Identity of a product

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1.Executive Summary

Any product in the market has a have all the attributes, which a human being has. These attributes are imparted to the product by branding it in a unique way. Thus comes into picture, the brand identity of the product, which is a unique distinguishing factor resulting into personification of the very product.

This assignment will endeavor to discuss the ‘Brand Identity Prism' (Kapferer, 1986) of the famous energy drink, ‘Red Bull', which is in fact a global brand in itself. The assignment will briefly discuss all the six facets of the Brand Identity Prism (BIP) vis-à-vis Red Bull energy drink.

2.Introduction

Since brands speak about products, they outline the identity of a product (Keller, 2000). Now like that of human being, the product's identity also has various facets, which should be seen in totality.

The Market entry of Red bull followed a very specific strategy that was rooted firmly in its brand identity. The core principle of Red Bull is 'Yin and Yang' concept of balance, which is represented by the two bulls (or forces) that come together in opposition. Through fighting, they grow to complement each other. They become stronger, and together strive to reach perfection. This philosophy is duplicated in the representation of Red Bull- a product that achieves balance between body and mind.

3.Brand Identity Prism (BIP) for Red Bull

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The six facets of the BIP for Red Bull are discussed as below:

3.1.Physique:

Taking an objective view, it quite apparent that the drink's edginess, its associations with extreme sports and its promise to “vitalise body and mind” and “give you wings”, is adult and aspirational. It distinguishes it from other carbonated drinks, which often have adolescent or juvenile connotations.

One more distinguishing and differentiating aspect of its physique comes from its packaging into lean and thin cans. It gives its look which is vibrant and flexible. This fits well with the soul of the brand and add impetus to its outward appeal.

3.2.Personality:

This is an internal and inherent aspect of the overall brand identity. The symbolic figurehead of this brand is a ‘bull'. Thus being powerful and energetic symbolizes the two striking features of its brand personality. Moreover, the brand ambassadors for Red Bull have often been sportsperson. This adds to its sporting personality too. Its association with Formula 1 racing and sports like Golf has added to its elite and global personality.

Its looks are also synergetic with its personality. The two colors, blue and red, which are strikingly distinctive being at the opposite verge of the visible spectrum over a contrasting silver background, makes it an absolute attention seeker. In a nutshell it can be said that Red Bull owns a vibrant and non-ignorable personality.

3.3.Culture:

Culturally Red Bull denies any sophistication. Like any other brand, Red Bull is driven by culture (Andrew, 1991). Though having a traditional Asian origin, the cultural outlook of its brand has a touch of untamed and casual America. The cultural exhibitions of the Red Bull express very high degree of freedom. Thus it does not go well with the corporate acceptance. As such, its target market does not include any official or formal bearings.

There is a very interesting aspect to this facet of brand identity of Red Bull. It has often expressed different cult and culture in different part of the globe. For an example, Red Bull is marketed heavily through pubs and bars across the western markets and has built up its association with alcoholic drinks, whereas, in conservative Asian markets Red Bull has deliberately kept distance from alcoholic drinks. Thus it is difficult to outline any uniform cultural trend as far as brand Red Bull is concerned.

However, the cultural aspect of a brand like Red Bull is not that differentiating facet. This facet is more likely to differentiate luxury brands (Kapferer, 1986), to which, Red Bull does not belong to.

3.4.Relationship:

Like any brand, Red Bull also nurtures a relationship of transactions which are both tangible and intangible in nature (Levitt, 1960). This facet defines the mode of conduct that most identifies the brand (Kapferer, 1986). In case of Red Bull, it signifies characteristics of being social, distinctive and exclusive.

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The fact about its social relationship is evident from its typical advertisement mode. Initially, Red Bull had never resorted high profile endorsements. Red Bull's appeal has grown by targeting opinion formers, who drive sales through word of mouth and by association. Red Bull globally is known for buzz marketing. It is a brand which has built its equity through careful below the line marketing.

3.5.Reflection:

This facet brand identity is a reflection of customer. Customers drink Red Bull in order to identify themselves with an imaginary reflection which they want to exhibit to others. Thus in way customer want to reflect the personality of the brand through themselves. They want to be seen a vibrant, energetic and powerful. Thus it becomes very obvious that the target market which will not have any such desire to reflect these traits will not be associating with Red bull. As such, Red Bull is a brand which is mostly for adults that too mostly men.

3.6.Self Image:

This facet is internalization of reflection. It reveals their inner desire to prove themselves. Drinking Red Bull makes one feel free. It gives them wings to break the mundane pattern of life. It breaks the monotony and adds enthusiasm.

The stronger the self image will be, the stronger will be the desire to reflect that to others. Thus Red Bulls has been successful in creating the strong association with the desired self image. This makes the customer reflection very strong.

In a way, this has played a very vital role in making the viral marketing successful for Red Bull. Red Bull has managed to orient the customer attitude towards itself and hence is succeeds in developing a certain type of inner relationship with them.

4.Conclusion

Red Bull has been a successful brand on account of its brand identity which has all six facets with long term singularity and attractiveness. All facets of this brand identity have sharpness and are hardly overlapping. There are few words to each facet and are occasionally repetitive. Thus the identity of this brand is making its outstanding.

These are the six facets, which define brand identity and its potential territory. The brand identity prism demonstrates that these facets form a structured whole. The content of one facet echoes that of another. The identity prism allows us to examine any brand in detail in order to detect its strengths and weaknesses. It will put the brand under the microscope of each of its facets and come up with diagnoses. Also useful when brand identity prisms are worked out for competitors.

5.References:

Lane Keller, K. 2000, Brand Report Crad, Harvard Business Review, January/February.

Wernick, Andrew, 1991,Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression(Theory, Culture & Society S.), London.

Levitt, T. 1960, Marketing Myopia, Harvard Business Review, July/August.

Laurent, Gilles, and Jean-Noel Kapferer, 1986, Measuring Consumer Involvement Profiles, Journal of Marketing Research XXII, (February), 41-53.