How Red Bull Gives Wings to Employer Branding

WRITTEN BY: Carolien Daalderop

Red Bull is one of the world’s most famous and greatly loved energy drinks. The drink is popular with students, sports fanatics, celebrities, workers and the ordinary human being, and available in more than 171 countries worldwide. Red Bull has been around for a while: 31 years, whilst selling over 68 billion cans!

Whenever there’s a Red Bull logo, there’s some crazy and exciting happening. But why is that? And what’s the connection with Red Bull’s employer brand? That’s what we figured out for you!

In Short

Just to make sure you’re familiar with the company, we’ve summed up a few facts and figures:

  • Red Bull GmbH is an Austrian company, which is well-known for its Red Bull energy drink, but also known for its sponsorship of a range of sporting events and teams.
  • The headquarter is based in Fuschl am See, Salzburg.
  • The company was founded in 1984 by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz and Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya.
  • The most recent number of employees dates back to the end of 2017, with 11,886 employees in 171 countries.
  • According to Forbes, Red Bull GmbH reached a revenue of $6.4 billion in 2017. The corporation is mainly known for the energy drink, but the Red Bull company also distributes and markets a number of other drinks including Simply Cola, the Carpe Diem range of herbal soft beverages and the Sabai Wine Spritzer.
  • Red Bull Media House is a media company specialized in sport, lifestyle programming, music and games. The company publishes several magazines: The Red Bulletin, Servus, Terra Mater, Bergwelten and Seitenblicke. Other Red Bull Media House divisions are Red Bull TV, Red Bull Photography, Benevento Publishing, Red Bull Music Academy, Red Bull Records and Red Bull Music Publishing.

The Original Red Bull

Originally the ‘red bull’ is very symbolic. It was inspired by an existing energy drink, named ‘Krating Daeng’, first sold in Thailand by Chaleo Yoovidhya. The founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz took the idea, modified the recipe for the Western world and, in partnership with Chaleo, founded as Red Bull GmbH in 1987. Basically, Red Bull is a rip-off. It’s not original at all, just changing a recipe and some really good marketing. So: Krating Daeng: in Thai, daeng means red, and krating is the word used for a gaur or bull. Which is, literally translated into the now famous name Red Bull. Not really a spicy, extreme story, now is it?

Ready, Set, GO!

When you think of Red Bull, you think of ACTION! No, not the Hollywood-film kind of action, but the incredible awesome events, such as (formula one) racing, sailing, football and ice hockey. Red Bull is supporting different teams and countries, such as the US, England and Italy. When it comes to sponsorship, a diverse representation is obviously very important to Red Bull.

What separates Red Bull from most brands is its people-focused marketing. Everything about the brand’s content, marketing and communication is either about customers or employees. The product has become secondary to the experiences that Red Bull’s people enjoy. However, as a brand or sport, you have to ‘match’ with the extremeness of Red Bull, they’re not going to give you wings for nothing after all!

Specific Social Media

What about Red Bull’s online social media presence? They have accounts all over the most well-known platforms. However, they use each and every one of them in a slightly different way. That’s what makes it interesting. On the official Instagram account, for instance, you’ll only find videos. Ever since it was introduced, Red Bull made the switch to mostly videos. The official YouTube channel of Red Bull is therefore very important.

With 6,911,812 subscribers as we speak, Red Bull’s YouTube account is really something special. With several videos based on skateboarding, biking and water sports, there is a variety of content that appeals to different audiences. The videos vary in time and range from under 2 minutes to a 60-minute live stream. We get to know certain people and personalities through the videos, so we can understand Red Bull once again as a brand. They represent motivation to be active and adventurous and videos make their vision come alive, literally.

Extreme Employer Brand

“We don’t have videos of smiling employees enjoying free lunches and bean bags in colorfully painted offices. Instead, please judge us by the quality and professionalism of what we produce across our many products and projects.”

Red Bull Career website

This is an interesting quote from Red Bull’s career website. It seems like they don’t want to copy their competitors with employee experience videos, but pin their quality down on their products and projects. As a candidate, you’re not quite sure what to expect, but you most likely will be familiar with the brand and projects they support.

When it comes to Red Bull’s careers website, they’re all about being transparent and honest. People who want to work for Red Bull will visit the page, so that’s whom they’ll write their job specs for. Not to just attract anyone, they know who they are, what their audience is after. The job specifications represent the straightforwardness of both the consumer brand as well as the employer brand of Red Bull. 


Red Bull GmbH has always been focused on people and experiences. Whether that’s through one of their products, online social media content or exciting events. Red Bull isn’t selling an energy drink, it’s selling what happens afterwards. The same thing is applicable to their employer brand: it’s selling what happens after you start working for Red Bull. You will be cool.

Basically, Red Bull’s employer brand is successful, because they just don’t focus on it too much. We’re wondering who these people are behind the great Red Bull, but you’ll be able to find out if you start working with them. It’s exclusive, but they don’t brag about it. Their employer brand is just the way it is. It’s not explicitly promoted or highlighted in a campaign, which makes it a bit of a mystery. It’s comparable to the wings that make us fly when we drink Red Bull; we’ll never quite know how they work!


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