Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Error Free Red Bull Branding

Luiz Pagano at the Red Bull Global Headquarters in Fuschl am See, Austria - ft business prs

Red Bull's branding was so well-crafted that it seems to have been created with the help of a crystal ball.

In the early days here in Brazil, I was part of the team responsible for the successful introduction of Red Bull into the market, serving as the first on-premise manager, overseeing establishments such as bars, clubs, and restaurants where beverages are acquired and consumed on-site. At that time, the energy drink market was already well-developed, with significant investments from brands like Flash Power, a company I had worked with from 1997 to 1999 as part of an outsourced team, and Flying Horse.

Facing intense competition, our challenge was to create an introduction strategy in the Brazilian market as creative and powerful as those developed in Austria for the brand's creation. At that time, Red Bull's distribution in Brazil was coordinated by the Madasa company, which held the distribution contract, while Red Bull itself managed marketing strategies.

One of the first Red Bull Vending Machines april, 1999

In April 1999, we traveled to Austria with a team of over 40 employees for marketing training. 

Brazil was a highly valuable market, and the transmission of strategies could not afford deviations like those that occur in the "Chinese whispers" game.

Our goal was not only to introduce the brand but also to ensure a lasting competitive advantage in a highly competitive market. This mission demanded creativity, innovation, and a deep understanding of the local market, resulting in the solid establishment of Red Bull in Brazil, a trajectory that continues successfully to this day. 

The creation and distribution of high-quality content are also key elements of Red Bull's marketing strategy, including press releases, formal news, customer stories, and later, with the advent of more sophisticated social media from 2000 to 2010, blogs and YouTube channels with thousands of videos, further strengthening the connection with its target audience.

Founded in 1987 in Austria, Red Bull quickly became the creator and leading company in the energy drink market, boosting the brand's value through brilliant marketing strategies, reaching an impressive global market share of 38% in 2020 (which was once over 80% in the early 2000s). The company adopted various tactics to achieve this success.

Red Bull's marketing strategy is multifaceted and begins with an inspiring and memorable slogan, "Red Bull gives you wings" (Red Bull verleiht Flügel), created in 1997 and maintained since then.

Encouraging the practice of extreme sports as part of the experience and team formation. Luiz Pagano and the Brazilian introduction team , April 1999. ft business prs

In the late 1980s, surveys indicated that the image of the two bulls confronting each other in the logo was perceived as excessively intense. Faced with this perception, the brand's strategy evolved ingeniously, introducing a self-ironic character in animated advertising films. This character not only brought balance to the intensity of the previous image but also injected a dose of grace and humor, aligning more effectively with the audience's preferences and consolidating the brand's uniqueness. These creative strategies contributed to the brand's uniqueness, and despite facing some legal challenges throughout its history, the consistency in using this slogan strengthened the marketing strategy over time.

Furthermore, Red Bull heavily invested in extreme sports sponsorships, requiring courage, physical, and mental fitness - attributes of the brand. This culminated in the Stratos event in 2012, where Felix Baumgartner parachuted from the edge of space. These events not only broke world records but also boosted company sales.

The innovative and humorous advertising approach, initiated in 2000 with distinctive videos, solidified the brand's identity. Red Bull also excelled in using Guerrilla Marketing, such as the strategy of free drink distribution on university campuses.

Additionally, Red Bull built a strong and consistent brand around the slogan "Red Bull gives you wings," effectively directing its message to young men seeking adventures. The company utilizes word-of-mouth marketing, leveraging extreme sports events to reach millions of viewers and enhance the effectiveness of this form of advertising.

Red Bull Professional Training Center in Austria, April 1999 - ft business prs

In summary, Red Bull adopted a comprehensive marketing strategy, combining quality content, extreme sports sponsorships, guerrilla marketing, innovative advertising approach, strong branding, and word-of-mouth marketing to achieve and maintain its dominant position in the energy drink market in Brazil and worldwide.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Maison Program of Pernod Ricard

Luiz Pagano at Pernod Ricard in Paris - ft business press

The goal of most corporate strategies is to build a real and lasting competitive advantage by enhancing the quality of customer service.

Maison Program in Canada. ft John Ormston 

In this spirit, the Maison Program emerges as an innovative initiative by Pernod Ricard, representing an approach to improving customer service quality in the bartender community. Aligned with the corporate strategies of building a lasting competitive advantage, Pernod Ricard created the Maison Program as an educational journey to enhance the skills of professionals in bars, restaurants, and mixology, with a focus on customer service.

Luiz Pagano and other contributors to the Maison Program - Paris, July 2013 - ft business press

The innovative partnership between Pernod Ricard and École Hôtelière de Lausanne took its first steps in November 2012 but was officially announced on November 19, 2013. It was marked by the signing of a partnership agreement with the aim of providing excellence in teaching and professional training, gaining recognition in global customer service. The collaboration between Pernod Ricard and École Hôtelière de Lausanne had existed since 2008 when they jointly participated in the "Responsible Party," a consumption program developed by students and later expanded to a European level.

The course to educators consisted of 11 modules, covering categories such as whiskey, gin, scotch, vodka, cognac, champagne, rum, customer service, and Bartender Theater. It concludes with a substantial diploma.

Targeting both novice and experienced bartenders looking to enhance their skills, the program was made available in various countries, including Canada, Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Germany, Finland, South Africa, and Gulf countries. Plans for expansion include Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, and France.

As part of the Pernod Ricard brand education team in Brazil, I had the privilege of participating in the first group of educators.

The program's significant strength undoubtedly lies in its partnership with École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), an institution with a prestigious history dating back to 1893, adding an exceptional dimension to the training and reinforcing Pernod Ricard's commitment to excellence.

Pernod Ricard has its own university, a global training function throughout the company for all aspects of personnel development.

During my participation in the educator training at the Pernod Ricard University at the company's headquarters in Paris in July 2013, I was inspired by the lectures of two prominent mentors: Will Pitcforth, Global Maison Coordinator, and Eric Fossard, Global Maison Trainer, whose practical experience and profound insights enhanced my understanding of brands on an equally important scale, despite being a Pernod Ricard employee.

Luiz Pagano in Paris, July 2013 - ft business press

The Maison Program aimed to have an independent perspective on beverage choices, whether from Pernod Ricard, Diageo, or another competitor, focusing on the real benefits of beverages and ignoring marketing guidelines from their respective companies.

This unprecedented approach was supported by a strategic collaboration with École hôtelière de Lausanne, whose Educational Director, Isabelle Martin, played a vital role in the partnership and accreditation.

Furthermore, the innovative iPad technology, developed by the London-based agency Contagious, brought an interactive and dynamic dimension to learning, reflecting the Maison Program's commitment to technological advancements. Educators trained at the Pernod Ricard University distributed iPads in their home country classrooms, controlled by them, unlocking and locking access as the class progressed. This dynamic approach was complemented by comparative tastings and clarification sessions.

Each educator and their local country had approved content translated and ready for use, featuring state-of-the-art graphics allowing the visualization and rotation of over 1000 bottles, reading labels and back labels, in five initial languages, with the expectation of adding more.

Luiz Pagano at the Pernod Ricard offices in Paris, August/July 2013 - ft business press

When the program was still in its pilot format, brand educator Ben Davidson, Brand Education Manager in Australia, conducted 64 Maison training sessions in Australia in 2013, conducting initial tests and demonstrating the global reach of this program.

The Maison Program went far beyond being a simple training course, representing a significant milestone in the global training of beverage professionals. 

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