Red Bull is a master of building relationships with customers. And they have mastered the art of events. The influence of these events on contemporary society is difficult to overestimate. These meetups may strongly contribute to building and maintaining client relationships. The following article presents some examples of event campaigns that stuck so deeply into the memory of the target group that they have the potential to become icons of pop culture.
In spite of the fact that the examples under scrutiny come from the cosmetics and energy beverages industry, they provide valuable lessons concerning all event marketing projects. These guidelines concern the personal nature of the interaction.
Only if you interact with your target group naturally are you able to develop a valuable relationship that makes outreach for new business opportunities a lot easier. The following article discusses various aspects of event marketing in relation to customer relationship management.
Building and maintaining client relationships Red Bull style
What is Red Bull? Is it only an overpriced, overhyped, sugar-loaded carbonated energy drink? No! Red Bull is a well-recognized brand known worldwide by thousands of its fans. Red Bull is a sports supporter. Red Bull is a lifestyle.
Many experts have analyzed the marketing strategy of Red Bull. Event marketing plays a vital role in it. For many years, the brand established a strong recognition of their philosophy and their motto: Red Bull gives you wiiings.
Energy, flight, freedom and speed. Daredevils from all over the globe fell in love with that lifestyle. Red Bull decided to take a chance and started to organize frantic semi-sports events, like the beloved Red Bull Soapbox race. People put a lot of effort into presenting their vehicles and participating in something so unusual. Creating a space for genuine emotions paid off. The brand evolved into a community.
Over the years their events grew to become a huge marketing machine. Red Bull took part in the first jump from the stratosphere, they organized crazy challenges (#redbullcliffdiving challenge). And they are everywhere.
What’s so special about Red Bull event marketing?
Firstly, their events have a purpose. It could be said that gathering a bunch of thrill-seekers in matching unitards isn’t a purpose. I agree. But let’s take a closer look at the content they publish.
And now let’s play a game called ‘I spy…’. I spy with my little eye something beginning with r:
Red Bull-branded diving platform, both top and side
Red Bull-branded diver’s swimsuit
Red Bull-branded safety buoy
Red Bull (A can of beverage)
Red Bull-branded poster on the rock
Red Bull-branded hats
Red Bull-branded winners’ platforms
Red Bull-branded digital outro
All the answers are correct. What a coincidence. Or is it? This event is one huge stage for Red Bull branded items. And the ‘broadcast’ is not interrupted by any other brand. What’s more, the audience wants to see Red Bull-themed stuff.
Let’s go further, shall we? Now check the user-generated content gathered around the events. For example the pictures and videos with the hashtag #redbullcliffdiving:
So what’s the purpose of every single Red Bull event? I’d say building brand recognition, associating positive feelings with brand events and building a community of devoted customers. And may I say “Bravo!”. Red Bull event marketing puts crazy events to good use. Every single goal from those I have listed is fulfilled 100%.
What’s more, Red Bull events are perfectly targeted. The brand doesn’t try to convince squares that they need to join the colorful parade. They have their audience and stick to it. Have you seen a Red Bull book reading club? Neither have I. The brand doesn’t experiment in areas where they don’t belong. Their message, philosophy and events are perfectly tailored for a specific group of people.
And finally, Red Bull event marketing strategy is a part of their overall marketing strategy. Every single event fits the brand message. Each race and jump coexists with other marketing activities. The smallest detail, like the Red Bull, can in the first video serves a purpose. It goes the other way round as well. Red Bull events are the tool the brand uses for building and maintaining client relationships. And it doesn’t matter if the interaction occurs online or live. It exists and grows stronger with every event.
Why event marketing may support building effective business relationships
We have already taken a glimpse at this issue when analyzing the Red Bull event marketing case study, but I think we should dive a little bit deeper. It stands to reason that event marketing is becoming a common and ever more appreciated form of corporate communication. Some companies have even dedicated departments that deal with arranging events for current and prospective clients.
Since event marketing has become an indispensable part of overall marketing activities as well as public relations, interest in customer relationship building strategies has surged. It stems from the fact that brand managers are conscious of the relevant impact of events on the marketing performance of their company.
There are several reasons why building and maintaining client relationships with the help of events is so efficient
Firstly, the advent of the digital era is strongly associated with underestimating the importance of direct human interaction. Events provide the perfect opportunity for face-to-face meetups. Nevertheless, one-to-one meetings may be troublesome due to the significant amount of time they require. Establishing attractive events has one distinct advantage: you do not have to preoccupy yourself with a tense schedule in order to provide customer contact.
Plus, there is also another benefit. Namely, building an effective business relationship is likely to be impossible when you only use digital channels of communication. Why? To put it briefly, digital channels create an environment that is associated with a high risk of distraction. Let’s take a look at Facebook. According to AdWeek, ‘Facebook users spend an average of 1.7 seconds with any piece of mobile content on the platform, compared to 2.5 seconds on a desktop.’
Well if the outline of the event that you organize is smart and meets the genuine needs of the customers you do not have to worry about that anymore. (However, in order to accomplish this goal, you should research the needs and core values of your customers.)
Customer relationship building strategies may be effective only when you have a profound understanding of your target group. For this reason, it is worth monitoring social media; you should peruse the conversations about your products and services. Try to fish out the main plot. Followers are unlikely to discuss their fervent desire to watch prototypes of the latest products. Alternatively, you can be pretty sure that they devote their rapt attention to the experience related to your current product. Additionally, you may encounter the topic that is associated with real challenges, for example how to boost your physical performance or how to prevent health problems. Obviously, these topics depend on the sector of the industry you work in. Nonetheless, event campaigns from the top brands may provide you with a source of inspiration.
In other words, the event that you hold should serve as some kind of customer success conference. This particular philosophy is especially distinct in the cosmetics industry. Companies that operate in this sector cooperate with famous stars who originate from pop culture and like to be liked by society at large. Furthermore, cosmetics companies utilize other out-of-the-box ideas. To put it precisely, they arrange events at which you can not only try out particular products and enrich your knowledge on beauty issues but also participate in engaging workshops dedicated to styling.
Red Bull event marketing – the inspiration
If the example mentioned above seems too subtle, take a look at Red Bull campaigns. This brand is without a shadow of a doubt a trendsetter in building and maintaining client relationships. Their staff are deeply aware of the fact that people who consume energy drinks are fervent enthusiasts of an active lifestyle. This is the reason why Red Bull promotes active ways of spending your spare time. However, the concrete initiatives that the company undertakes to go far beyond the conventional customer success conference.
Red Bull branded sports events are aimed at triggering suggestive emotions. By virtue of this element the company directs its attention to such disciplines as, for example, motocross, skydiving, cliff jumping and freestyle BMX. The feelings of joy and excitement that the attendees’ experience makes them associate the brand with the extraordinary challenge. This approach results in better and more sustainable results than cliché-ridden energy drink advertisements.
The most distinct feature of Red Bull marketing is its own events. The company organizes Red Bull Road Rampage, the previously mentioned Cliff Diving event and the Motorcycle Grand Prix of America. It is worth emphasizing the fact that every aspect of these competitions is linked with the central message of the company.
What is more, Red Bull has devoted smart digital campaigns to its events. The dedicated mobile apps encourage their users to register for the show using call-to-action catchphrases. The positive results of such methods confirm the substantial role of mobile apps in engaging customers.
It stands to reason that events aimed at creating a strong brand image should be characterized with an outstanding originality. Red Bull has introduced its own embodiment of this notion. The brand is commonly known for its Red Bull Flugtag race. This trailblazing challenge is a brilliant way to promote the company and spice up the brand image. Many other companies followed along Red Bull’s method. It is also a perfect example of how you can bring out the best from experience-based marketing.
Red Bull Event marketing –the flugtag race example
Some marketing experts perceive the flugtag race as an ingenious soft sell technique. However, the way this event reinforces positive brand associations is hard to overestimate. Unfortunately, every company has a limited budget, for this reason following this marketing idea may be impossible. However, you can always try to organize similar activities by implementing downsized resources so through which the spectators will discover the fundamental nature of your brand.
Red Bull Event marketing – non-branded events
The impressive variety of ideas introduced by Red Bull is not confined to colorful challenges and extreme sports competitions. Moreover, the company highlights are present during various cultural events. An example of such a strategy is the Lollapalooza festival. Red Bull is a partner in the event. They broadcast live on YouTube and promote festival stars.
Another example is the Coachella festival. This great music festival lasts two weeks. Because of the big-name stars it attracts, fans are eager to watch every second of it. But what can they do in order to overcome the overwhelming tiredness? The answer is simple: take a can filled with an energy drink. And who can provide this? Red Bull of course! And so positive brand associations are formed quite naturally.
Red Bull Event marketing – the clue
Setting aside the crazy pioneering ideas that Red Bull is known for, it all comes down to one factor — namely breaking down the barrier that separates the customer from your company. Sounds trivial, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, this attitude is the basis for all activities related to experience-based marketing which is, in fact — a category of event marketing.
All marketing activities that fall under this phenomenon have something in common. To put it precisely, they enable you to establish a sincere and authentic relationship with your customer. If, just for a moment, you disregard the limitations imposed by the corporate environment, then wonders can happen.
And such positive surprises may have a strong positive influence on your business as a whole. In order to set up the perfect event, you should discover the core issues that stimulate the interaction of your customers. Create an event at which these core issues will be discussed, whether they be hang-gliding or cancer prevention.
Incorporating all of the above elements in your event has important advantages
First and foremost, the attendees who participate in your meetup get the chance to familiarize themselves with the implicit values that your company represents. In spite of the fact that this statement may seem somewhat vague, it is obvious that everyone is looking for a deeper meaning in their life.
Establishing an event which resonates with those profound values makes your customers feel better. Once upon a time, Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It has become quite popular in many guides related to marketing. Why shouldn’t you benefit from this?
The fact that you reach your attendees at a deeper and more personal level also has another consequence. Namely, they are encouraged to share their views with their friends via various digital channels, for instance, social media and the blogosphere. This, in turn, broadens the coverage of your brand.
Building and maintaining customer relations Red Bull style – key elements
As you can see, in the case of Red Bull, efficient marketing through events requires some key elements. Let’s look at them. They are as follows: your ideal customer, the message and follow-up.
Outlining a precise picture of your target demographic is relevant. Your group of current and potential customers should be the focal point of each event. It is extremely important to use methods that will spark their genuine interest and apt language that will make them talk. It’s all about connecting people to your brand at a deeper level than your competitors.
The second element, namely the message, should be concise and reflect the core values of your organization. On top of that, it should be inspiring, so that it will facilitate audience participation and engage your potential customers in a natural and spontaneous way.
The last factor — follow-up — is also of utmost importance. It is necessary to gather contact details of prospective buyers. Plus, you should monitor conversations which take place in social media about your brand. This attitude will enable you to gain a significant competitive edge, regardless of the turbulent character of the market that you are active in.
If you manage to gather a devoted group of fierce buyers, you may consider upselling. But please be tactful. Upselling may be effective only in cases when building an effective business relationship is successful. This means that you should think about upselling only as the last step of an event which was smartly orchestrated, met customer needs and made an impact on brand awareness. Moreover, your attitude towards upselling should be multi-faceted. This means that you cannot confine yourself solely to selling a new product or service, but offer such items that correspond to the needs of your target group, because those wishes are often veiled. Thus you can often discern them by establishing a closer relationship with your customers. This may happen in the thick of events that you hold. However, you may increase the chances of exploring their implicit preferences by a special workshop related to your offer or enriching your meetup with an interesting Q&A session.
Event marketing tools – Q&A sessions
Q&A session may be strongly beneficial when it comes to events. Firstly, they engage the audience. The chance of direct interaction with a representative of your company will reinforce the attention of the attendees.
Secondly, it gives you a lot of opportunities to fulfill your marketing or sales goals via the event. You can answer questions in a manner that you prefer and in a way that emphasizes the key takeouts of your message. You can tackle every single question as an opportunity to broaden brand awareness.
Thirdly, the content of the questions gives you a clear hint of what your customers are looking for and what their real-life challenges depend on. This discovery may give you an insight into issues that have never crossed your mind before and may provide a strong basis for upselling your products or services in the future.
If you know what your customer wants and are aware of their tacit needs, you should consider other features of a product that you may develop. At this point, you can make use of your imagination. Sometimes even a subtle change can evoke a positive reaction from your audience. You can obviously experiment with those new ideas during the event. You can, for example, present mugs filled with coffee that are embellished with different color patterns and wait for feedback.
And the upselling…?
As previously stated, you should arrange upselling only in apposite situations. Avoid too direct communication that involves price sheets. What is more, you should deal with upselling only from time to time. Implementing upselling in every event that you organize will strongly weaken the impact of the show. It is especially important to choose the moment for upselling smartly. The available options should focus on enhancing genuine client satisfaction.
Establishing a sustainable relationship with your customers is crucial for the success of your company, regardless of the area it operates in. As traditional marketing campaigns may sometimes be perceived as a well-worn compilation of lofty catchphrases, the events make the overall marketing message more authentic. So a good event campaign may be very efficient.
This article shows clearly that only this kind of show should involve a lot of elements which give it an interactive character. These ideas, for example, live music, workshops, physical examinations and Q&A sessions may appeal to customers at both an emotional and intellectual level. Only this profound contact may be beneficial from the perspective of the company, facilitating the ultimate goal of building effective business relationships such as increased customer satisfaction and broadening your customer base.
Red Bull has mastered the art of live events. Their results speak for themselves. What are the key take-outs of their strategy that you like most?