Rockstar Energy Drink

Taking on Red Bull and becoming a billion dollar brand

The energy drink world has long been dominated by Red Bull, with Monster forever lingering in second place. But there’s another caffeine-packed beverage that’s rising to the top tier: Rockstar.

BevNET reports that Rockstar has reached the $1 billion annual threshold for the the first time this year, and skyrocketed up 18 percent from last year in terms of dollar sales.

Now, it’s third in its category — behind Red Bull and Monster — and it doesn’t advertise nationally. So, what’s Rockstar’s secret?

Here’s what Rockstar attributes much of its success:

“Its brand has clearly resonated with consumers, partly due to the product itself, and partly due to its image: a sturdy black can with gold and red lettering, gold star icon and provocative slogan (Party like a ROCKSTAR!), not to mention a brand name suggestive of celebrity, high energy and sex appeal.”

It’s all about how consumers perceive themselves when they’re drinking it, not the taste of the drink. Even the function of the drink (that energy boost factor) usually outweighs the taste in this beverage category.

Just because they don’t put up big TV spots doesn’t mean Rockstar doesn’t promote itself — the brand spends more than double the industry average on promotion. But it does it at a much more granular, targeted level than big beverage corporations.

 It comes down to strong and consistent branding. Everything about Rockstar fits together — scantily-clad women, the promise of an celebrity lifestyle and fast-paced excitement. That’s what the core demographics of energy drink consumers (teens, college kids, and young adults) want.

Its brand keeps itself different from industry leader Red Bull as well. Red Bull focuses everything around its “Red Bull gives you wings” tagline, which you see often in big TV spots. It primarily sponsors sports like snowboarding, freestyle motocross and air racing to drive its message home.

Rockstar is also prevalent in the extreme sports world, but it’s also heavily into entertainment, piling on that idea of a rockstar lifestyle. Its empowering, aspirational tone is stronger than the other brands, promising to help you achieve that lifestyle.