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DudeMan
06-10-2006, 03:21 AM
I'm marketing Red Bull knock offs, custom film wrapped with the establishment's logo/layout. Minimum commitment is 160 cases. My main obstacle so far with the bar/club industry is Red Bull's exclusivity contracts. People love the idea of a custom label Red Bull clone but they seem to be afraid of losing their exclusivity "reward" from Red Bull.

I know there are some RB distributors/former distributors on this board. What exactly is this reward program? How far does it go? I spoke to owners of high end supper clubs in Montreal's fancy area. They move about 800 cases/year and they claim RB is giving them $50K in cash for a 2 year contract. Many owners are telling me I "can't afford" to give them what RB gives them.

Any insights on Red Bull's on premise program, how it works, how cash backs are determined/negotiated, etc, would be greatly appreciated.

the saint
06-10-2006, 04:18 PM
That sounds like asking god "what makes women tick" or "what is the purpose in life"
Everyone is going to tell you something different as no 2 contracts are exactly the same.However I can assure you this, they are all the same that Red Bull WILL yank their money from the club etc. if not exclusive no matter what your can looks like.

Spartan Dan
06-10-2006, 05:04 PM
the saint has a point. But the delivery, ouch.

No two contracts look alike huh? I have a photo copier that dares to say otherwise. Of course, thats illegal too...

My hands are tied.

DudeMan
06-10-2006, 09:52 PM
I've heard of some clubs getting $0.33/can cash back. I can beat that easily. But other clubs getting $50K over 1600 cases, that's $31.25 cash back per case. That pretty much means the club is getting all their stock for free. That's crazy.

I'd love to see one of those contracts....How are the film-wrapped custom labels doing in the US, on premise?

the saint
06-11-2006, 11:00 AM
Alot of the $50K is in the amount that the club would be charged if they went out and had the table tents etc. printed themselves that RB gives them. I doubt very seriously that redbull is handing over 50 grand in cash.

This is a pretty common topic on this board, you might do a search for it.

[ 06-11-2006, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: the saint ]

DudeMan
06-11-2006, 05:01 PM
I've read the other topics. And yes some clubs do get promo material. But these places in question have absolutely no promo material whatsoever. The owner told me that "when Robert DeNiro comes to this restaurant, they want him to be seen drinking Red Bull"..

As you said, no 2 contracts are the same. I was just curious as to how the reps establish what to give who and how.

Coco Rico
06-11-2006, 08:45 PM
To echo the Saint... they all differ based on country, region, state, market, etc. Bottom line, if it's an important account to Red Bull, they'll fight tooth and nail to keep you out.

My question to you is, aside from price, what are you prepared to offer the club? Cheap product is one thing, but that alone is not going to increase my revenues - especially if it's a no name product that no one asks for and that I could get in trouble for serving when someone orders a Red Bull. Bar owners want attention, creative ideas, promotions, bar incentives. They want a partner that will help generate traffic. Most bigs bars get that and more from Red Bull, so what do you have to offer, other than a cheap knock off (your own words by the way)?

CR

DudeMan
06-12-2006, 07:08 AM
Coco Rico: It's not a no name product. It's a custom label can. If your club is called Coco Rico, your can will say Coco Rico and the design will match your club's logo/concept. People ask for Red Bull, all you have to say is "we have our own energy drink". Customers are impressed because they can't tell the contents from Red Bull, however the can provides visibility for YOUR establishment rather than some cheap AND overpriced brand (Red Bull) that can be bought at Wal-Mart, Costco, and every corner store.

So the question I ask you is this: Would you rather pay $32/Case and promote an Austrian imported overhyped brand, or pay $28/Case and serve your customers the flavor/ingredients they expect while promoting your own club??

the saint
06-12-2006, 09:37 AM
Not to offend you but if I were a bar/club owner I would want to serve what the customers asked for, regardless of the cost to me. The customer is gonna pay the same for the drink whatever the energy drink is that is poured into it. The 15 cents a can more profit doesn't matter much when the bankruptcy auction is being held because people quit coming in.

Mr Zabe
06-12-2006, 10:21 AM
I agree with saint. As I have said before,club/bar customers in general are "curb appeal/snob drinkers".Selling private house brands/off labeled energy drinks at a discount does not come into play for these drinkers. IMO

Red Bull has become bigger than it's parts.

DudeMan
06-12-2006, 02:22 PM
You guys are right. I'm just going to start selling the product for $2.00/Case MORE than Red Bull the way private label should be smile.gif

It's all about perceived value.

Coco Rico
06-13-2006, 09:21 AM
So, are you going to sell it for more than Red Bull or less? I'm a little confused.

Regardless, as a club owner, my own private label energy drink isn't nearly as appealing as a selling a brand that's already established, that I know I can sell for a premium, and that I know will support my business.

A private label with my club's name on it seems cute, until you realize no one's going to ask for it, my bartenders would have to waste time telling people what it is, and then I risk losing a $7 to $10 ring when I don't have the product they ask for.

CR

[ 06-13-2006, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: Coco Rico ]

DudeMan
06-13-2006, 09:43 AM
Even if the contents is identical?

I was planning on doing an introductory price of $1.00 less than RB and then move on to $2.00 more than RB.

greg
06-13-2006, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by DudeMan:
Even if the contents is identical?

I was planning on doing an introductory price of $1.00 less than RB and then move on to $2.00 more than RB. My opinion is this is a bad strategy. Consumers will see a Private label as being a cheap knockoff. RB has such a trmendous name in this industry that it will be hard to get bar owners as well as their patrons to pony up for what they will most likely percieve as a knockoff.
I would keep my pricing below, well below RB to give the bar owner a percieved value.
This strategy works well on water but it usually doesn't price itself above Dasani or Aquafina.

boodoo
06-13-2006, 10:47 AM
It ain't energy but...I have a good friend in the bottled water business and he makes a small fortune providing "private label" water to high-end hotels, restaurants and import car dealerships. They sell much more of their label than they do name brand. Promotes the business name.

Mr Zabe
06-13-2006, 11:08 AM
The nice restaurants that have delivery service in my area, have priviate labeled water. Usually it's the only water beverage on their take out menu. The average price for a 20oz btl of spring water is around $1.50.

greg
06-13-2006, 03:39 PM
As I said, the Private label bottled water is a good idea because when it comes right down to it, how bad can someone screw up a bottled water?
Moreover, with so many bottled waters out there they all virtually taste the same anyway.Water is basically Water.

Spartan Dan
06-13-2006, 04:29 PM
Right. Water is basically water, but, things can happen to water to screw it up.

Mr. State-The-Obvious...

DudeMan
06-13-2006, 09:02 PM
Exactly. Up here it's the same thing. Nobody's impressed anymore with the prvate label water bottles. Everyone's got one. And the companies that do it sell it for more than branded water.

An energy drink is functional, carbonated, and if it tastes exactly like Red Bull, but has the establishment's design, I think the customer will be furthermore impressed. Water is basically water. A Red Bull type energy drink is basically Red Bull.

Businesses shy away from private labels because the min for 8.4oz printed cans is usually 10 000 Cases. With a shrink wrap I'm offering my customers a minimum of 160 Cases. I think this is a great opportunity for many businesses.

The way I see it: Customer orders a RB. The can has the club's deisgn. Customer thinks wow this is really nice, but it must not taste like Red Bull. Customer tastes it and says wow it does taste like RB. Everyone's happy.

Red Sox fan
06-13-2006, 09:25 PM
This idea that a bar owner is going to have lines out his door or lose Energy Drink+Vodka sales because they do not carry Red Bull is a Myth perpetuated by Red Bull employees/fans.

99.9% percent of customers could care less. The other .01% work for Red Bull.

As long as the drink looks, smells, and tastes similair you're fine.

So, if we assume for a second that everything I said above is true, and all energy drinks are all the same in the majority of consumers eyes, then the only point of difference is the support a brand can give an account (through POS, slotting payment etc.)

This is where the big brands will always have an advantage over knock offs/me too's.

DudeMan
06-13-2006, 10:03 PM
I agree. And I can't think of better POS than to have the club's logo ON the actual can. The product is both profitable and offers visibility.

SumPoosieCat
06-13-2006, 10:32 PM
Red Sox you could not be more right. I supply SumPoosie to several clubs in my hometown and they have never lost a sale because they sell them SumPoosie and Vodka. The reason is simple it looks better, smells better, and taste better.

BigEnergy
06-13-2006, 11:46 PM
I would have to agree with RS, if a bartender is pouring someone a drink and the customer asks what is that and the bartender replies "it taste just like RB" I don't think the customer is going to make a big deal out of it.

-VV-
06-14-2006, 12:04 AM
"I'll have a knock-off and Vodka please"

DudeMan
06-14-2006, 12:42 AM
If the customer makes a big deal out of it, the owner should switch bartenders and not energy drinks....cause she's probably not hot enough ;)

greg
06-14-2006, 11:22 AM
Have you guys ever heard of the Placebo effect?!
If I order a RB and Grey Goose and the Bar tender pours me a "Macks Bar" and Skol I will be highly disapointed.
Even if the "Macks Bar" is just as taty and refreshing as RB and even if the Skol was just as good as the Grey Goose(Which it is not)I would not be the same due to the placebo effect.
And you can't tell me you will sell the drink cheaper than RB because you have already stated a case will be more expensive. So what is the advantage to the consumer.
Don't get me wrong, I have every confidence that my local watering hole can make me a drink or pour me a beer successfully, however, when it comes to energy drinks with his name on it I feel as though it would be just a cheap knockoff with no real brand behind it promoting the highest beverage quality.

I am not saying this idea is without merit, I am just stating to me that it is a long shot. But then again, long shots pay off the best.
good luck

SumPoosieCat
06-14-2006, 04:55 PM
Greg if you are in a fancy club or bar I think you would assume anything with the club name on it would be first rate as well. If it is a high end kind of place a would assume anything with its name on it would be high end as well. Nikki Beach in South Florida is a prime example.

DudeMan
06-14-2006, 10:44 PM
I was trying to sell the concept to a high end supper club owner that currently sells Red Bull only. He was all impressed with the hype around Red Bull and was bragging about how his establishment was concerned with image and all that snobbism. I told him I agreed and that I thought his club was really fancy, all his alcohol bottles were top notch, his wine bottles were the finest, and that as a matter of fact, the ONLY product at his bar that was beind sold at Costco, Wal-Mart, and every cheap convenience store, was Red Bull.

The look on his face was priceless smile.gif

Coco Rico
06-14-2006, 11:32 PM
Actually, here in the US you can buy Grey Goose, Bombay, Moet White Star, Hennessey, Courvoisier, Belvedere, Patron and many other top shelf brands at any Sam's Club, CostCo, and Wal Mart that sells liquor...in case you weren't aware...

CR

-VV-
06-15-2006, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by DudeMan:
and that as a matter of fact, the ONLY product at his bar that was beind sold at Costco, Wal-Mart, and every cheap convenience store, was Red Bull.
So they don't sell Coke/Pepsi, Diet soda, Juice, etc.?

Also, you're selling a KNOCK-OFF of Red Bull. What does it say about your brand that they have to imitate such an "inferior" product? And why would any salesman in his right mind trash a brand that they are copying?

"Yeah buddy, Fords are cheaply made cars. They are just pure junk. But, hey, I'm not selling you a Ford, this is the Fiord. A Ford clone."

Brilliant.

If you pay close attention to who is winning in the energy drink category, you will notice something that is perfectly clear to anyone - even those without experience in the beverage industry - and that is, marketing yourself as an alternative to Red Bull is not a particularly profitable way to grow your brand. If you want a tiny niche market, then maybe stealing a few accounts with a "Red Bull alternative" might be a profitable venture for you, but those who are giving Red Bull a run for their money are those who focused on growing their own brand and core market rather than willingly marketing themselves as an "alternative" to the leader. People know they have a choice, they don't need you to tell them that. And if that particular person has a taste for Red Bull, why in the world would they buy a knockoff if the price to them is the same?

"Knockoffs" are bought for primarily one reason. Generally people can't afford the original. If you're buying an expensive pair of sunglasses, or a watch, shoes, handbag, etc - sometimes a knockoff might make sense. Who in their right mind creates a cheaper knockoff of a $2 drink sold at Walmart, as you so eloquently stated, and then brags about it?

You might really want to conisder changing your approach. If you're going to sell a Red Bull "clone", then you may want to consider building Red Bull up rather than tearing them down if you want your product to have any value. In my humble opinion, devaluing Red Bull and then trying to sell them a cheaper alternative with their name plastered across the front is probably not the best way for you to acheive the success you're looking for.

[ 06-15-2006, 05:50 AM: Message edited by: Veruca Vending ]

greg
06-15-2006, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by TallThinBlonde:
Greg if you are in a fancy club or bar I think you would assume anything with the club name on it would be first rate as well. If it is a high end kind of place a would assume anything with its name on it would be high end as well. Nikki Beach in South Florida is a prime example. Why would I automatically assume it was high quality?
The first thing I would think of is that someone came to the club owner and convinced him that he had a drink that "tasted like RB, looked like RB, and would take off like RB". All the club owner had to do was slap his own private label on it, which the salesman could do.
Well if it is such a great product why wouldn't the salesman market it under his name of choice?

It's kind of like what Cott does. Kroger, Publix, Albertson's, etc buy their "generic" sodas from them and we all have a "perception" that it is of lower quality than Pepsi or Coke.
I am not saying it is lower quality, just a perception of lower quality. In Marketing Perception is reality more often than not.

greg
06-15-2006, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Veruca Vending:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by DudeMan:
and that as a matter of fact, the ONLY product at his bar that was beind sold at Costco, Wal-Mart, and every cheap convenience store, was Red Bull.
So they don't sell Coke/Pepsi, Diet soda, Juice, etc.?

Also, you're selling a KNOCK-OFF of Red Bull. What does it say about your brand that they have to imitate such an "inferior" product? And why would any salesman in his right mind trash a brand that they are copying?

"Yeah buddy, Fords are cheaply made cars. They are just pure junk. But, hey, I'm not selling you a Ford, this is the Fiord. A Ford clone."

Brilliant.

If you pay close attention to who is winning in the energy drink category, you will notice something that is perfectly clear to anyone - even those without experience in the beverage industry - and that is, marketing yourself as an alternative to Red Bull is not a particularly profitable way to grow your brand. If you want a tiny niche market, then maybe stealing a few accounts with a "Red Bull alternative" might be a profitable venture for you, but those who are giving Red Bull a run for their money are those who focused on growing their own brand and core market rather than willingly marketing themselves as an "alternative" to the leader. People know they have a choice, they don't need you to tell them that. And if that particular person has a taste for Red Bull, why in the world would they buy a knockoff if the price to them is the same?

"Knockoffs" are bought for primarily one reason. Generally people can't afford the original. If you're buying an expensive pair of sunglasses, or a watch, shoes, handbag, etc - sometimes a knockoff might make sense. Who in their right mind creates a cheaper knockoff of a $2 drink sold at Walmart, as you so eloquently stated, and then brags about it?

You might really want to conisder changing your approach. If you're going to sell a Red Bull "clone", then you may want to consider building Red Bull up rather than tearing them down if you want your product to have any value. In my humble opinion, devaluing Red Bull and then trying to sell them a cheaper alternative with their name plastered across the front is probably not the best way for you to acheive the success you're looking for. </font>[/QUOTE]Good Post!!

the saint
06-15-2006, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by DudeMan:
If the customer makes a big deal out of it, the owner should switch bartenders and not energy drinks....cause she's probably not hot enough ;) and exactly how many bartenders need to be switched until the owner decides to dump red bull?? Just asking because the owner shouldn't switch energy drinks, right??

Are you actually energydude? just curious because you sure sound alot like him sometimes. Your name and what you do for a living are similar as well.

You knock others for the prices they should charge because their " beverage is not red bull" but then you have in your own words "a knock off" of red bull. You seem to think that it is worth as much or more than red bull.

You ask a question, you get some responses. You don't like what you read so you sit and argue over the answers because it isn't what you say in the sales pitch you use when approaching customers.

[ 06-15-2006, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: the saint ]

NRGSLLR
06-16-2006, 02:03 PM
Dudeman: where can you find a can company that will make minimum run of 160 cans?

DudeMan
06-16-2006, 03:42 PM
I was away for a few days. Here are some clarifications:

NRGSLLR: I produce on my own. I won't get into details but it's 160 Cases not cans.

The Saint & Veruca: No I'm not energydude. I actually have my own high potency 16oz brand, which I market and try to build up as much as possible without referring to RB. The "clone" concept is just for on-premise. What I'm actually doing is BUILDING UP the CONTENTS/FLAVOR of Red Bull on-premise and tearing down their name and image, in favor of the club's image. RB gives incetives to bars for visibility. I'm offering the bar the product and flavor their customers want and like, while creating visibility for their own establishment.

Coco Rico: "if it's an important account to Red Bull, they'll fight tooth and nail to keep you out."

You are right about that! The club that was offered 50K for 3 years with RB, I offered them the same deal with my case priced $1.00 cheaper. RB came back and offered 65K. I was going to sign a major after hours club that sells RB. RB found out and is now renovating the club's entire VIP section. 10K worth of renovations. Another small bar was going to sign with m. The RB rep promised them they would promote their club and throw promotional parties if they stayed with RB.

Now the question I ask to you guys is this: If my concept is so cheap and stupid, howcome it's scaring the big established Red Bull company to the point that they spent over $35K in the past 2 weeks just to keep me out?? If they think I may have something, I don't see why I shouldn't.

Coco Rico
06-16-2006, 06:49 PM
Not to be rude, but I'm going to have to call bull***t. I don't buy for a second that the "bidding war" you just described in any way happened. Unless that account was selling upwards of 500-1000 cases of RB a month, I have a hard time believing that Red Bull would pay that much to keep an account exclusive. I could be wrong though. However, as a person starting up a completely new product, where did you get the jack to offer up $50,000 to 1 account to bring in your product. I don't think that's a wise investment for you even if you did have that kind of coin.

I believe Red Bull is capable of paying serious money for a club, and I know they have helped accounts renovate VIP rooms, build custom bars, etc. Again, not to be rude, but I don't think they are doing any of that in Canada because they are afraid of your product. Those are things Red Bull just does everywhere with their better customers to reward loyalty. There are a lot of big competitors out there, and I really don't think a knock off with no branding of it's own in any way threatens them.

CR

DudeMan
06-16-2006, 07:55 PM
No offense taken. Red Bull has been EXTREMELY agressive and dominating since their entry in Canada nearly 2 years ago. National case price is $47.50 CAD. I know of 4-5 clubs each getting a 50K check at the end of a 2 to 3 year contract. There's no bull***t as you put it. It's actually no big deal:

The club in question sells 50 cases/week. Over a 3 year period which is the duration of the contract, that's 7800 cases. 50K so what??? That's a $6.41 rebate per case. The club is still ending up paying $41.09 CAD per case! How can I afford to pay that kind of coin? Very simple. By doing the same as RB: Overcharge for 3 years and if the club did not sell any competing product, pay a reward which is basically the club's own money and still end up with a decent profit. It's a gimmick they have for clubs. I guess some club owners don't mind overpaying on a weekly basis because all they think about is their cash reward at the end of the contract.

Obviously they didn't institute this reward program because of my product. What I said is that they have increased the "rewards" to certain accounts who were interested in switching to my product. These increases for 2 accounts alone represent $25K. So yes I am costing them money.

It's not whether the product is a knock off, has strong branding or not that threatens them. What threatens them is that some major accounts have expressed interest in the product. That's the bottom line and that's one thing they can't stand.

Ron Swedelson
06-17-2006, 03:59 PM
Unfortunatly, you have to have something more than just an interest, you have to have a good value to your customer. Sure, every bar or resturant or store likes to see their logo on a product so it looks like their own. But they know it is somthing of a nitch product for that specific location, and will not appeal to the masses. Red Bull is keeping their immage of being everywere, and rewarding their customers who go by their program. The bar owners would gladly rip up the contract, keep Red Bull, and bring in your brand, or other energy drink brands, if they thought the added value and profits would outweigh what Red Bull is offering for exclusivity. Unfortunatly your brand, or other brands just wont do that. I know I was at one of my favorite Mexican Resturants last month, ordered some drinks, one of them for me being a Red Bull and Gray Goose Orange. I didnt pay attention to what was going on at the bar, got my drinks, took one sip and said "This isn't Red Bull is it?" They said, "Yes, Red Bull and Gray Goose" "I replied, is this Roaring Lion?" "Oh, yes it is." I know what I wanted, and the taste was not there. Obviously I finished my drink because I did not want to waste the $8, but I did not get a second. Point of my long rant there is, you have to give your bars and clubs enough added value and profits to end their exclusivity with Red Bull, but you have to have something that will not be viewed as a knock off, or people will know. Thats why RockStar and Monster are filling out the top 3, they are not viewed as copy cats.

SumPoosieCat
06-18-2006, 11:10 AM
Its the customer and the club who loses here. Red Bull does not really mix well with anything. Can you add it to vodka...sure but that is about it. There are so many energy drinks and so many flavors. I like the clubs that offer a few CHOICES. Clubs that offer choices make more money because they include more customers. You would never see a club offer only one beer or one Vodka... why offer only one energy drink?

the saint
06-18-2006, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by TallThinBlonde:
You would never see a club offer only one beer or one Vodka... why offer only one energy drink? Because people do not go to clubs to try out the new energy drinks. That is what conveinence stores are for.People go to clubs to drink alcohol, dance (or attempt to in most cases) and pick up members of the opposite sex. Red Bull is the drink people ask for so that is what most clubs carry.

NRgizR
06-19-2006, 01:55 PM
I think a few more drinks than just vodka...Jager and Bacardi flavors do real well.
How can the clubs make more money if they offer more choices of energy? How many clubs carry more than one cola? Does this stop them from making more money? The fact is the clubs will make the same amount with a captured audience. Only the suppliers are the ones who will make less money.

I guess to answer your question why sell only one energy drink? This should be answered by a bar or club owner not by the suppliers and distributors on this board.

[ 06-19-2006, 01:58 PM: Message edited by: NRgizR ]

NRgizR
06-19-2006, 02:07 PM
Ron S,
To add to your point about Roaring Lion. Below is a news article.

May 30, 2006
Vodka And Fake Red Bull
Coke may be the real thing, but Red Bull is making its own authenticity case in courtrooms across the land.

From Iowa City Press-Citizen:

The distributor of the energy drink Red Bull has filed a lawsuit against an Iowa City bar for mixing cocktails with an imitation, but failing to tell customers who specifically ordered drinks with the popular beverage.
Red Bull North America Inc. filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court, accusing the Sports Column, a popular bar in downtown Iowa City, of trademark infringement.

The beverage company claims Sports Column bartenders lied repeatedly when customers asked whether their drinks were mixed with Red Bull. Instead, the lawsuit claims the customers were served Roaring Lion, an imitation described as a cheaper product designed to tap Red Bull's market share.

The lawsuit is similar to others filed across the nation as Red Bull seeks to protect its market and label.

"They seem to be trying to make an example out of me," said Brett Sawyer, the owner of the Sports Column.


Roaring Lion's tagline is "FLY TWICE AS HiiiGH." A spirits brand could never make a claim like that due to legal restrictions. But that aside, the thing I find interesting here is the retailer, at least in the case above, has no use for such product claims, because the beverage is being passed off as Red Bull.

DudeMan
06-20-2006, 03:25 AM
It is very common for Red Bull to sue for trademark infringement. They often send undercover agents to accounts who have switched away from RB, to get "revenge". The agent orders a Vodka RB to see if the bartender will mention they are no longer serving RB. It really shows the mentality of this company. All the bartender/waitress has to say is "we have brand x energy drink" to avoid legal action for passing off/infringement.

It's funny how they refer to the entire energy drink market as their market share. I think many people forget that Red Bull is just a carbonated knock off of Kratingdaeng, which in my opinion and that of many others, is the original energy drink.

Establishments shouldn't be afraid to say to customers: "We don't have Red bull, We have X Brand." As long as the flavor is similar, customers just don't care. I can understand if a customer insists on Bacardi rather than another brand of Rhum. But no customer will complain if their Rhum+Coke is made with Pepsi instead of Coke.

Ron Swedelson
06-20-2006, 11:07 AM
Dudeman...as much as revenge is in part of the thinking, I'm sure you understand there is a greater sence of "protecting their brand name" than simply revenge. It would not do Red Bull any good if every bar said they sold Red Bull, but no one actually carried the brand. As a customer, you should be informed of what you order and actually get. You are right, most customers will not care if they are told they don't carry that brand, but cary another one. Some will be turned away. I know I RockStar the other day for my first time ever. I fell into the "well, I'm really tiered today, and I will get twice the caffiene" thinking, and I could not finish my can. The aftertaste was not one I was a fan of. But I still drank my roaring lion at the bar, less satisfied than with my Red Bull, but I still drank it. Point here, inform customers what you are selling them, don't pass off brands as other ones, and Red Bull needs to protect their name and brand, just as every other company needs to.

NRgizR
06-20-2006, 01:19 PM
Dudeman,
Generally people will not complain about a rum&Coke vs a rum&Pepsi. The only reason they may is because of taste not because one is perceived as a higher scale cola. Red Bull is perceived as a higher end energy drink. If I order a Grey Goose and get a Popov... $ wise I got screwed.

Red Bull needs to protect the image of their brand. I can't understand why people don't understand that. With all the strong minded/opinionated people on this board, I can't believe anyone would stand for purchasing something they want and get something they didn't want. :confused:

Coco Rico
06-20-2006, 03:15 PM
I agree. It's about protecting your brand and nothing else. You honestly think Red Bull would actually want to go through the hassle of hiring a private investigator, documenting these infractions, spend time and money on court costs and legal fees, and run the risk of being seen as a bully just for "revenge." If you read the article about the Iowa City bar, Red Bull had been trying to work with this account for 3 years before they finally had enough and took him to court.

Whether or not you like Red Bull as a brand or as a company is not the point - what these bars and clubs are doing is illegal. If it weren't illegal, Red Bull wouldn't be winning these cases left and right. It's wrong and these bar owners know it's wrong but they're arrogant and they assume they can do whatever they want - and they just can't.

By Red Bull sueing to protect their trademark, they are in fact protecting all of us to have the ability to spend time and money marketing a product without worrying about someone else reaping the benefits.

Oh and by the way Red Bull is Krating Daeng. The owner of Red Bull GmbH bought the rights to distribute it from the Thais and he ended up carbonating it, tweaking some ingredients, and re-packaging it... but in essence they are the same. I thought that was pretty much common knowledge at this point.

CR

[ 06-20-2006, 03:18 PM: Message edited by: Coco Rico ]

-VV-
06-20-2006, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by DudeMan:
As long as the flavor is similar, customers just don't care. I can understand if a customer insists on Bacardi rather than another brand of Rhum. But no customer will complain if their Rhum+Coke is made with Pepsi instead of Coke. I really couldn't disagree more. I have seen more than one person in line at a fast food restaurant change their drink order when the counter employee says they serve another brand.

I think it's fair to say that alot of people would agree to drink whatever they offered if they didn't have their preference, but your point completely misses the underlying issue.

If they are ordering "Red Bull and Vodka", they want Red Bull and Vodka, not "Brand-X and Vodka", etc. For them to knowingly pass off a product as another is the very reason trademarks were developed. All they would have to do is say, "We serve roaring lion, it tastes very similar, is that ok?" and there would be no case. The point is, they are knowingly substituting one product for another, and they SHOULD pay in court for that. It's a very deceptive way to run a business.

NRGSLLR
06-20-2006, 05:01 PM
Sometimes brands become a symbol for a category, Coke and Kleenex come to mind. If you travel the South most people refer to any cola as a COKE, similarly a disposable facial tissue is referred to as a Kleenex. Perhaps Red Bull has assumed this role as well. If you ask for a 7 and 7 do you always get Seagarms and Seven Up? I think the brand will grow by association even if the bar serves a "knock off" because when the bar patron goes to the Grocery or Convenience Store, (arguably the largest market for any packaged beverage) he will still purchase a Red Bull because there is no "knock off" in a can.

Mr Zabe
06-20-2006, 05:17 PM
What world do you buy beverages in? It took Coke and Kleenex many...MANY...years to establish that kind of brand recognition. I will give you the Xerox one,only because they actually innovated the technology. smile.gif

Again,what C-Store in 2006 can survive with just one brand of energy drink. I would bet that nearly all C-Stores have a Red Bull Knock off. They have to as it's good business and demanded by their customers. Just my IMO. smile.gif

[ 06-20-2006, 05:21 PM: Message edited by: Mr Zabe ]

NRGSLLR
06-20-2006, 05:41 PM
My point is, I don't believe the typical bar patron would be disappointed in a good bar version energy mixed with his Vodka or Jaeger. I don't believe the typical C store consumer is purchasing Red Bull because he had it at a club last night and he loved the taste so much he just had to have it the next day without alcohol. Monster proves the point, they don't have a huge club presence, yet they are out selling Red Bull in many markets. At any rate, trying to build a brand on premise is a flawed marketing plan. You need 3 things to build a brand. 1.Brand recognition (make it memorable) 2. Trial (sampling or cost promotion) 3. Repeat purchase (only if taste and price are acceptable). So considering all these things,I believe making a "knock off" with a bar's own logo a flawed marketing strategy.

Coco Rico
06-20-2006, 05:52 PM
These lawsuits are Red Bull's attempt at preventing their name becoming synonomous with a generic. Here's another angle on it:

Red Bull is made with glucose and sucrose, most competitive e-drinks have HFCS. Let's say I have severe corn allergies, and subsequently I can't consume anything with any type of corn by-product. Needless to say, I'm incredibly carefull about what I ingest. Let's say I'm a fan of Red Bull and I can actually drink it because there's nothing in it I'm allergic to. So, I'm at a club having a good time and I order a Red Bull Vodka. Instead, I'm served a cheap knock off containing HFCS, and I don't know it. Anyway, things are great, I'm dancing, sipping on my cocktail, when all of a sudden my throat starts scratching and I'm starting to weeze. Before I figure out what's going on, my throat closes up and I collapse on the dance floor. If I'm lucky, I have an epenephrine pen on me and I'm fine. If I'm not lucky, I don't have a pen, I can't get help in time... and that's the end of that.

I know that's a drastic example, however, that is exactly what could happen as a result of misinforming consumers. It's a longshot, but all it takes is one person.

CR

Ron Swedelson
06-21-2006, 10:46 AM
see...people die when you make cheap knock-off drinks....why would you want to do that?

-VV-
06-21-2006, 02:46 PM
smile.gif

That was great, Ron. Brand purity through guilt, you may be on to something. ;)

.:.[S.H.C.].:.
06-21-2006, 03:26 PM
lol...Nice one Ron

NRgizR
06-21-2006, 03:42 PM
Again,what C-Store in 2006 can survive with just one brand of energy drink. I would bet that nearly all C-Stores have a Red Bull Knock off. They have to as it's good business and demanded by their customers.
Mr Z,
Very true but we are talking about On prem.

SumPoosieCat
06-21-2006, 11:04 PM
I believe it is a good idea to give the customer a choice! Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, and SumPoosie would make a lot of customers very happy. If the club owner wanted to add his own brand as well.... why not. Branding!!!

NRgizR
06-22-2006, 10:22 AM
:confused: :confused: :confused:

greg
06-22-2006, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by TallThinBlonde:
I believe it is a good idea to give the customer a choice! Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, and SumPoosie would make a lot of customers very happy. If the club owner wanted to add his own brand as well.... why not. Branding!!! Branding is great for a large volume business. Maybe Chilis or Applebees could pull off a branded energy drink for their customers but I think that may even be pushing it. A single bar owner, no matter how big the bar is will have a problem paying MORE for his brand when he can use an established, well respected, and proven brand already.

NRgizR
06-22-2006, 12:06 PM
"Yes.. I would like a Grey Goose and a Bob's Backyard Bar B-Q energy drink please!" ;)

DudeMan
06-22-2006, 12:08 PM
Well, I do regret having used the term "knock-off" in my first post. The term that's more descriptive of my product is "clone". Yes, it is made with Glucose and Sucrose. It's not a cheap knock off, it's a replica, with customized branding, but that's not the point.

I do agree that not specifying what brand is being sold when a customer asks for a specific trademark is illegal and passing off. Like I said, bars should always mention "We don't have requested brand, we have another brand". But NRgizR made a huge point: People use trademarks to describe catgeories of goods. I don't say "Can I have a cola and a lemon-lime beverage". I say I want a Coke and a 7-up. I don't say "Do you have a tissue", but rather do you have a Kleenex (I don't care what brand you hand me). My point is, nobody orders a "vodka and energy drink". Clubs have loud music and bartenders are in a hurry. Customers hate repeating themselves. What I'm saying is that most of the time, when people say "vodka Red Bull", they mean vodka and an energy drink, preferably with a RB type flavor. However RB did invest millions for people to "unconsciously" or instinctively say "Red Bull" when ordering an energy drink. But that should not stop a bar from choosing the product they want to carry. Bar owners should educate their staff to mention that another brand will be served. Most people in their right mind won't make a big deal over it especially if it's a "clone".

By sueing clubs, RB is not just enforcing their legal privileges of trademark ownership. They are sending a clear message to other bars who were thinking switching brands: Switch away from Red Bull and all it takes is one forgetful bartender and it will cost you a lawsuit.

DudeMan
06-22-2006, 12:19 PM
Ooops, it's NRGSLLR who made that point not NRgizR.

greg
06-22-2006, 02:17 PM
I can go out and buy a replica Cobra Jet GT, but I would rather have the original.

I disagree with your statement about people meaning they want just a vodka and energy drink when they order Vodka and RB. If thats what they want why say RB, after all, by saying "vodka" they just allowed the bartender to essentially pick a brand of Vodka so why even say Red Bull?
People say vodka and Red Bull because RB has spent millions of dollars to get people to recognize their brand and to order it when they need or want an energy drink.
By suing clubs RB is protecting it's trademark and copyright rights. If RB doesn't challenge these clubs they run the risk of losing those rights by not having them enforced.

BTW, One bartender making a forgetful statement isn't going to get you sued. The attorneys go to court when a blatant pattern of abuse is recognized and is not halted once the offender has been given notice to cease the practice.

-VV-
06-22-2006, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by DudeMan:
Well, I do regret having used the term "knock-off" in my first post. The term that's more descriptive of my product is "clone". Yes, it is made with Glucose and Sucrose. It's not a cheap knock off, it's a replica, with customized branding, but that's not the point.
knock off
1. Informal
a. To take a break or rest from; stop: knocked off work at noon.
b. To cease work: It's after five; let's knock off.
2. Informal To complete, accomplish, or dispose of hastily or easily; finish: That author knocks off a book a year.
3. Informal To get rid of; eliminate: knocked off 12 pounds in a month.
4. Slang To kill or overcome.
5. Slang To hold up or rob: knocked off a bank.
6. Informal To copy or imitate, especially without permission: knocking off someone else's ideas.

It's a knock-off, you were right the first time.

[ 07-13-2006, 07:46 PM: Message edited by: -VV- ]

SquareOne
11-09-2006, 05:57 PM
"By sueing clubs, RB is not just enforcing their legal privileges of trademark ownership. They are sending a clear message to other bars who were thinking switching brands: Switch away from Red Bull and all it takes is one forgetful bartender and it will cost you a lawsuit."

This is why all venues serving something other that Rb should have signage displayed. We Banzai Distributer always make sure we put up "BANZAI proudly served here" signs. If a bartender fails to notify the customer, because thier too busy ect, then at least it is posted for the customers information.

If you have a product that offers a great taste then why wouldn't you tell everyone what it is. I am a Bazai Dist in WI and I am so confident my clients customers are going to like BANZAI That I offer a Money Back Guarantee. And I have not bought back one box yet!

Coco Rico
11-09-2006, 11:39 PM
The bar will still be seen as liable even if a sign is posted. No one on the planet (except for you) knows what Banzai is... therefore hanging a sign for it in a bar does nothing. Has anyone ever ordered Banzai by it's name? Doubtful.

By your logic, I could own a bar and buy the cheapest keg of beer around (let's say it's Schlitz) and hang a sign "We proudly serve Schlitz Beer." When people order a Heineken, I can give them the Schlitz instead without telling them. However, since I have a sign up it's cool right??? Wrong...

The problem isn't Red Bull. The problem is that unscrupulous BIB companies, such as yours, go around and convince bar owners that it's not illegal and that they can get away with it. You sir are the reason countless bar owners are getting sued because you lie to them just to get your cheap knock off sold. When the bar gets sued you could care less.

If you all couldn't tell by my tone, I despise liars and I despise bottom feeding knock offs in any industry that try to rip off consumers by pretending to be the real thing.

CR

SquareOne
11-10-2006, 10:23 AM
My my you speak of RB like it's your religion. 1000's of bars nation wide serve pepsi instead of coke, some even use other brands. someone orders a blank and coke, most bartenders will or will not take the time to explain the difference? In this area we are making strides by doing head to head taste test I don't ask my clients customers to pick RB or pick Banzai, I ask which do you prefer and i'm sorry if this insults you personally, somehow, but I have not lost a taste test yet! News flash watching the botttom line is not a crime and RB has been over priced for years now, there are better products out there. And there are products that can and do save the club money without ripping off thier customers. I have never lied to a client to get thier accounts they make informed decisions, unlike some other company that tries to retain customers by getting them to sign "contracts" which are nothing more than marketing agreements that you can wipe your bumn with, but do work to scare some clubs into staying with them.

jdavidb
11-10-2006, 04:20 PM
If I buy a product, that's a private transaction between me and the retailer. smile.gif I trust them to provide me a good product that is what I want, and if they don't, I'll vote with my dollars somewhere else. The definition of a good product that is what I want might have to do with taste, branding, freshness, content, or any number of other factors.

Do I want my retailer to give me Pepsi when I say Coke, or a clone when I say Red Bull? Maybe, maybe not. That's between the two of us. Of course, no law says the retailer has to offer exactly what I want. And no law says Red Bull has to sell its product to the retailer under terms it doesn't like, either. If they want to make an exclusivity contract, that's between them. And I presume that if the retailer's customers have needs that are best met by such a contract, it'll happen, and otherwise it won't.

The market can handle all this.

SquareOne
11-10-2006, 05:44 PM
well said, there are over 2000 energy drinks in the US market. obviously people are buying something other than the market leaders. All I'm saying is we offer a quality product at a savings to the on premise locations. We tell our clients to inform thier customers they are recieving Banzai, not RB not Monster, ect, ect, BANZAI. Why the big savings because we use the premises water instead of the magical austrian water that must be in RB to make people so defensive of it.

greg
11-10-2006, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by jdavidb:
If I buy a product, that's a private transaction between me and the retailer. smile.gif I trust them to provide me a good product that is what I want, and if they don't, I'll vote with my dollars somewhere else. The definition of a good product that is what I want might have to do with taste, branding, freshness, content, or any number of other factors.

Do I want my retailer to give me Pepsi when I say Coke, or a clone when I say Red Bull? Maybe, maybe not. That's between the two of us. Of course, no law says the retailer has to offer exactly what I want. And no law says Red Bull has to sell its product to the retailer under terms it doesn't like, either. If they want to make an exclusivity contract, that's between them. And I presume that if the retailer's customers have needs that are best met by such a contract, it'll happen, and otherwise it won't.

The market can handle all this. Your argument makes some sense on some levels but legally it doesn't fly. If a customer comes into a bar and orders a vodka and RB and he is then served a vodka and Bawls and it happens on a consistent basis then the bar is liable for a bait and switch tactic or for other copyright infringements. The bar by providing a different product to its customers when they order a RB is purposely decieving their customers.

RB , whether they have a legal contract with the bar or not has every right to protect it's name and brand. Why is it OK for someone else to piggy back on the hard work that RB has done to promote itself to be"THE NAME" in the Ed category?

greg
11-10-2006, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by SquareOne:
well said, there are over 2000 energy drinks in the US market. obviously people are buying something other than the market leaders. All I'm saying is we offer a quality product at a savings to the on premise locations. We tell our clients to inform thier customers they are recieving Banzai, not RB not Monster, ect, ect, BANZAI. Why the big savings because we use the premises water instead of the magical austrian water that must be in RB to make people so defensive of it. I smell what you are stepping in, but....even if you place posters all over that bar saying that BONZAI is served there and customers continue to order RB and served a BONZAI then the Bar has a problem. That is illegal. Misrepresentation by the bar.

SquareOne
11-10-2006, 07:21 PM
"But NRgizR made a huge point... People use trademarks to describe catgeories of goods... I don't say "Do you have a tissue", but rather do you have a Kleenex (I don't care what brand you hand me)."

I think your onto something here.

Like I said before I tell all of my club owner clients to make sure your bartenders tell the customers that we serve Banzai. Here in WI alot of clubs serve Pepsi instead of Coke, I think the local dist. have something to do with this, I'm sure they tell the bartenders to inform the customer about this but I'm also sure it doesn't happen all the time and I would bet most customers would not say anything. I also tell my clients to keep some RB around if they think some people will demand it.

Clubs are allowed to run specials here in WI and some of my clients pass the savings on to thier customers during promo's or Happy hours ect, something they can finally include in these promo's because we have saved them money on thier Energy drink, and not one of my clients has lost any business by serving Banzai BIB. I know this because I talk to all of my clients about thier customers response, and it's all been positive.

Oh and just incase your interested BANZAI contains no HFCS.

SumPoosieCat
11-11-2006, 11:25 AM
If you post signs saying we do not serve Red Bull we serve Banzai at all times with all energy drink orders and had several signs posted behind the bar you would be covered.

Mr Zabe
11-11-2006, 11:35 AM
LOL
I guess it also depends what sort of bar/club these kinds of signs are displayed in.

IMO..Granted I do not go to bars or clubs anymore,I would get a giggle out those kinds of signs. It sort of ruins the "cool" effect. I mean a gal wants me to buy a her a Red bull and vodka, I would not ask the bartender for an off brand ED in her presence. LOL Can you see where I'm going with this?

As my great uncle Perv-a-Tola Zabe use to say, save a buck, loose a duck.

[ 11-11-2006, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: Mr Zabe ]

Blue Efficacy
11-11-2006, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Coco Rico:
These lawsuits are Red Bull's attempt at preventing their name becoming synonomous with a generic. Here's another angle on it:

Red Bull is made with glucose and sucrose, most competitive e-drinks have HFCS. Let's say I have severe corn allergies, and subsequently I can't consume anything with any type of corn by-product. Needless to say, I'm incredibly carefull about what I ingest. Let's say I'm a fan of Red Bull and I can actually drink it because there's nothing in it I'm allergic to. So, I'm at a club having a good time and I order a Red Bull Vodka. Instead, I'm served a cheap knock off containing HFCS, and I don't know it. Anyway, things are great, I'm dancing, sipping on my cocktail, when all of a sudden my throat starts scratching and I'm starting to weeze. Before I figure out what's going on, my throat closes up and I collapse on the dance floor. If I'm lucky, I have an epenephrine pen on me and I'm fine. If I'm not lucky, I don't have a pen, I can't get help in time... and that's the end of that.

I know that's a drastic example, however, that is exactly what could happen as a result of misinforming consumers. It's a longshot, but all it takes is one person.

CR People have corn allergies? Funny, there's lots of food allergies out there, I've never heard of corn being one of them. I've never seen "CONTAINS CORN" in bold print on an ingredients statement... just thought i'd throw that out there.

jdavidb
11-12-2006, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by greg:
Your argument makes some sense on some levels but legally it doesn't fly.The law is (always?) wrong. Laws that interfere with property rights and private transactions are morally wrong, hurt the economy, and should be done away with.


The bar by providing a different product to its customers when they order a RB is purposely decieving their customers.If the customers think it's good enough, then it's nobody else's busines.


Why is it OK for someone else to piggy back on the hard work that RB has done to promote itself to be"THE NAME" in the Ed category?Why is it okay for Red Bull to tell other people what they can and cannot do with their own property? That's not piggy-backing off of work; that's competition.

jdavidb
11-13-2006, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Blue Efficacy:
People have corn allergies? Funny, there's lots of food allergies out there, I've never heard of corn being one of them. I've never seen "CONTAINS CORN" in bold print on an ingredients statement... just thought i'd throw that out there. My biological mother was allergic to corn. It's actually a very common allergy, and I know people who are very mad about the sugar tax (http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agmu.edu+sugar+walter+williams&btnG=Search&hl=en&lr=) which caused most drinks to go HFCS because they think that's part of what caused it to become such a problem. But generally corn isn't a "keel over and die" allergy. (My mother did have a peanut allergy that was like that, though.)

jdavidb
11-13-2006, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Coco Rico:
Red Bull is made with glucose and sucrose, most competitive e-drinks have HFCS. Let's say I have severe corn allergies, and subsequently I can't consume anything with any type of corn by-product. Needless to say, I'm incredibly carefull about what I ingest.Having plenty of allergies in my family, I'm taking your hypothetical seriously. However, in such a case, it's your responsibility to be careful about what you ingest. Don't infringe the liberty of other people in order to save yourself a little bit of responsibility. If you don't know what's in it, don't drink it. If you need to know, purchase only from a retailer you trust who discloses the ingredients or lets you or a representative monitor the process. The free market is infinitely capable of addressing such needs.


I know that's a drastic example, however, that is exactly what could happen as a result of misinforming consumers.What about those of us who don't have such issues and don't care to pay for the increased cost of disclosure?

greg
11-13-2006, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by jdavidb:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by greg:
Your argument makes some sense on some levels but legally it doesn't fly.The law is (always?) wrong. Laws that interfere with property rights and private transactions are morally wrong, hurt the economy, and should be done away with.

WOW! The law is always wrong?!?! Property rights are immoral?!?! So if you build up BONZAI or whatever drink you have to be the Number one recognized name in the ED category and let me walk into a bar and order a Vodka and Bonzai and the bartender gives me a vodka and RB, that would be no big deal to you even though the customer ordered YOUR drink? Now the sale is lost and count that 100's of thousands times a day and it starts to hurt your bottom line.


The bar by providing a different product to its customers when they order a RB is purposely decieving their customers.If the customers think it's good enough, then it's nobody else's busines.

It is someones elses business, MINE. The customer ordered a Specific brand and the bar purposely decieved me. Whether or not the customer "thinks" its good enough is irrelevant. It is a protected transaction due to Copyright laws. (Oh yeah, you think they are immoral, until tactics like these start to affect you!)


Why is it OK for someone else to piggy back on the hard work that RB has done to promote itself to be"THE NAME" in the Ed category?Why is it okay for Red Bull to tell other people what they can and cannot do with their own property? That's not piggy-backing off of work; that's competition. </font>[/QUOTE]How did you get Competiton out of this statement. Piggy Backing is when a company allows itself to be marketed or sold just like a name brand without doing the leg work.
I'm not saying that a bar can not sell another brand, I am saying that the BAR has a legal obligation to let its customers know during EVERY transaction that when they order RB that they will be getting something different.

Mr Zabe
11-13-2006, 10:03 AM
That's the key point.
Well said Greg.
I tip better when my server says to me "Sorry sir we do not have Pepsi would you like a Coke?" That's good service and good business? NO???

[ 11-13-2006, 10:13 AM: Message edited by: Mr Zabe ]