There’s no other way to say it, GoPro’s rise from upstart tech company to well-known international brand was nothing short of spectacular. Then, every bit as fast as it rose, the brand began a nosedive that sent executives scrambling for a way to staunch the bleeding.
For months, nothing worked. Streamlining the product line, not investing resources in new products, trimming all the fat it could find … nothing seemed to help. Then came one of the most obvious connections between two products in the history of marketing. Red Bull partnered up with GoPro. News of the connection sent GoPro stock nosing upward 7 percent. Not a meteoric rise, but at least the plummeting stopped.
In touting the deal in the press, CEOs of both companies said this partnership could revolutionize both brands.
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman told CNN: “…we share the same vision … to inspire the world to live a bigger life…”
Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz continued the love fest, saying the pairing would “amplify our collective international reach, the power of our content and ability to fascinate.”
Yes, for those scoring at home, neither of those statements is exactly chock full of any detailed plans, but they do echo enthusiasm, a trait both brands trade on.
Surely, there’s no substitute for enthusiasm, but you need much more than a positive and energized outlook to bring a company out of a death spiral. And make no mistake, GoPro is hurting. Very, very badly. Even the unveiling of its Karma drone hasn’t done much to move the needle for GoPro.
But, if the commercials tell it true, maybe Red Bull can give GoPro wings, putting some air in the brand before it comes crashing down for good. But pulling off that miracle will take more than “collective reach” or shared vision. The companies will have to collaborate quickly to create some compelling content and messages that will catch on in a media-saturated marketplace.
GoPro won that battle once by putting the power into the hands of their customers. But the novelty wore off, and the company didn’t have anything waiting in the wings to keep the buzz going. Fortunately, Red Bull loves buzz. This might be a match made in heaven…if it didn’t come too little too late.