Decoding the Branding Formula Behind the Red Bull Brand and Logo

In the world of branding, some ideas give you wings. And you wish you could stumble upon such ideas more often! We’re going to talk about a global brand that brings a whole lot of such branding ideas. And the promise of giving your wings too! If that phrase alone made of think of a brand already, there you have it. A live example of the impact of successful branding. 

Yes, we’re talking about the Red Bull brand. 

In this blog, we’ll dive headfirst into the dynamic world of Red Bull and dissect the ingenious branding strategies that have propelled it to greatness. We’ll discuss the three most distinctive brand identifiers namely the Red Bull logo, the signature blue can, and the unforgettable slogan. 

But that’s not all. We’ll also be taking a quick look at some of the iconic marketing campaigns that have helped shape the Red Bull brand. Shall we begin? 

Red Bull – a quick glimpse into its origins

Before we talk about the Red Bull brand as it is today, let’s travel back in time and look at how it all began.

In 1976, Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya created an energy drink sold under the name  Krating Daeng. Back then the drink was localized and the energy drink market in the U.S. and the rest of the world had still not developed much. 

In the 1980s, Dietrich Mateschitz stumbled upon Krating Daeng and was amazed at how it instantly revived him from his jet lag. He recognized an opportunity to introduce this elixir of energy to a Western audience. That was how the idea of Red Bull was born. Dietrich Mateschitz co-founded the Red Bull brand along with Chaleo Yoovidhya with subtle changes to the formula of Krating Daeng. 

Did you know that Krating Daeng in Thai translates to “Red Bull”? Hence the brand name for the international audience! 

With its distinct flavor and a marketing approach that defied convention, Red Bull took flight. Fast forward to 3 decades later – Red Bull was valued at an estimated 16.96 billion euros in 2022.

So, how did this happen? Sponsorships of extreme sports events, daredevil stunts, and of course, a strong brand identity. Let’s now talk about the three distinct brand identifiers of the Red Bull brand. 

The Red Bull logo – the secret behind the timeless emblem 

For Red Bull, the passage of three decades has been marked by one remarkable constant – its iconic logo. Unwavering and resolute, it serves as a testament to a brand that always knew its destination from the very beginning.

The clarity of purpose and vision that Red Bull possessed from its inception is strikingly evident in its timeless logo. The Red Bull logo has remained the same since the day the brand was launched. Over time, it has firmly imprinted itself in the hearts and minds of its customers, creating a lasting mark that extends far beyond geographical boundaries.

Now let’s dive deeper into the design aspects of the Red Bull logo. The design exudes power at first glance but its details add more strength to it. 

A story in symbolism 

What better way to represent “energy” than with a pair of raging bulls in “red”?! This dynamic symbol not only signifies the brand’s promise but also ingeniously visualizes the very name “Red Bull.”

Moreover, the choice of bulls is a subtle nod to Thai culture, seamlessly blending cultural heritage with the brand’s core identity. Want to hear something even cooler? Take a closer look at the overall shape that the bulls and the yellow circle together form. Do you notice a bull’s head? Genius design, right? 

KIMP Tip: The above interpretation of the logo and the overall aesthetic appeal provide valuable lessons in visual balance. So, that’s one design principle to prioritize in logo design. 

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Colors that amplify the effect 

The Red Bull logo’s vibrant color palette is equally impactful. Yellow and red are contrasting colors that when combined bring forth a lot of energy and excitement. This duo ensures that the logo stands out boldly in the crowded aisles filled with energy drinks, making it instantly recognizable to consumers seeking that energy boost.

Furthermore, the colors contrast beautifully against the signature blue can backdrop as well. So, it’s hard to miss the Red Bull logo no matter where it appears. 

Moving on to the next unique element of the Red Bull brand – the iconic blue can packaging. 

The Red Bull blue can 

When it comes to packaging, Red Bull has mastered the art of creating a distinctive and memorable presence on the shelves. The signature blue cans have become synonymous with the Red Bull brand. Their design is so striking that even from a distance, they are immediately identifiable, serving as a visual reminder of the brand. 

What sets Red Bull’s packaging apart is not just the design but the unwavering commitment to maintaining consistency over the years. Across its marketing materials, the brand has continued to feature this iconic can making it an integral component of the brand identity. 

As a result, even with the brand diversifying slightly and adding more flavors to its energy drink lineup, the blue cans hold a special place. Today, this well-recognized design is used in the classic Red Bull while the other flavors come in cans of different colors. 

The Red Bull brand slogan 

Most people cannot think of the name “Red Bull” without remembering its iconic slogan – “Red Bull Gives You Wings”! 

With a slogan recognition rate of about 59.3%, the Red Bull brand slogan is one of the most popular in the world. 

The slogan was introduced in the Red Bull brand’s marketing campaigns in the 1990s. The idea was to metaphorically convey that the drink makes you feel energized – it uplifts you.  

However, it is this very slogan that landed the brand in a $13 million lawsuit on claims of false advertising. After the lawsuit was settled, the brand continued to use its slogan but in most marketing materials the word “wings” appears with 3 i’s as “Red Bull Gives You Wiiings”. 

Despite the rollercoaster ride that the Red Bull brand slogan has survived, it still remains a key element of the brand. 

As we discussed before, the Red Bull logo, slogan, and blue did not gain command over the market overnight. Their growth and the brand’s popularity stem from consistent marketing efforts. While the brand does adopt various conventional ways like event sponsorships and celebrity collaborations, it is the strategic twists the brand adds that make these ideas special. Let’s look at a few of them. 

Best Red Bull marketing initiatives + marketing lessons 

From extreme sports to daring feats, Red Bull’s marketing journey is as exhilarating as the energy rush it promises. So, what are some of the most inspiring and unique marketing initiatives that have helped the brand stand out in rapidly growing competition? Let’s find out. 

1. Red Bull Stratos – lessons in creating hype 

In 2012, Red Bull orchestrated a heart-pounding spectacle that would not only go down in history but also set a new standard for marketing ingenuity. Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s daring mission, known as “Red Bull Stratos,” involved a freefall from the stratosphere from a height of 128,000 feet above Earth’s surface. 

This bold event created more than just a world record; it exemplified Red Bull’s commitment to extreme sports and pushing the boundaries of human potential. Without a doubt, the stunt also gave a huge boost to the Red Bull brand image. 

In those electrifying moments, as viewers watched Felix plummet from the edge of space, the Red Bull brand became an inseparable part of the experience. The colors that adorned the can in their hands were the same colors appearing on Felix Baumgartner’s helmet too. To those familiar with the brand, this was a moment of brand recognition and to others, this was a moment of getting introduced to the brand. 

KIMP Tip: Creating a recognizable and memorable logo, as you can see, helps put your brand in the right spot in such crucial campaigns. 

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2. Red Bull Rampage – lessons in sustained customer engagement 

The Red Bull Rampage event is another great example of the unshakeable bond between the Red Bull brand and extreme sports. Held annually in the heart of the Utah desert, this is a hair-raising freeride mountain biking competition. It isn’t just about showcasing jaw-dropping stunts, it’s a masterclass in marketing.

Red Bull keeps its audience updated about upcoming Rampage events and shares glimpses of past events or preparations for upcoming ones. This is valuable social media content that boosts the brand’s presence on social media. Additionally, by featuring the participants, it also expands its brand visibility. 

Besides all these benefits, the fact that this is an annual event creates an opportunity for sustained engagement for the brand. It gives customers something exciting to look forward to every year. 

3. Red Bull Flugtag – lessons in creating a viral potential 

Letting your customers drive your brand image is a good way to propel your brand and Red Bull definitely knows the knack of it. The brand does this by allowing customers to feel acknowledged – by creating a platform for them to exhibit their talents. Among the many campaigns of Red Bull that do this, one of the most popular is the Red Bull Flugtag. This event lets participants showcase their talent in crafting human-powered flying machines.

The event truly does add a whole new meaning to the Red Bull brand slogan, don’t you agree? 

You do not come across events like these very often and that too at such scale! The kind of media coverage the event gets for the Red Bull brand is proof of the viral potential of this idea. After all, every brand needs a few campaigns with viral potential

4. Destination Red Bull – lessons in fostering strong communities 

While the energy-drink brand side of Red Bull is very popular, there is a different side to the brand – one that caters to creating unforgettable travel experiences. Yes, we are talking about the Destination Red Bull experience. 

Destination Red Bull offers a set of curated travel experiences for the adventure-seekers. These are no common travel experiences – they even allow travelers to get up close with their favorite Olympic medalists and fellow thrill seekers. From surfing with the pros to training with world champions in sailing – the experiences offered are quite distinctive. 

So what does Destination Red Bull offer to the Red Bull Brand? A community of adventure lovers! This community also helps in increasing the word-of-mouth marketing for the brand. 

5. Red Bull Student Marketeer – lessons in cultivating brand ambassadors 

Beyond its energizing beverages and adventurous campaigns, Red Bull has tapped into the power of youth and education through its Student Marketeer Program. 

Have you ever watched an ad from your favorite brand and wished it had a different narrative? What if you could get a chance to rewrite the brand’s creatives, its ads? That’s precisely the kind of benefit that Red Bull offers through its Student Marketeer program. 

While the brand benefits from fresh perspectives and expansive marketing campaigns, students get back in the form of professional experience. Therefore, it’s a win-win.  

This marketing initiative of the Red Bull brand is so effective that there are currently more than 4,000 student marketeers around the world. 

What makes this program so impactful for the Red Bull brand? It’s all about creating a network of enthusiastic brand ambassadors. Turning your customers into brand ambassadors is the most effective marketing strategy indeed. 

Supercharge your branding with KIMP’s design team + Red Bull-inspired ideas

From creating hype for the brand to opening up the opportunity to go viral, building communities to nurturing brand ambassadors, the Red Bull brand initiatives give various branding and marketing lessons. But as you can see, the brand actively adopts various marketing channels like social media and online advertising to keep these initiatives alive. 

In conclusion – you consistently need on-brand cohesive visuals to represent your brand in all your campaigns. That’s when the results are truly aligned with your objectives. Having a dedicated design team working on all your campaigns is one way to make this happen. That’s exactly what you get when you sign up for an unlimited design service like KIMP

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