In the ’80s, Dietrich Mateschitz, a soap and toothpaste salesman, discovered an energy drink in Thailand.
He spent (and mostly lost) a million dollars trying to get people to love something called Red Bull.
Most people hated the taste.
But he was convinced that an “energy drink culture” was emerging.
So he focused on “the young and the restless,” promoting a lifestyle of staying awake.
He gave the drink away to sports teams, including soccer in Europe and auto racing in the US.
Soon, the marginally palatable and overpriced liquid was selling 6 billion of the small blue cans per year.
SOMETIMES, IT’S NOT ABOUT INVENTING A NEW PRODUCT BUT IDENTIFYING A NEW CULTURE.
No matter what Red Bull loyalists say, it’s not about the taste or even the effect. It’s about belonging.