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In 2008, the functional drinks market globally was estimated to be approximately $27 billion. Although new and still utilizing the opportunities for developing, by 2013 this market is expected to grow by 64.5% to a value of nearly $44.5 billion (Moosa, 2002). Despite how the consumers may be viewing these functional drinks, the market is very determined to meet its expectations. For any business to prosper it’s always advisable to do a comprehensive market research, so as to determine the perception, views, experience, and how the consumers are benefiting from the product. The information obtained from the field it’s very crucial for the business, as it gets a good opportunity of realizing its weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, as well as its threats in the market (Mullard, 2007). It is the responsibility of the business to conduct a thorough analysis concerning the consumer’s reaction to its products or services. Through the analysis of this information there is a high probability of the business to develop itself through such information. This consumer report will focus on an interview conducted in field on how some consumers perceive red bull brand, and how they benefit from using the brand. The discussion of the information collected in the field is done with connection to the red bull brand concepts (Beauttah, 2007). Most of the time, businesses expect customers always to have a positive perception concerning their products, but this is not necessarily the case. It becomes so surprising for a company to realize how their customers view their products.

The nature of the research

            The research was done by use of a short questionnaire handed to the five consumers chosen randomly. The questionnaire had direct questions both closed and open questions. The open questions gave the interviewees a chance to explain their views and perceptions, while the closed questions required a “yes” or “no” answers. Through this, the interview was capable of obtaining the required information concerning the perception of the consumers on the red bull brand, their experiences, and the general benefits they obtain or expect from using the drink.

General description of the respondents

            The interview had five respondents who picked randomly. The interview targeted all ages, and gender sensitive, as the respondents were three male and two female. Two of the respondents were students, a male and a female. The male went by the name A, while the female went by the name B and they represented the young generation. The third respondent was a middle aged woman who was referred to as C a consumer as well as a retailer of the brand. The fourth respondent was a middle aged man called D, an athlete and a consumer of the brand. The final respondent was an aged man called E who is a consumer of the brand and represented the old generation.

Summary of the key findings

            Some important findings that were obtained from the respondents included

  1. Some customers perceive red bull brand as an alcoholic drink as it is mostly sold in bars and pubs
  2. The association of the drink with some alcoholic drinks discourages ladies much from using this drink
  3. The pricing of the brand is not favorable to all its consumers especially the youths who are the target.
  4. Majority of the consumers understands well the benefits of the drink, and they have experienced the positive outcome of using the drink.
  5. There is a dire need for the company to conduct aggressive adverts to create awareness of the drink as non-alcoholic to all the targeted groups, to change their perceptions (Greg, 2008).

The limitations of the research

The major limitation of the research was to have as many respondents as possible. It could be a more elaborative research if many respondents were interviewed especially the youth to obtain many views and perceptions of the brand from the consumers.  This could also be limited by the resources to be used in the field, as the more respondents are involved in the research the more the resources especially the finances.  

Discussions of the interview

            Much of the information that was obtained from consumers could be of much help to the growth and expansion of the business. The results of the interview can be the starting point of the business coming up with new policies or advancing the current ones to be able to meet the requirements of the consumers in the market. The knowledge of the consumers about the brand is very crucial to the modification and expansion of the business. The way the brand has ventured into a wide market, makes the company to remain optimistic about its future.

The respondents of the interview were from different geographical regions, ages, and gender sensitive. This showed how the brand has emerged into various regions and to all ages, although the target group is the youth group (Revolutionmagazine.com, 2009). It was important to realize that the consumers of this brand position it as a more valuable drink above all other drinks, and of high quality. This perception has been enhanced by its selling slogan of the brand having the capability of giving one the wings. It was realized that this slogan persuades so many consumers to purchase the product to test the impact.

During the interview there is one consumer of red bull brand who confessed that he has always had a negative perception of the brand. He said he has perceived this drink with a lot of suspicion, as he thought that this drink is associated with alcohol. The consumer said that this was just a perception of the drink that came as a result of finding such drinks in pubs and bars. The consumer later realized that it is sold in such places as a way of targeting the youths. This perception is one of the stumbling blocks for the development of this brand, as it has affected several consumers (Reschke Wines, 2009). The first consumer, who confessed that he later realized that the brand was not alcoholic, represented just a small percentage of the targeted consumers. There was a big percentage that still thought that the brand was associated with alcohol and that is why it is sold in bars and pubs.

According to the information that was obtained from the field concerning the perception of the brand by the c consumers, it was evident that many consumers especially ladies have been scared away from the brand due to its association with beer and other alcoholic drinks. Most of the ladies claimed the drink to be for men who takes alcohol (Talking Retail, 2008). Such information is very crucial to the company as it would provide a clear path through which the advertisement of the brand should be based on. There is need for open and thorough advertisement of the brand to create awareness of the drink to the consumers that it is in no way related with alcohol (Sweeny, 2004). Through this, most of the lady consumers will be attracted back to the business, after being convinced that it is a non-alcoholic drink that is safe for everyone. If the red bull company can come up with a policy of separating its brand with alcoholic drinks, it was clear that the company can attract more customers to its brands.

There was another perception of the consumers concerning the red bull brand related with its pricing. Some consumers claimed the prices to be okay for them, but the majority complained about the price saying that is very high for an average income earners. This brought about the issue of consumers saying that they have the knowledge of the brand and its usefulness, but its prices are very high for them to afford (Walker, 2009). Some consumers claimed the brand to be for the high class earners, who take it for luxury purposes. It was also important to realize that some consumers are well informed about this brand

The benefits of red bull brand

It is encouraging having consumers, who have enough knowledge of the benefits of red bull brand. There were just a small percentage of consumers, who proved not to know the major benefits of the brand. It was clear to the consumers that red bull is a brand that aims at improving the users both physically and mentally, or revitalizing the whole well-being of its consumers. This proved the reason why the brand held a 29% global market share in 2009 (World Advertising Research Center, 2009). This know-how of the consumers makes the company to spread its wings globally since it was initiated in 1987. The issue of consumers realizing the importance of the brand to them is a good indication as to why the brand has ventured into more than 70 countries, with the company holding a value of $0.9 billion and managing to sell more than our billion cans globally.

This information is according to the analysis that was obtained in 2008.  Some of the consumers were given a chance to state some of the benefits that they obtain from the drink and good enough they were able to mention some of the benefits like improving physical endurance, assisting in metabolism and in eliminating waste products from the body (Lermack, 2009). There were consumers who had a clear view on how one can benefit from using this energy drink. The list of the benefits that was received from the consumers was endless including the drink boosting the speed and the overall body concentration, especially the mental alertness.

The interview went further to interrogate the consumers on when is the best time to consume the drink in trying to relate the benefits they mentioned. This question was also very clear to them as they went to an extent of giving personal experiences when they have tried to use it and the outcome (Bakner, 2006). They stated that when one is undergoing a mental or physical strain, it would be advisable for one to take the drink, or after having consecutive intensive working days. There was a consumer who gave the experience of using it when preparing for a demanding athletic activity, and the drink worked miracles, as the body was very active. One of the consumers who were interviewed was a student, and confessed that he must use the drink before sitting for tests or exams, as he believes it is part of crucial preparations.

What differentiate Red Bull from its Key Competitors?

            For several years in the market, the red bull company has faced stiff competition from other energy drink companies. The competitors have adopted ways of red bull for them to succeed in the market, mostly by coming up with similar products (Baker, 2008). No matter how many competitors have arisen in the market, red bull brand has made all the necessary efforts to stand out among the rest. One of the major way through which this company has remained in the market for a long time despite the competitors is extremely protecting its brand image. The company has a good reputation of protecting its brand image globally.

This has been enhanced by ensuring there are strict regulations that govern how and when red bull would portray itself in media while advertising its brand (Ndouver, 2009). Most of the red bull adverts since the time it was introduced in the market, they have been very careful in the use of colors and font sizes. These measures are meant to prevent other similar brands, although it does not always work out, as it is faced with a lot of challenges. In 2007, there was a case in court whereby, Red Bull presented a case against energy drink Boost concerning their silver cans and the blue color used in their trademark. Red Bull won the case because those features were registered as part of their trademarks.  

            Red Bull has been very strict on its brand image to ensure its reputation globally. For instance, in 2004, Red Bull filed another case in court against music festival organizer concerning the use of blue color and silver in their trademarks, the worst part was using similar sized cans. Red bull lost the case because it was perceived that Mean Fiddler were switch selling, and had to pay court costs worth $20000. The quality of red bull brand has also being placing it at a very competitive edge among its competitors. The brand is claimed to have so many benefits as it was proclaimed by the respondents in the field. Among other energy drinks, Red Bull has been very popular and most of the consumers prefer it due to its status. The packaging of this product is also very attractive as compared to other competitors making it more competitive especially among the youths. The consumers of this brand enhance their status through this brand, as it is classified among the top quality energy drinks for top class consumers.

Recommendations

            During the interview that was conducted in the field concerning the consumers perception of Red Bull brand, several recommendation can be drawn and directed to the company for its wellbeing and expansion purposes. For instance, from the information obtained from the respondents, it was clear that the brand identity is strong, fresh and fashionable as viewed by most of the consumers (Financial Times Ltd, 2009). This can be classified as one of the strengths of the company that it should utilize to be more competitive in the market. It was also noted that there is consumer recognition by efforts in sponsorship of extreme sports and other events.

Although some of the consumers have a negative perception concerning the brand, and tend to think that it is associated with alcoholic drinks. The company should take an opportunity to enlighten those few consumers who have such perception to bring them back to the brand, as a normal energetic drink just like others. There were some threats noted through interrogating the consumers such as some consumers have turned to purchasing illegal energy drinks with contents such as taurine and caffeine, and this act may reduce the number of consumers in the company (Dunne, 2005). The company should work tirelessly to have some tactics of handling such incidences. This may be a serious threat that needs to be corrected on time.  Another type of a threat that was realized through respondents was that organic energy drinks sellers may easily snatch Red Bull consumers. 

Conclusion

            Red bull has existed in the market for more than 20 years, whereby it started as a non-existent market, its market diversified, and also saturated with a lot of competitors. According to the research done in the field it was evident that through sponsoring extreme sports and important events, the company managed to publicize its brand and making it as a “wayo flife” to most consumers (Dolan, 2009). Throughout its life cycle in the market, Red Bull has expanded into new and diverse markets and has boosted sales a great deal. The best part of Red Bull Company is to be in a position to enter an important market for health conscious consumers.

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