On 20 January 2011, Red Bull, of energy drink, Formula One and Extreme sports fame heralded its arrival into the South African mobile market with the launch of Red Bull Mobile. The company will become South Africa’s second Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), through a partnership with Cell C and according to reports, be available by March 2011. What does this mean for consumers? The answer to this question can be found at the bottom of one of those ubiquitous blue and silver cans. Everything about Red Bull is an anomaly. The company founded and headed by Dietrich Mateschitz has become a pioneer in launching game changing products within over crowded marketplaces. From the launch of the Red Bull energy Drink in 1987, when Red Bull’s market research firm advised Mateschitz not to quit his day job,” concluding that “no other new product has ever failed this convincingly,” to the company winning the 2010 Formula One Championship after only 6 seasons in a sport that is known for its ruthlessness and notorious difficulty to master, the company continuously challenges the accepted way of doing things and define new paradigms. In between, Red Bull has supported and flourished a host of other activities. What ever may happen, we do know 2 things. Dietrich Mateschitz has big balls and deep pockets. These seem to go hand in hand. One does not take on the likes of the Coca-Cola Company, beat them at their own game, and create a revolution in the process. It is this tenacity and unique way of getting things done that will ensure that Red Bull succeeds where its predecessor, Virgin Mobile, failed. Red Bull’s genius is its ability to understand its market and offer market leading products, rather than just another “me-too” imitation. Red Bull enters markets with little hoopla and fanfare and changes the landscape of that market. This has been proven time and time again, whether its those magnificent men and women in their flying machines or the Charlie Manson-like cult following of its consumers, Red Bull makes it mark. It has the potential to do so in South Africa with Red Bull Mobile and across the entire continent, if the model is successful in SA. By doing the opposite of what everyone else does, Red Bull has been able to make a success of an enterprise where others have failed. Some characteristics that have defined the company’s way of doing things include seducing the consumer to buy into its products, exclusivity through targeted marketing rather than elitism, consistency in its maverick approach, and most importantly, an emphasis on individuality coupled with a unique sense of community. As with all Red Bull products, there will be a clear proposition, a highly well profiled and understood target market, and unique content to drive adoption and use. Add an element of the Red Bull myth and mystique, and you are left with a formidable proposition. “If someone preaches profit-maximising as a company’s highest goal, then that’s simply wrong. Hell, it’s criminal,” says Matechitz. With logic like that, and brands built on quality of product rather than the bottom line, Red Bull Mobile will take the industry by the horns and give it the shaking it so desperately needs. In the words of Mateschitz about Red Bull’s ingredients, “I always have to fly to Pamplona to source bull’s testicles.” Although it is clear no bulls are harmed in the making of this innovative brand, it does show the irreverent and unconventional approach that the company takes with its mythology, and the products it offers. Bring on the Bulls…….