- Brand Audit Objectives, Scope, and Approach
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- Background of the Brand
- Industry Background
- Consumer Analysis
- Brand Inventory
- Brand Elements
- POPs and PODs
- Brand Portfolio Analysis
- Competitors’ Brand Inventory
- Strengths and Weaknesses
- Brand Exploratory
- Brand Equity Evaluation
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Brand Audit Objectives, Scope, and Approach
A brand audit stands for a precise analysis of brand’s present position in the selected industry as compared to brand’s competitors. In fact, when a company conducts a brand audit, the major objective is to uncover company’s strengths, deficiencies, the most appropriate and suitable market possibilities, external risks, future profitability, and the company’s competitive position as compared to major existing competitors. Therefore, a brand audit helps in establishing strategic constituents, which are required for the enhancement of brand position and competitive possibilities in the selected industry. Thus, after completing brand audit a company, which appears to have a solid fiscal performance and market position, can be considered as more probable to have an appropriately and efficiently conceived and executed brand strategy. Thus, brand audit helps in defining whether a business market share has been elevating, reducing, or unchanged. It also defines whether a company’s profit margin increases or decreases, as well as its level as compared to major established competitors. Moreover, it also helps in analyzing the company’s image and reputation regarding the company’s consumers. Hence, it helps to show whether the company is viewed and perceived as an industry leader in offering the product. The major approach of brand audit concerns analyzing whether the company’s resources can be viewed as competitive liabilities or competitive assets. It allows analyzing whether the company is capable of maintaining a distinctive competence, providing it with a possibility to create and amplify its competitive advantage.
Background of the Brand
Being a global leader in the industry of energy drinks, Red Bull was launched by D. Mateschitz in 1984 (Red Bull 2016). Creation of the brand was inspired by the Thai energy drink, but it was adjusted to tastes of the target population through changing some ingredients. This allowed to establish an entirely new drink, stimulating origin of a completely innovative product group. The major objective of Red Bull stands for the possibility of becoming a premier supplier and marketer of Red Bull on a global basis (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). In accordance with the current figures, Red Bull has been capable of marketing more than 40 billion of cans around the globe since 1987 (Red Bull 2016). The company segments its market based on psychographic variables, including lifestyle. The company targets consumers who appear to be physically or mentally fatigued and require additional energy in order to sustain their active lifestyle. Moreover, the company positions itself in the form of functional drinks, having a marketing proposition of enhancing mental and physical concentration (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). Red Bull promotes its products using two effective and easy-to-remember slogans, including “Red Bull vitalizes body and mind” and “Red Bull gives you wings” (Red Bull 2016). The company’s success can be explained with the company’s buzz marketing, which is aimed mainly at generating the overall brand awareness. In fact, the company’s success in regards to the energy drink market has driven a lot of attention of giant cola companies, including Coca-Cola, which actually started launching and introducing analogous or similar drinks (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). Regardless of the progressively competitive setting, the company has been capable of sustaining its dominant position in the majority of countries. This can be explained by the fact that this company is the first industry mover as it actually created the energy drink industry. Having this benefit, the company has been capable of retaining market dominance and achieving higher results with account for the industry profitability. Moreover, the company has been constantly engaging in the line extensions, which helps it with sustaining leading positions through introduction of innovative products, including Red Bull Cola, Red Bull Sugar Free, and Red Bull Energy Shot (Red Bull products 2016).
Energy drinks industry appears to be a constituent of a wider non-alcoholic soft and functional drinks category. Analysis of global sales demonstrates that the industry has reached the level of approximately $50 billion (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). Sales continue growing rapidly, especially in such marketplaces as the U.S., Brazil, and China together with a number of several other emerging markets (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). The facts demonstrate that Thailand and Japan are considered to have the longest history of energy drinks. In regards to Europe, they have been originally introduced in the form of a coffee alternative. Nevertheless, the industry in general and the market in particular have seen a solid increase, specifically because of the launch of Red Bull products. In fact, this successful establishment has created a fundamental ground for launching numerous beverage companies, encompassing such well-known brands as Pepsi and Coco-Cola. Nonetheless, Red Bull remains the market leader as its market share accounts for about 67 percent (Red Bull 2016).
Major consumers fall in the category of under 35 years old and are predominantly male (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). In addition, teenagers and college students are main target market segments. Energy drinks characterized by high levels of sugar appear to be highly preferred among females and children, while strong flavor and taste drinks are the most popular among males. The present figures demonstrate that male consumers account for approximately 60 percent of the energy drinks market (Costa, Hayley & Miller 2014). Despite the fact that athletes appeared to be major consumers of energy drinks at the beginning of the industry development, growth and expansion of the market have led to the creation of numerous niches, disrupting the leading position of athletes as the primary target. Thus, the present tendencies reveal that the major part of energy drinks appear to be targeted at young adults and teenagers within the age range of 18-35 years as they are characterized by on-the-go lifestyles and responsiveness to energy drinks advertisements (Costa, Hayley & Miller 2014).
The company’s logo, which is made of two red opposing bulls with a yellow sun in the background, is an important brand element. It seems to be the personification of energy, power, life, and strength, which the company’s product is claimed to provide. Slogans standing for the second brand element, which are combined with TV advertisements, help in creating the perception of fun, thereby enhancing likeability of the product. The slogans and advertisements stimulate the company’s customers to have fun and lead an interesting and intensive lifestyle. In addition, different packaging, which stands for the third brand element, vividly differentiates the product from other typical beverages, helping to formulate an exceptional marketing offer. The combination of these brand constituents help in formulating a precise and consistent identification of the Red Bull brand, thus enhancing customers’ associations with the product.
POPs and PODs
The company proposes carbonated drinks and sweet taste to create the POP category. Due to the fact that such brands as Burn, Monster SoBe, XXX, and the like have entered the market, the company has lost its POD of being a functional beverage (Red Bull 2016). Nonetheless, since the analyzed company has a solidly creditworthy brand profile, it has been capable of achieving assertive customer estimations and reviews. Thus, the company’s PODs encompass credible brand profile, medicine-resembling flavor and taste, premium price, and unique imagery (Costa, Hayley & Miller 2014). Exceptional taste of the product, which is associated only with Red Bull, helps company’s customers to associate the product with refreshment. In addition, a premium pricing strategy provides customers with understanding that this product might be viewed as more efficient for body energy stimulation than products of other brands.
Brand Portfolio Analysis
Red Bull utilizes a family of brands in order to maximize the overall coverage and minimize overlapping across discrepant categories. Thus, major products, which are incorporated in the company’s portfolio, include Red Bull Energy, Red Bull Sugar free, Red Bull Cola, and Red Bull Energy Shots. The functional drink is provided in two different sizes, which are 355 ml and 250 ml cans (Red Bull products 2016). All portfolio drinks help in enhancing concentration, performance, productivity, reaction speed, while ensuring mental alertness and stimulating metabolism (Kotler et al. 2013).
Competitors’ Brand Inventory
Monster brand is one of the biggest Red Bull competitors. Its major brand element stands for the company’s logo depicting three green claws, which formulate the M letter (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). This stylized logo attracts consumers’ attention as it seems that monster’s claw rips through the black can. Nonetheless, the analysis demonstrates that this is not the best logo choice as some consumers believe that it resembles three Hebrew vavs, standing for the number 666 (vav means six), thereby making it a satanic beverage (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). This belief is amplified by the second brand element, which is the slogan “Unleash the beast” (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). Despite the fact that the slogan perfectly suits the company’s logo and reveals the possibility of the product to energize consumers, it does not stimulate likeability of the brand. Nonetheless, this brand is not actually as broadly advertised as Red Bull and can obtain significant recognition only from sponsorship of sports events (mainly extreme sports) (Grohs & Reisinger 2014). The company’s POPs include target group position with consumers being aged 18-30 years, caffeinated drink category, and adherence to the BTL strategy similarly to Red Bull (Heckman, Sherry & Mejia 2014). The major POD concerns the lower price range.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The first strength stands for market leadership as Red Bull is the industry leader on a global basis. The second one concerns marketing campaigns since the company utilizes numerous promotions, which are combined with sufficiently targeted sponsorships and campaigns that appeal to the main customer group (Grohs & Reisinger 2014). Slogan of the brand assists in promoting the product, while sponsorship of sport events (Formula 1, BMX, etc.) assists with increasing brand awareness. Finally, the company is characterized by a fashionable, solid, and fresh brand identity.
Nonetheless, there are several weaknesses. Firstly, the product prices are higher as compared to the average ones. Secondly, the company depends on a small product basis as it sells merely one branded product, which is the energy drink with several variations such as sugar free beverage. It makes the company vulnerable to market fluctuations, particularly due to the fact that sports and energy drink group can be considered as the smallest sector on the soft drinks market. Thus, Red Bull’s consumers might shift to healthier alternatives, especially because of the fact that this drink is forbidden in some countries based on the of elevated caffeine content (Berger, Fendrich & Fuhrmann 2013). Finally, the company launches expensive marketing campaigns to promote the product line.
There are a number of positive and negative associations with the brand. In regards to positive associations, the analysis demonstrates that Red Bull appears to have a solid association with relaxation and partying. Secondly, there is a strong association with energy stimulations, meaning that the product is consumed by people suffering from fatigue. Thirdly, there is a significant association with a decreased or low-calorie content, especially with respect to Red Bull Sugar free product. Fourthly, the targeted group ignores possible health risks because of their young age. In regards to sponsorships, Red Bull appears to have solid associations with campaigns, well-known sport events, and prominent celebrities participating in these sport events. Nevertheless, there are also some negative associations. Thus, firstly, there are some negative associations connected with color of the drink. Secondly, the product has high premium prices. Thirdly, it does not have an equal boosting effect on all consumers. Finally, it is associated with solid health hazards because people frequently mix it with alcohol (Berger, Fendrich & Fuhrmann 2013).
Brand Equity Evaluation
The company’s brand equity stands for solid, favorable, and exceptional brand associations (Aaker 1991). The analysis of brand awareness demonstrates that it is based on recalls and recognitions. In fact, purchasing decisions are made during the actual purchase process, while brand elements, including logo, slogan, and packaging may be seen as significant agents. If purchasing decisions are made before people come to purchase locations, then the brand recalling is known as primarily essential. The facts demonstrate that brand awareness is the highest for the analyzed industry. Thus, brand elements are major factors to which any brand associations are attached. Analysis of the company’s brand loyalty demonstrates that the biggest percentage of company’s customers includes loyal customers as only 16 percent purchased products of some other brand. In addition, the targeted core category is the most loyal as the majority of Red Bull customers are of the age between 18 and 34 years. Moreover, advertisements conducted with engagement of celebrities and sport events help in enhancing the company’s brand loyalty even more. This actually helps to create brand awareness and attract new consumers. The analysis of perceived quality demonstrates that customers understand the company’s emphasis on quality and not quantity based on the premium price of the product. In fact, perceived quality of the brand incorporates three major constituents, including product caliber, high-end pricing, and original packaging. These are the elements that are different for all brands and provide it with a leading position, as well as enhancing the overall interest in the product. Finally, the primary brand association concerns extreme sport activities, including mainly Formula 1 and BMX. These associations assist with processing and retrieving data and provide customers with additional reasons to choose this specific product.
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The above-mentioned analysis helps to understand that Red Bull should consider offering cheaper energy products as it will help in expanding the scope in emerging markets, while attracting more customers in the existing ones. Thus, products should be adjusted to each country in order to build solid positive associations with the brand. Due to the fact that new market entrants are improbable, the company might consider developing the non-cola carbonates sector as it seems to be successful for the product expansion. It can be combined with geographical expansion as the latter will help enhance influence in emerging markets. Moreover, establishment of operations requires utilization of innovative strategies, which will suit new markets, while amalgamating brand awareness, brand loyalty, and product selection. In addition, expansion of the brand product portfolio with a view to offering some healthier alternatives will help the company with broadening the current target group and improving its overall brand perception as an all-purpose beverage. In fact, healthier alternatives are necessary as the public health concerns caused by consumption of energy drinks have been increasingly emerging. Therefore, the company might consider development of organic energy drinks since its current consumers have been shifting towards health-conscious lifestyles. This will help the company in dealing with the existing customers’ hostile oppression, while providing more opportunities for its future development and enhancement of brand loyalty.
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