In an effort to promote Interaction 2017, The Taylor Institute’s thought leadership event taking place on May 19th, Where Theory Meets Practice will be posting articles featuring brands and companies that market their products globally. The theme of Interaction 2017 is Direct Marketing to a Global Audience.

Did you know Red Bull is headquartered in Austria?! Yup – and I am sure not a lot of people know that

Red Bull does such an amazing job marketing globally, that you wouldn’t expect them to be headquartered in Austria. Red Bull isn’t just an energy drink either. They also have a hand in professional sports (soccer, hockey, extreme sports), sponsorships, music, and other media. The Red Bull brand is everywhere.

Red Bull’s brand is what drives this company. Do you remember when they sponsored the highest ever free-fall parachute jump from 24 miles above the Earth? Red Bull is all about extreme adventures. Hence their motto, “Red Bull gives you wings.”

Fun fact: Red Bull employees have been reimbursed for taking flying lessons.

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In the 2013 article for Forbes, the author indicated that company culture heavily influences its marketing, “This adventurous spirit is a reflection of Red Bull’s freewheeling corporate culture that has enabled the company to build an enviable performance record over the last 25 years.” And later stated, “More than just another global brand, Red Bull’s runaway success also spawned an entirely new category in the global F&B market: the energy drink.”

So how did Red Bull blow up globally? The first move was a guerilla marketing campaign. Red Bull utilized “Red Bull Girls” to hand out free drinks to college students. This strategy was wildly successful, resulting in a rapid increase in sales. So, when you’re cramming for that exam, grab a Red Bull to help keep you focused all night.

Red Bull has since become known for its crazy marketing strategies targeting young urban professionals through various sports and entertainment based marketing campaigns.

By connecting to extreme sports, Red Bull gives off an exciting image to customers. Red Bull’s brand resonates with its target audience, another key to their success.

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Red Bull is so widely popular in Sports and Entertainment. They own the following pro sports teams: Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso, New York Red Bulls, FC Red Bull Salzburg, RB Leipzig, Red Bull Brasil, EHC München, EC Red Bull Salzburg, and Red Bull Ghana. In addition to generating revenue from all of these brands, they make energy drinks too. Oh and let’s not forget their media. The graphic below shows what media properties they own under the brand umbrella.

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Red Bull’s take on marketing is why I think they’re one of the best global brands. With only minimal traditional advertising, they prefer to interact and reach out to their main demographic market in researched and more targeted efforts. As a huge soccer fan, they caught my attention when they introduced the local MLS team, the New York Red Bulls. And they caught my attention again when the media was promoting the rapid success of RB Leipzig, the German soccer team.

Another huge association with the Red Bull brand is through extreme sports. Their sponsorships and participation in extreme sporting events are widely recognized. They also broadcast their events online and on TV with the Red Bull Signature Series partnership with NBC. Red Bull’s branding efforts through extreme sports transport viewers to both the BMX track and the snowy peaks of Europe.

Red Bull is just one of many companies who excel at marketing their products to a global audience. In an effort to help local marketers learn about other successful companies that have made the leap in marketing outside of the US, The Taylor Institute is hosting its annual thought leadership event, Interaction 2017, with the theme of Marketing to a Global Audience. Interaction 2017 will feature speakers that are experts in this area, including Karen Haefling, VP of Marketing at Vitamix and Dr. Andrew Thomas, professor of International Business at UAkron. The third speaker is Ivana Nikolik, Deputy CEO for the Agency for Foreign Investments & Export Promotion for the Republic of Macedonia. To learn more about global marketing, come to Interaction 17 on May 19th. For more information, click here.