I mean, what could possibly be a better way to bring to life their tagline of “Red Bull Gives You Wings”?
What’s so admirable about this is the risk they were willing to take, and I’m not talking about the reported $7 million they spent on the program over the past several years. I’m talking about the damage that might have been done to their brand equity had Mr. Baumgartner’s jump had a tragic outcome.
However, this is clearly a smart company willing to take smart risks. They obviously knew that the scientists and engineers planning the jump knew what they were doing, so that the risk–while not zero–was not irresponsible. And they also knew that companies that aren’t willing to take smart risks aren’t likely to earn above-average returns.
As happy as I was for Mr. Baumgartner for his safe–and impressively upright–landing, I was equally happy for Red Bull. Theirs was a brilliant collaboration, and they both certainly earned their wings–not to mention the financial and other rewards they’re likely to reap in the months and years to come.