavors and high quality. In the marketing strategies, the company needs to pay attention on the 4 Ps of the marketing mix. They will be vital for effective formulation. Red Bull’s major elements of IMC should include branding, corporate image, advertising, promotional tools, media selection and public relations. The copy platform will involve defining the product clearly and in concise terms. On creative strategies, while targeting the female segment it should try and show women consuming the product as a substitute of other energy supplements in advertisements. For evaluation purposes, the company needs to have a thorough review on its strategies.
Red Bull is the most popular energy drink in the world. In 2011, the product had registered a sales value of 4.6 billion cans (Smith, 2013). The product’s success can be derived from the company’s transformation whereby it has been involved in sponsorships hence making the brand appeal to many consumers. The strong success achieved by the product can also be attributed to the IMC plan encompassed in its promotion (Blakeman, 2009). However, in recent times, Red Bull has reduced its value as a product. Among the key contributories to this occurrence is controversy regarding the health concerns of the product. In countries such as Denmark and France, the product has been banned due to high levels of caffeine and taurine. Benefits associated with the product do not fit in new trends that focus on being healthy, natural, boosting brain and memory intelligence and lowering depression among others. To a greater extent, the product might not be appealing to future generations.
Among the strengths that Red Bull enjoys is being a leader in the energy drink industry for a long time. This was made a possibility since it was the pioneer hence attained a substantial market share before the competitors came in. The product also has a diverse international network that involves several subsidiaries that are well developed. This helps in moving the products all over the world on favorable costs. The company is also involved in numerous targeted campaigns, promotions and sponsorships. All these are significant in expanding the brand and developing consumer awareness (Buchholz, 2011).
Among the weaknesses is that the prices involved with the product are above average compared to other products in the market. This might hinder the success of the product in countries that have low economical stance. Being a private company also hinders the sources of capital available, which is very significant for international expansion. The product is also losing its value due to recent health controversies involved. Having benefits that are coined on obsolete trends also pose as a weakness since it hinders future prospects. This occurrence gives competitors such as Pepsi with their AMP product a cutting edge.
The energy drink industry is expanding significantly in African and Asian countries. Between 2007 and 2011, the growth rate was estimated to be around 25% (Smith, 2013). If Red Bull devised appropriate strategies, it would increase its market share. Cultural shifts whereby people are more into losing weight and having various body shapes also create an opportunity for Red Bull. This would happen if the company introduced other brands with low calorie and sugar free.
The major threat is the substitutes that are available in the market. Among them is Hansens Natural, Rockstar from Coca-Cola, AMP from Pepsi among others. The more these products prevail in the market, the lesser the market share Red Bull enjoys.
Market and Consumer Behavior Analysis
Recently, Red Bull has faced many controversies due to its addictive drug infused components that have negative health implications. This has resulted to the product being banned in some European countries. The main consumers of the product are young people who are often exposed to insufficient energy and exhaustion. This involves more of the teenagers and individuals in their 20s who are likely to believe the hype that comes with energy drinks. As a result, most promotional campaigns are directed towards the younger generation. However, consumer power is diminishing due to low switching cost, health issues and many substitutes (Olson, & López, 2009).
The main competitors that can be considered in the industry include AMP by Pepsi, Power Horse by Heineken and Bum by Coca-Cola. Red Bull has controlled more than 50% of the market share since early 2000. It has been able to maintain the control through heavy event sponsorship and advertising. However, this aspect might change in future. This is due to strategies being adopted by companies like Pepsi in modification of their AMP product. Several measures have been taken to ensure various health aspects hence making it favorable among many consumers. The product’s caffeine and taurine levels are low compared to those of Red Bull. The product is also facing massive competition from carbonated soft drinks such as coke, Pepsi and Schweppes based in Australia among others.
Among the key ingredients involved with the product is taurine and caffeine. Caffeine is recognized for its stimulating effects on both physical and mental functions such as reaction speed, alertness, endurance, performance and concentration. Taurine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. It normally acts as a detoxifying agent and serves other neurological functions. The product also contains group B vitamins that are relevant for energy metabolism. They have positive impact on physical and mental performance. Presence of glucose and sucrose also help in generation of energy. Alpine spring water is a natural ingredient the product.
Target Market and Audience
Red Bull should try and make the best out of the African and Middle Eastern countries. These two regions have shown significant growth in consumption of energy drinks. With such markets, none of the key players in the industry has already captured a substantial share. Red Bull should try and move in with vigor before its competitors have the chance of taking this advantage. To succeed in these markets, it should change its operational aspects slightly. Most of the countries involved here, are at the developing stage. This makes them price and size sensitive. As a result, Red Bull should adjust its prices and consider increasing its can sizes in order to attract as many consumers as possible (Onkvisit & Shaw, 2009).
New target groups for Red Bull should be sorted out. The company should use new product versions and values to help in this realization. Among the audience to be targeted includes the young generation who are always in need of differentiation. Career driven women, who are ardent in fashion and desire other benefits like slim making, vitamins and long lasting energy. Based on many females who have been interviewed before, the current Red Bull has more of a male image. Having a new package that portrays a softer image coupled with other flavors would be an attraction to women. The product should also target ambitious nerdy students in desire of brain energy. The students might not have the purchasing power, but their parents can be targeted through efficient personal selling.
Red Bull’s marketing objective should be both long-term and short-term. Among the short-term objectives, is taking advantage of positive press regarding health benefits based on the new product versions being generated, some of which are sugar free and have reduced levels of taurine and caffeine. It would be advisable that the company focuses on recent studies that show how this product can benefit the brain in its advertising conquest.
Long term objectives would entail establishing consumer loyalty whereby the products will become the major choice for anyone in need of quenching their thirst. This will be attained by improving the health benefits, fixing reasonable prices and having differentiated flavors. The company should also make research and development a key priority in order to help this realization due to the improvements that will be attained (Starbard, 2008).
IMC objectives would entail delivering a new product image. This would be in terms of its enhancement of brain energy, reduced prices, increased health benefits, natural ingredients, multi flavors and high quality. A new message should be delivered to consumers, and should include the improved offerings of the product. It would be effective in providing a powerful advertising slogan.
Under this scope, the company should concentrate on those markets that have not been fully exploited. The only way to achieve success in such markets is by creating awareness to the relevant consumers. The slogan involved with the new offerings in the product should be highly used to meet this objective. For markets where the product has already succeeded, the media should be used to remind the consumers of its existence and the favorable changes that have been made.
Strategies and Programs
This should be dependent on the 4 Ps of marketing. For the product, all the benefits emanating with it should be outlined. There should be changes in packaging and elements involved in order to attract new consumers. On the price aspect, the company should use both penetration and skimming strategies. With penetration, the company can set low prices while entering a new market and then increase the price as the demand increases. Place will involve intensive distribution of the product all over the world in its desired locations. Consumers should have it whenever they need it regardless of their geographical location. For the promotional aspect, a strong and positive slogan should be adopted. It should entail all the good things coming with the product (Starbard, 2008).
IMC strategies and programs
Red Bull’s major elements of IMC should include branding, corporate image, advertising, promotional tools, media selection and public relations.
The copy platform will involve defining the product clearly and in concise terms. This will entail articulating the market involved, demand and the needs it will serve on consumers. This will be followed by articulating a clear mission, slogan and definition. This is the point where the company will determine the message to be delivered to consumers. The company should then set goals on the copy platform with specific targets like targeted lead generation and certain conversion rates (Duncan, 2010).
Red Bull is a mature brand, and while targeting the female segment it should try and show women consuming the product as a substitute of other energy supplements in advertisements. These ads should create a distinction between dull women, average, vibrant and successful Red Bull drinkers. This will highlight to consumers on how it can fit in their busy lifestyle (Blakeman, 2011).
The company should communicate how the product can be used to restore mental awareness, provides brain energy among others. This will intrigue potential consumers and prompt them to consume the product.
Spearheading a new slogan that entails the improvements in the product will be effective too. This will work particularly to those consumers that have been skeptic before based on media reports. Humor should also be used to stress the advantages of the product compared to those of competitors.
When it comes to media strategies, TV and magazines should be given priority. This is due to the appeal they are likely to generate and geographical coverage.
For evaluation purposes, the management should review the first month of operation and see whether the marketing objectives and goals are heading in the right direction. This will help in analyzing the expected and actual performance.
There will be need for checking continuous performance compared to the annual plan and then taking corrective measures if need be. This helps in determining the sales level and profitability of the product. The company needs to go a step further and evaluate whether basic strategies are matched to the current opportunities in the market. This is because some strategies and programs can become outdated very quickly (Guinn, Allen & Semenik, 2012).