How Liquid Death Went From a "dumb idea" to a $700Million Company
In 2009, when Mike Cessario was attending a concert sponsored by Monster Energy, he noticed that the cans given to the band were filled with water and not the drink!
This got him wondering... why aren’t there more healthy products that still have funny, cool, irreverent branding?
Fast forward to 2019, Mike launched Liquid Death with the mission to make H2O cool. And now, it's worth $700 million!
Implement The Dumbest Idea 😛
Mark set out to create the coolest water brand ever.
His strategy was counterintuitive. He started by asking: What’s the dumbest possible idea?
But why not aim for a smart idea instead? Well, the traditional brands must’ve exhausted all those.
The name—> Liquid Death
The packaging—> beer can
the slogan—> murder your thirst
the logo—> a skull
“If someone I knew saw that in a store, I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to pick that up and be like, ‘What is this?’” he said. “And once someone picks something up, you’ve basically won.”
When Mark planned to launch Liquid Death, everyone was telling him that the idea was dumb, and investors weren’t willing to fund him.
He needed a way to show them the potential of the product. So he spent $1.5k shooting a commercial and $3k in Facebook ads and within a couple of months, the ad had more than 3 million views and the page attracted 100,000 followers—more than Aqua Fina had at the time!
Thanks to the success of this marketing campaign, Mark finally secured $1.6 million in funding and launched the brand officially.
Sell to Everyone
At first, Liquid Death’s customers were partygoers. It was available at bars and tattoo parlors.
“We wanted to give people permission to participate in this cool rock-and-roll brand without needing to consume something gross.”
But in order to expand, Mark had to turn the brand into a status symbol. He did this through several viral campaigns:
Collaborating with Tony Hawk to sell skateboards printed with paint infused with his blood.
Creating a heavy metal album using the hateful comments they received.
Betting $50k on the underdog of Super Bowl LVI and threatening to send a witch to jinx their opponent.
And soon, everyone wanted to buy Liquid Death and didn’t find it stupid to drink water from a beer can with a skull on it.
It is currently the second best-selling mineral water on Amazon and the fastest-selling at Whole Foods.
With 60K locations in the US, they're projecting $260 million in 2023 sales.