Monster and Red Bull are acclaimed to be the highest sought-after energy drinks among the younger generation, with the former slightly more popular than the latter. Given that a can of Red Bull sells for $5 whilst a can of Monster sells for $3 and considering the similar amount of popularity each brand garners, it is imminent that the latter will soon oppose the former in an equal race towards monopoly. (Duncan) To many consumers, Monster energy drink tastes sweeter than Red Bull, evidently because of the higher sugar content in it compared to Red Bull. The high octane drinks both carry high quantities of caffeine in them. However, if compared in terms of other factors such as their brand design and their strategies to attract consumers, a variance is seen among them.
Brand Logos and Catchphrases
Both the brands are expressive about the message they want to put out to the masses in the form of their brand logos or their catchphrases. Red Bull’s design is an appropriate depiction of its spirit and the message they want to put across such as agility, intellect, aggressiveness (hence, the ‘red’ bull) or strength. Whilst Monster’s logo shows the shape of a fluorescent green ‘M’ in such a way that the perceived depiction is of a claw slashing throw something. The contrast between both the logos shows how the Monster logo gives off a horrendous vibe and the logo of Red Bull depicts an aggressive vibe. (Dassing)
As mentioned above, the brands focus on their theme by building corresponding catchphrases and logos such that, the Red Bull constitutes of the catchphrase ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ which, to the consumer gives off the impression that anything is attainable. By attaining wings or so to speak, by consuming the energy beverage, complex tasks will be easier to achieve which similar to its logo depicts speed, strength, aggressiveness (all the abilities needed to achieve a task). (Dassing)
However, Monster’s catchphrase ‘unleash the beast’ again depicts not only fierceness but a dark side to power and ferociousness. It gives away more of a daunting vibe than the former energy drink which shows that the brand’s message is being clearly shown.
Monster and Red Bull both present quite a similar view in terms of their brand image i.e. the element of fun or being carefree. It also depicts the image of boosting one’s personality traits and increasing one’s excitement towards new possibilities hence, the advertisements often show people partying after consumption of either of the beverages. (Duncan)
Both the brands enjoy a reputable position in the views of their consumers, their fan following and their rival tendencies are also similar to what Coca-Cola and Pepsi enjoy, i.e. the difference between them isn’t palpable in terms of taste, however, the consumers who frequently use the beverages are able to discern the tastes from each other.
However, Red Bull sits on a higher pedestal when it comes to the awareness of the general masses. People are more aware of the image, logo, catchphrase of the brand even if they aren’t regular consumers of it; while, Monster energy drink does not enjoy the same position as people, in general, are not aware of its catchphrase or its popularity as of yet. (M.A. Heckman)
It is because of this reputation and the level of awareness among people that Red Bull is considered to be a pleasant companion of some alcohol based drinks while Monster does not accompany any other drink and is consumed on its own. (M.A. Heckman)
Red Bull and Monster, both have prices falling not far from one another and neither is their pricing policy. Red Bull, at a price level of $5 is at the first-rate pricing point in the market while Monster is slightly lower than it, falling at $3. Although for the quantity of the beverage in one can, i.e. 473 ml the price point is high, Red Bull is still able to gather a huge consumer following. Monster, at 500 ml per can follows after Red Bull in the market with $3, and even though it is gaining recognition as a brand, Red Bull still holds the first position in the market in terms of energy drinks, and is able to control the price point by being the first-class beverage being consumed the most. (Brenda M)
Even though the price points are succinctly controlled by Red Bull and the competitors often end up becoming followers in terms of their pricing policies, the beverage with the infamous sleek blue and silver can still attract more consumers particularly because of its refined taste, quality and the nutritional benefits it provides. Thus the brand has achieved the highest customer loyalty and has become a kind of ‘trademark religion’ because of which, consumers willingly pay whichever price is asked from them. (Brenda M)
As different trademark brands, both Red Bull and Monster energy drink have adopted entirely different product policies so far, i.e. Red Bull is seen advertising on the base of its quality and genuineness. It targets people who are on the lookout for originality in products and hence, it almost never changed its look in the past twenty or so years. It has also kept its original taste, look and image to cater to the masses on the basis of their ‘originality’. (Dassing)
However, Monster energy drink has never adopted the same strategy as of Red Bull as it never wavers in creating new designs for its customers. This way, Monster also tries to attract new consumers by offering a variety of flavors which Red Bull doesn’t. The most prominent contrast in between both the brands is that Red Bull never changes its logo. Even when it introduced its sugar-free version, the brand message or the logo on the can didn’t change. But, Monster catchphrases and logos for each can change accordingly. For example, Monster assault shows a red claw instead of a fluorescent green one, Monster zero ultra comes in a sleek silver and grey can instead of the signature one, and so on and so forth. (M.A. Heckman)
As mentioned above, the design of Red Bull is neat and simplistic. The blue and silver colors painted on a sleek can are now famous for their originality. While, the Monster can is larger, thicker than the former brand and comes in various colors depending on what it is selling to its customers. (M.A. Heckman)
Given that the loyalty of Red Bull’s consumer following is staggering, ever since it came out into the market in 1987; because of its originality and because it is considered to be the pioneer of the energy drinks, it is difficult to discern whether it will be overpowered completely by other energy beverages or not. However, with the demand of diversification in products arising with time, Monster energy drink with its tendency to put out new flavors and designs to attract new customers may well be able to cater to all categories of customers in the future.
While the competition is tough, both brands are able to engage their fan following accordingly now with social media and as evident through Facebook and other platforms, Red Bull still has twice as many followers than Monster.
Brenda M, Victor G, Reginald F, Tracy C, Kimberly B. “A survey of energy drink consumption patterns among college students.” Nutrition Journal (2007). Document.
Dassing, Solene. “Red Bull vs. Monster.” n.d. REDBURNMONSTERS. Document. 15 March 2018.
Duncan, Gillian. “Monster v Red Bull: High octane energy drinks battle brews in UAE.” 23 July 2013. The National. Document. 15 March 2018.
M.A. Heckman, K. Sherry, E. Gonzalez De Mejia. “Energy Drinks: An assessment of their market size, consumer demographics, ingredient profile, functionality, and regulations in the United States .” Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety (2010): 303-317. Website.