Your Startup Guru

Helping you launch and grow your business




Would you buy tea from Nike?  Or shoes by McDonald’s?

Sure one might think Nike doesn’t have the facilities, operational know-how, etc. to make tea.  With the vast majority of its manufacturing overseas, Nike is more of a design and marketing firm than a shoe manufacturer, according to a Harvard Business Review article. 

Getting back on point, Nike can’t sell tea because of branding.

What is branding?

Branding is the personality of the company.  This “personality” helps determine what the company sells (it can be more than one or even a few things), where it sells them, how much they charge, how their ads look, etc.  In a previous post, I mentioned how Redbull had an event called the Flugtag and that it’d be difficult for Lipton to hold a similar event.  This is because an event where people dress up and launch a home-made contraption off of a pier does not fit Lipton’s brand image.

One brand that has crossed more product categories and demographics more than any other is Hello Kitty.  Beyond clothes and accessories, there are Hello Kitty branded motor scooters, toasters, airlines, and adult novelty toys (although this might not be an official Sanrio licensed product).  Yet another addition to the roster is Hello Kitty Beer.  Is there nothing this kitty can’t brand?!

RedBull Flugtag, marketing, and branding

Your Startup Guru case study - Redbull Flugtag

The RedBull Flugtag is an entertaining spectacle and a genius public relations event all designed with its branding in mind.

Last weekend I attended the RedBull Flugtag in Long Beach.  It was an entertaining spectacle with lots of energy and a massive audience.  The highlight of the event?  To watch little more than shoddily made objects fall into the harbor.

Would such an audience turnout for out for an event held by, say Lipton Tea?  Imagine the Lipton Flugtag.  Do you think hundreds of people would sign up to spend many hours to build something that will last for seconds in front of tens of thousands of people?  If Lipton sponsored such an event, do you think tens of thousands of people will even show up?

This is because the event (or more accurately) public relations event, is dependent on the brand image of the brand (i.e. RedBull) is maintaining (or pursuing if the brand is trying to reposition itself).  People associate RedBull with action, irreverence, fun.  Lipton?  Not quite as much.  However, Lipton has market awareness strengths they can flex that RedBull is ill-fitted for.

How you advertise, where you advertise, the contents of your advertisement is highly contingent on your brand image.

Pop quiz:  What is the difference between marketing and public relations?

Up ↑