Share this post

🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Liquid Death's disruptive marketing strategy aims to change the perception of water by making it fun and enjoyable, ultimately creating a unique brand experience and gaining customer support and loyalty.
  2. Liquid Death differentiates itself by prioritizing entertainment value in their marketing, aiming to make consumers laugh and engage with their brand.
  3. Liquid Death's success in Whole Foods can be attributed to their unique positioning as a refreshing alternative for individuals' lifestyle choices, tapping into a niche market and building a successful business.
  4. Creative marketing strategies can make healthier products appealing and competitive in the market, challenging traditional unhealthy products.
  5. Understanding and appealing to the specific needs and preferences of your target audience is crucial for successful marketing.
  6. Building a strong brand requires visually appealing content on social media platforms like Facebook, while also considering the origin and quality of the product for a more authentic and appealing experience.
  7. Liquid Death aims to meet consumers' need for on-the-go hydration by focusing on retail distribution and leveraging the massive potential of the bottled water market.
  8. Selling bottled water does not guarantee high profits due to retailer markups and the perception that it is just "selling air". Understanding industry dynamics is crucial for maximizing profitability.
  9. Creative branding has the ability to transform a dull product into something people care about. Incorporating creative thinking from the beginning can create a compelling and culturally relevant brand.
  10. Adding unique elements to a category can make it interesting and desirable, attracting a wider audience and increasing brand awareness, ultimately leading to success.
  11. Investing in unique experiences or products that generate buzz can be more effective and cost-efficient than traditional methods, leading to greater customer engagement and a strong brand following.
  12. Compassionate leadership and genuine care for employees can build a successful company. Public personas may not reflect one's true character. Explore different avenues for attention without overpaying for advertising.

📝 Podcast Summary

Rethinking Water Marketing: Liquid Death's Fun and Cool Approach

Liquid Death is aiming to disrupt the way healthy food and beverages are marketed. Traditionally, fun and memorable ad campaigns have been associated with junk food and alcohol, while healthy options are marketed as responsible and quiet. Liquid Death wants to change that by branding water in a fun and cool way, making it enjoyable to drink in various settings like bars, parties, and music festivals. They believe that by making people laugh, they have a higher chance of gaining customers' support and loyalty compared to faceless brands that try to shout at consumers with claims of electrolytes and health benefits. This innovative approach may seem comical at first, but it has the potential to change the perception of water as a generic product and create a unique brand experience.

Creating Entertaining Marketing with a Punk Metal Vibe

Liquid Death understands the importance of branding and entertainment in marketing. They have created a unique and alternative punk metal-inspired design and vibe that sets them apart from other beverages. Their goal is to provide an enjoyable experience for their consumers, rather than just pushing marketing messages. They recognize that in today's social media environment, their ads are not only competing against other beverage brands but also against influencers, movie trailers, and all the amazing content on the internet. Liquid Death aims to stand out by creating entertaining content that makes people laugh and provides value. They want their marketing to feel like actual entertainment, giving consumers a reason to share and engage with their brand.

Liquid Death: A Refreshing Alternative in the Water Industry

Liquid Death, a water brand, has achieved impressive growth in Whole Foods despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Despite the 80% decrease in store traffic, Liquid Death has become the fastest growing water brand in Whole Foods. This success can be attributed to their unique positioning and approach. Liquid Death doesn't preach or judge people's lifestyle choices, whether it's drinking alcohol, smoking weed, or consuming energy drinks. Instead, they offer a refreshing alternative and promote hydration alongside whatever lifestyle choices individuals make. The idea for Liquid Death came to fruition when the founder noticed that energy drinks were the only brands investing in the rock and roll/punk/metal culture. By tapping into this market and offering a healthier beverage option, Liquid Death has found a niche and built a successful business.

Unleashing creativity in marketing for healthier brands.

Marketing plays a significant role in shaping consumer preferences and choices. Mike Cessario's experience with the Monster energy drink disguised as water at the Warped Tour made him question why healthier products, like water, were not marketed in a cool and appealing way. This realization led Cessario to explore different verticals, such as developing a brandy brand called Western Grace, which aimed to make brandy more appealing and similar to the popular whiskey. Additionally, his work with an agency called Humanaut further emphasized the importance of using humor and irreverent internet strategies to promote organic and healthier products. Ultimately, this highlights the potential for healthier brands to adopt creative marketing approaches to compete with traditional, unhealthy products in the market.

Tailoring marketing to reach your target audience.

Understanding your target audience and tailoring your marketing to appeal to their specific needs and preferences can greatly impact the success of your product. Organic Valley recognized that their usual marketing approach wouldn't resonate with the predominantly male consumers of protein shakes, so they worked with an agency to create a funny video that appealed to this demographic. By highlighting the potential negative effects of traditional protein shakes and positioning their product as a healthier alternative, they were able to effectively reach their target audience. This example shows the importance of aligning your marketing strategy with the identity and preferences of your customer base to maximize the chances of success.

Leveraging Facebook for Brand Awareness and Interest

Social media, particularly Facebook, can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness and generating interest even before having a physical product or a clear plan in place. By creating a visually appealing and engaging video and leveraging paid media on Facebook, Mike Cessario was able to gain a significant following and attract the attention of potential distributors and retailers. However, another important aspect to consider when it comes to branding is the origin and quality of the product. While the taste of water may not be drastically different across brands, the natural mineral profile and pH levels can affect the overall taste and mouthfeel. Many popular water brands rely on municipal tap water, which is then stripped of its natural minerals and artificially enhanced. On the other hand, obtaining water from natural sources, like the Alps, can provide a more authentic and appealing product.

Liquid Death: Tapping into the Retail Market for Hydration

Liquid Death, a brand of water, has found success by tapping into the retail market. The founder, Mike Cessario, recognized that water is something people prefer to buy in stores rather than order online. By focusing on retail distribution, Liquid Death aims to meet consumers' need for on-the-go hydration. Cessario's analysis of the bottled water market reveals its massive size, with the US market alone valued at $20 billion in 2019. This presents a significant opportunity for Liquid Death, particularly in convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and bars. By understanding the potential sales volume and the performance of other water brands in these retail channels, Liquid Death can forecast its own growth and strive to become a major player in the industry.

The truth about profit margins in the bottled water industry

The bottled water industry may not have as high of profit margins as one might expect. While many assume that selling bottled water would guarantee high profits, it is actually not the case. Retailers and distributors play a major role in reducing the profit margins, as they want to mark up the price of bottled water higher than other beverages. Additionally, the perception that bottled water is just "selling air" contributes to the lower profit margins. Suppliers typically aim for a solid margin of around 40% in the beverage industry, with anything above 50% being considered excellent. Therefore, it is important to understand the dynamics of the industry and consider other opportunities that may offer higher margins.

The Power of Creative Branding

Branding plays a crucial role in the success of a product or company. Many businesses are started by rational business people who focus on the practical aspects of building a business. However, creative thinkers and artists have a unique understanding of what appeals to people culturally and emotionally. Creative branding can turn a dull and uninteresting product into something that people genuinely care about. This is exemplified by companies like the airline industry, where innovative branding transformed the way people perceive air travel. The power of branding is also seen in the success of brands like Charity Water, which reinvented philanthropy as a cool and desirable concept through creative design and marketing. By incorporating creative thinking from the beginning, companies have the opportunity to create a more compelling and culturally relevant brand.

Transforming uncool categories through creative marketing strategies.

Applying cool and making a category interesting and desirable can lead to success. By changing the perception and adding unique elements, even uncool categories can be transformed. An example is Liquid Death, a water company that became a pop culture factory by releasing a metal album with lyrics consisting of social media hate comments. This creative marketing strategy not only attracted attention but also generated profits. Through such experiments, Liquid Death has realized that these additional products serve as profitable marketing tools, reaching a wider audience and increasing brand awareness. This approach suggests that companies can expand and diversify while staying focused on their core offerings, as long as the new ventures align with their brand and mission.

Unconventional Marketing: Thinking Outside the Box for Success

Unconventional and creative marketing strategies can often be more effective and cost-efficient than traditional methods. Instead of spending a large sum of money on a single TV commercial during the Oscars, investing in unique experiences or products that generate buzz and brand evangelism can yield greater results. For example, building a chain of heavy metal yoga studios that gets talked about by every publication can create lasting impact and generate more customer engagement. Additionally, thinking outside the box and taking risks can lead to unexpected success and capture the attention of audiences. By focusing on capturing attention through various channels and being willing to try unconventional ideas, businesses can build a strong brand with a passionate following.

Cost Efficiency and Alternative Methods for Brand Attention

When it comes to gaining attention for your brand, it's important to consider cost efficiency and alternative methods. Mike Cessario suggests that instead of overpaying for advertising, businesses should explore different avenues that can generate more attention at a lower spend. Furthermore, he praises Gary, the founder of the company where he worked, for his compassion and genuine care for his employees. This compassionate leadership approach has been the foundation of building a successful company, proving that you can achieve great results without being a tyrant. Additionally, Cessario sheds light on the public persona versus the private persona of individuals, emphasizing that what we see on camera may not be a true reflection of their entire character.