Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2014 (Revised March 2017)

Red Bull (A)

by Eric Van den Steen and Carin-Isabel Knoop


Despite facing giants like Coke, Pepsi, and Budweiser—with obvious potential sources of competitive advantage—Red Bull had established itself as the U.S. market leader in energy drinks. By 2008, however, Red Bull's dominance was challenged as Monster drinks surpassed it in volume. The case considers judo strategy both from the perspective of a small player (when up-start Red Bull faces Coke, Pepsi, and Bud) and as a large player (when market leader Red Bull faces up-start Monster).

Keywords: Judo strategy; Judo economics; sustainable competitive advantage; imitation; Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Competitive Advantage; Market Entry and Exit; Food and Beverage Industry; United States;


Van den Steen, Eric, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Red Bull (A)." Harvard Business School Case 714-401, March 2014. (Revised March 2017.)