Red Bull stunt sparks selling question: where is my audience?

Where better for Red Bull to blow a hefty chunk of its marketing budget than on the Felix Baumgartner ‘jump from space’ spectacle. If you’ve seen the footage, you’ll have noticed the Red Bull logo plastered all over the daredevil’s suit, transportation pod, and pretty much everywhere else where the room allowed. Why? Because, as Red Bull has been telling us for years, its drink ‘gives you wings’. If Baumgartner’s jump wasn’t the perfect event for the energy drink to associate itself with, I don’t know what would be.

Red Bull reinforced its brand message with the sponsorship deal, and with that one act managed to stand apart from all the other energy drinks that are literally flooding the market at the moment. Check out the Red Bull logo on his suit below:

It’s a great selling strategy. And, as the modern sales environment becomes a tougher and more competitive place to generate results and close deals, this kind of profile building by association could be an important feature of successful selling.

The Red Bull example is extreme, of course, and I’m not suggesting that you demand a £10,000 marketing budget to spend on brand advertising. However, the story should be enough to get you thinking: where is my target market hanging out, and what can I associate myself with to drive my message home?

Here’s a great example…

My first job out of university with was with a national broadsheet newspaper. I worked in the promotions team and we had to manage all the events that were happening in London. On the first day we were tasked with listing all the events that were coming up in the next few months that could be good promotion opportunities for the newspaper. A pattern quickly emerged: Cricket at Lords, Chelsea Flower Show and Wimbledon were all front-runners. Why? Because they all attracted this newspaper’s target audience, and that meant we HAD to have a presence there. Even if thousands of newspapers weren’t sold on each day of the event, it was about reinforcing the name of the newspaper among potential customers. And, it worked. People who attended the events that we were targeting actually came to expect to see us there with promotions and giveaways – and we weren’t even the official sponsors!

So, how can this be engrained into your sales strategy and what could the potential results look like? I pitched the following idea to a car dealership once, and they loved it. It’s completely in line with this concept of building reputation and profile by association:

A five star luxury hotel opened in Hertfordshire. It had a beautiful golf course, a luxurious spa and Michelin star restaurants. Each weekend the place was heaving with wealthy Londoners getting out of the City for the weekend. A mile down the road was a high-end car dealership, five sales staff with (other than the servicing department) not a lot of business coming through the door. I visited the dealership and spoke to the Dealer Principal, explaining that hundreds of potential customers are quaffing Champagne a mile up the road, so they should do whatever they could to take some cars to the hotel and lend them out for the weekend. He agreed! The dealership used its brand power to get a meeting with the hotel’s management team and secured regular visits with luxury vehicles to the hotel. Guests could book the car for the day and while they didn’t all buy them there and then, the high-end brand was aligned with the luxury hotel. And, just like with the daily newspaper example, it became an expectation each time guests visited the hotel.

The key is to think creatively. The world of transactional sales is long gone, and today if you want to be successful in a sales role you need to be able to generate fresh and innovative approaches to getting in front of your target audience.

I wonder where Red Bull will pop up again. A speed rally or extreme sporting event, perhaps?

Challenge your current approach to selling. Where and when could you promote your product or service in a way that will build your profile and reputation among the kind of people that would buy from you?

Here at Natural Training we specialise in helping sales professionals think differently when it comes to selling. We know the old ways don’t work anymore, which is why our sales training programmes are tailored towards the modern selling environment.

Get in touch to find out more by calling the team on 0207 043 1582 or email

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