A pioneer in energy drinks three decades ago, Red Bull is now the world sales leader with estimated 2012 fiscal sales of over $3 billion, profits over $400 million, and a 43% leading US dollar market. To establish a new category in the face of Coke and Pepsi and then hold it for decades is very impressive.
Four quick observations about Red Bull’s unique approach to brand building:
Red Bull’s brand building is largely based on associating its brand with an amazingly wide range of people, teams and events.
Red Bull believes in owning teams and events rather than being one of several sponsors.
Because of this ownership model, they can and have turned this buzz machine into a profit center.
Their on-brand activities reflect two very different personalities that live side by side.
The scope of Red Bull activities is overwhelming. It gets involved in a wide mix of sports such as wakeboarding and motorcycle racing, dozens of Red Bull music events, sponsoring athletes such as motocross racer Ashley Fiolek, teams such as the New York Red Bulls soccer team and much, much more. The Red Bull website has entertainment features such as the Red Bull Soapbox Racer video game, weekly rock music bulletins on the Rock Report, plus sections on movies and TV shows as well. The list of their entertainment features goes on and on and is captured on their Facebook Page, which has more than 37 million followers. With well over 100 potential points of contact, Red Bull will connect to their target market many times, in multiple ways. And more importantly, Red Bull becomes a big part of their customer’s lives. …Continue reading
Oreo’s move wasn’t just mentioned because the Mondelez International VP of Customer Engagement, Bonin Bough was speaking at the event. Oreo’s Super Bowl moment was a hot topic because they epitomized something that great brands are doing these days, something that will be defining what makes your brand stand out in a crowded market: real time engagement. …Continue reading
Over the last two days, innovation came to life at Fast Company’s annual New York Innovation Uncensored. Held in a dark, chilly music venue called Terminal 5, the substance of the event was in stark contrast to the vibe of the venue. With a mix of humor, emotion and great storytelling the event was full of thoughtful material sure to be the stuff that shapes the businesses of the future. Through this series of articles we will dive into all the major takeaways and shine a spotlight on some of the things we thought really missed the mark.
While reflecting on the conference on the plane home (from yep, you guessed it – 40,000 ft), it became clear that all in all, Fast Company put on a great show. Innovative business leaders from around the world spoke passionately about the processes of making impact through bringing new ideas into the world, and Fast Company kept it interesting with inventive presentation formats, making the event feel well paced and full of variety. Hosted by the hilarious Baratunde Thurston – author of the satirical book How to be Black – this year’s Innovation Uncensored was a perfect intersection of creative inspiration and powerful new thinking in the world of business. …Continue reading
This morning as I was getting ready for work, I encountered a problem that many women face during their morning routine. After applying a little makeup, pinning up my hair, and filling up my coffee mug, I remembered the jewelry that I wanted to throw on before rushing out the door. I put in a pair of earrings, but when I found the one necklace I wanted to wear, I realized it got tangled with two other necklaces after traveling with them in a bag. “Shoot,” I thought, but I began to quickly detangle it from the nest of a mess. …Continue reading
When we’re seeking inspiration there’s no place too far, nor climate too cold to deter our discovery. In this episode we take you to Alaska and discover some compelling insights from one of the world’s oldest businesses: the fishing trade.
Barak Wright is a master story teller and accomplished audio producer. In the summer of 2012 he traveled to southern Alaska to work on a salmon fishing boat for a several weeks. Through a series of interviews with the seasoned pioneers of Alaskan fishing we learn that to truly innovate in business we must cultivate an agile, creative mind; something hard to come by on the waters of Neet’s Bay.
Special thanks to Christof Meyer – Innovation Director in the Richmond office – who introduced us to Barak Wright and made this episode possible.
From Prophet’s curator and provocateur team, Interested and Interesting is a monthly exploration of the business of brand, marketing, innovation, digital, design, and analytics. Hosts Geof and Josh introduce listeners to inspiring stories that engage and illustrate business principles in an abstract, provocative way. Our goal – to inspire listeners and liberate ideas to help drive business growth.
I’ve never been a very talented artist. Although I made attempts at sculpting, painting and photography, I realized early on my brain worked more operationally than it did creatively. So, imagine my excitement when I got the privilege of attending the inaugural TEDxRVA conference, where the the theme was ‘Create’.
Here I was, a strategy inclined person, diving head-first into the world of creativity. Armed with pen, paper and an open mind I was excited to learn some secrets that would help me become more creative. Like a soldier in the trenches, I would be able to report back to my right brained cohorts the formula that would allow us to all sit side by side and access our creative selves! I’d capture the creativity white flag and come back flying it high.
On Friday March 22nd Richmond Virginia hosted its first annual TEDx event. With the theme of “Create” TEDxRVA was a huge success. Prophet’s Curator and Provocateur Andy Stefanovich hosted the event at the city’s former power plant building. Andy guided attendees through the speakers and engaged, excited and challenged them throughout the day. This TEDx event was the first to feature all the content on headphones worn by the attendees. Throughout the event participants had a choice to listen to Channel A that featured the speaker content as well as a Channel B that offered supplementary content produced by Prophet’s Josh Epperson.
Events like TEDxRVA challenge us to engage with our community and peers, both creatively and emotionally. While chock full of insights from history to entrepreneurial excellence, TEDxRVA also highlighted aspects of business thinking that can often be forgotten. …Continue reading
In the constant search of interesting, inspired and compelling stories, Prophet’s Chief Curator and Provocateur Andy Stefanovich invited a team of architects to help him redesign the second floor of his carriage house. In the space of 600 sq ft. these gifted creatives will plan, design and build an office/studio/meeting place for him and his team. This will become a sacred place to work, entertain, and stay inspired. Through this series of dispatches we will explore the creative process from the perspective of these design experts. What problem solving tools do they employ? Where do they find their inspiration? How do they face difficult challenges in creative and novel ways?
On the first day of the project, we invited our creative group to a series of idea sessions around what was possible in the space. Here Andy describes how things are getting started, and what he hopes for the future of the project.
Watch the video above, and join him in the journey to answering these questions!
One of the empirical facts of business strategy is that “big” innovations that create new categories or subcategories do not come from the leading incumbents – they come from outsiders. Successful incumbents have the resources to lead but, in fact, success breeds complacency, lethargy or arrogance. What is also disturbingly true is that incumbents not only fail to innovate, but also fail to be relevant to major innovations of others and sometimes lose not only their momentum but their very existence as a player.
In a brilliant new book, Unrelenting Innovation: How to Build a Culture for Market Dominance, Gerry Tellis explains why this is. His answer, based on nearly a dozen major clinical studies conducted by he and his colleagues, is that it is the culture of the incumbent firm that is inhibiting the firm from innovating or even responding to innovation. He identifies three cultural traits and three practices that inhibit incumbents from “big” innovation, which is the only route to real growth as I argue in my book, Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant. Understanding these traits and practices is the key to creating a culture where “big” innovations can be nourished. …Continue reading
The word, innovation, is so over used that it’s almost lost all meaning. Yet, as with all aspects of business, innovation evolves. Innovation will remain the process by which newness comes into the world, but the how of innovation is in flux. New business landscapes, new technologies, and the wearing out of old models require us to reimage how we innovate.
When we think of innovation we might think of Silicon Valley, Google, Apple, and schools like Stanford University. We might imagine brilliance being created everyday in these places, and the fumes of great ideas spewing out the windows of well designed buildings. And in fact, these are accurate portrayals of what innovation can look like. But it’s not the full story. Many businesses have misaligned views on how to achieve innovation. Employee motivation and collaboration is essential to innovate, but often businesses lack authenticity in these efforts. Keeping up with what’s current gives you a read on what’s in vogue, yet you don’t need to follow the entire world on Twitter to change your business. Culture is important; however you don’t need to have an office full of free thinkers to come up with something new. And you certainly don’t need a Mac to think differently.
There are a lot of beliefs that pervade the world of innovation. However, many of these beliefs have the potential to hold us back. Some of these beliefs are, in fact, myths: great stories that fail the test of reality. If we’re not careful, these myths of innovation can become barriers to our growth. …Continue reading