4 BRANDS I ADMIRE FOR DIFFERENT REASONS
by Meghan Largo – Creative Marketing Assistant
1. Red Bull
Lights, camera, action! Whether this “action” is taking place jumping out of a plane, kayaking down a ski slope, or riding an enormous wave, Red Bull does it any extreme way possible. Austrian native, Dietrich Mateschitz, founded Red Bull in the mid 1980’s. Not only did Mateschitz create the formula of Red Bull Energy drink, but rather an entirely new and unique marketing concept for the brand. Red Bull currently has 10,997 employees, with 169 countries around the world fueling the wings, and over 5.9 billion cans sold. The drink has stayed the same, but the marketing strategies have turned into an entirely new category. Rather than spending their budget on traditional beverage industry media, Red Bull put its brand and cans in the eyes and hands of its target market. This company uses extreme tactics to attract the consumers they anticipate, which could be anything from rolling around in an Audi sponsored by Red Bull and handing out freebies during a Wingsuit Slalom Race, or riding BMX through Scotland; you name it, they do it. They empower consumer engagement through sportsmanship, heroism’s, and ideals, evoke a rush people seek to feel when drinking or seeing the product, boost brand recognition through logo overload, and continue to achieve the loyalty they need through their strong demographic. Red Bull is constantly coming up with new events to host and stay relevant in the world of extreme sports, some including the Red Bull Crashed Ice 2017: Saint Paul (the fastest sport on skates), Roof of Africa 2016 (riders are put their paces across the mountains in Lesotho), and the Red Bull Ride My Wave 2016 (lighting up the waves of Sri Lanka’s surf capital). Red Bull has been “giving wings” to every adrenaline junkie out there since 1987.
When steel, smoke, and locomotives ruled the year of 1889 in the U.S., Hamilton Carhartt from Detroit, Michigan, took advantage. When asking railroad workers exactly what they needed, the motto became “honest value for an honest dollar,” and the classic bib overall was created. Overtime, Carhartt has expanded their apparel to possess a variety of durability features including resistance to flames, water, abrasion. With such blue-collar products in an evolving white-collar world, they have stood out using basic products. Carhartt keeps it simple, classic, and at the same time continues to create new products for different people. There seems to be a new type of consumer on the rise wearing Carhartt products everywhere across the United States: teenagers, “hipsters”, and college students. The beanies, jackets, and shirts have become some of the most noticeable products these new consumers are wearing. I wonder if Hamilton Carhartt ever thought he would see a teenage girl wearing a pink Carhartt jacket around a campfire? What makes Carhartt’s marketing strategy unique is how they use social media and blogs. Their personal Tumblr blog shows hardworking women and men as everyday people doing their job. For example, there was a blog post of a woman wearing their apparel working in a metal shop, and listed below the picture there was a short bio about who this person is and what they do. This type of marketing is personal and gives off a sense of realism that illuminates through the usage of their products. With experience in the blue-collar world, just by having my Carhartt hat be pink while punching metal and cutting steel, has helped my confidence tremendously (cue Rosie the Riveter). Creating these down-to-earth blogs and articles help this successful company to stay relevant in such an ever-changing world.
3. Death Wish Coffee Co.
The 2016 Super Bowl wasn’t just a win for The Denver Broncos, but also for a small coffee shop located in Saratoga Springs, New York. Remember the commercial with the Vikings rowing into a man’s mouth? In 2015, Death Wish Coffee Co. won Intuit’s ‘Small Business, Big Game’ competition, which gave them a 30-second commercial spot during Super Bowl 50. This is the spotlight the business needed when they established themselves in 2012. Founder, Mike Brown, believes that his business has the ‘World’s Strongest Coffee’, and he is most definitely not exaggerating. The formula started in a basement, mixing coffee brews to find a solution for the strongest cup. After multiple experiments, Robusta and Arabica beans were the winners in his special beverage. Starting with only 6 employees in an area so close to my heart, the town became their audience and cheered them along as the company took off. The staff is a quirky bunch, sponsoring the New York Comic Con, and Nascar Driver, Ty Dillon, as well as having the opportunity to support the Special Olympics with their products. When looking at the marketing strategy for any small business, exposure is necessary. Death Wish Coffee Co. is in with the times, targeting millennials with humorous advertising using memes and funny hashtags. I admire this company for tapping into the current coffee industry which is no small feat. With such a saturated market and unwelcoming attitude towards start-ups, Death Wish has carved out a niche for themselves, running the business solely on their coffee strength. With so many products coming our way, they show no signs of slowing down. Vodka, K Cups, and specialty brews, are only some of the different products flowing from this special staff of Death Wishers. So, I now challenge all of you coffee fanatics to a cup of the ‘World’s Strongest Coffee’.
Fixer uppers, house hunters, property brothers, and design lovers, it’s your time to shine. Home & Garden Television, better known as HGTV, has everything you need to know on house renovation or the ultimate DIY (do-it-yourself) project. Kenneth W. Lowe took his vision and made it a reality in 1992. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, HGTV aired in 1994, reaching 6.5 million homes in 44 markets. Known for their elaborate, HGTV Dream Home Giveaway starting in 1997, millions submit their entries in hopes of winning the greatest prize they could imagine. Throughout the years, this channel has brought in a variety of shows for your entertainment. As a Fixer Upper fan like myself, this channel has provided me with some down-to-earth entertainment but genuine knowledge I can apply into real life. I admire the way HGTV operates because it exposes the fact that people are in no way perfect and problems occur in any given situation. Viewers get sucked into the big reveal at the end and realistic re-enactments of the American Dream coming to life. After watching one episode of House Hunters or Fixer Upper, I find myself with an itch to do something or create a project worth-while. I believe this channel motivates people to be creative and utilize their living space (subway tile and all). HGTV has a unique advantage of exposing a mix of the “Average Joe” and the experts through different shows giving a sense of relatability. Quite frankly, people love watching others struggle, but love seeing others accomplish their goal in the end. The do-it-yourself movement is on the rise as rustic themed decor are coming back into the market at full speed. With social media tactics and interactive giveaways, HGTV will continuously stay relevant towards all types of viewers.