“Liquid Love in a Brand”
Why do great brands often have to work so hard to get people talking about them? How do we win enough share of heart (or even attention) that people start talking and telling their friends?
Thanks very much for including me!
Jeff, your excitement for the efficacy of WTRMLN WTR and the opportunity to truly empower healthy lifestyles exuded within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. Before we dive into the marketing speak, lets dive into the bottle. For those of us without a degree in biochemistry, tell us why WTRMLN WTR so rapidly and disruptively carved out a new performance hydration category in the industry?
WTRMLN WTR is delicious + hydrating. It is made with 2 simple ingredients – watermelon (flesh + rind) and organic lemon — and it contains natural electrolytes from watermelon, more potassium than a banana and less sugar than an apple. It has a strong nutrient stack with l-citrulline (an amino acid that opens the blood vessels and allows oxygen to flow to the muscles) and lycopene (an antioxidant found in watermelons and tomatoes). It’s ideal fluid to replace what’s lost during sweat and support athletic recovery. And, its clean. There’s no water added, no sugar added, no chemicals…And its not heated. Given the shift away from sugary, artificial sports drinks made in a lab, WTRMLN WTR is perfectly positioned as a “fresh sports drink” in a new category of “plant based performance” beverages.
At this point (thanks in no small part to your hard work) I think it’s safe to say most of us have seen, tried, and even talked about WTRMLN WTR. It’s been dubbed “Liquid Love” – and with good reason. What do you think it is about this product and brand that seem to be so sticky in the minds and hearts of consumers?
It starts with the mission. WTRMLN WTR was founded in part to reduce food waste by sourcing “seconds”, the blemished, bruised, off colored, misshapen melons that are not perfect for commercial retail sales at supermarkets. Consumers, especially millennials, prefer to buy brands that are both “good for you” and that “do good”. Second, WTRMLN WTR uses the watermelon, which is America’s superfruit. Everyone has a memory or story about watermelons… Third, we’ve identified a number of high profile personalities that share our interest in “drinking clean”, which has helped to drive significant visibility for the brand in the media.
So we know it’s not enough to just make the love, you’ve got to spread it as well. As marketers, we salivate over those organic conversations about as much as we do a crisp WTRMLN WTR. It’s what so many brands have to fight so hard (and pay so much) to replicate. Between making memorable experiences with the brand and having some memorable fellow-fans (Beyoncé, Chris Paul, Xander Bogaerts), there’s plenty of reason for people to be talking. What are you doing to encourage folks to join the conversation, and you working to amplify the voice/message of your most passionate fans?
We believe in discovery. Put the brand into the right environment (in our case “points of sweat” like fitness studios, run clubs, boot camps, yoga studios, etc) and let consumers experience the functional benefits first hand. Seed fitness and food influencers, who understand the value of clean hydration. Demo in natural food stores where educated consumers are open to trying new, healthy choices. Incubating a brand and building a groundswell that is later amplified through athletes / celebrities / the media is a simple formula for credibility building.
Beyond bringing people together, I know education is a huge part of your work. Where many brands invest in getting endorsements from recognizable names, you chose instead to focus on outreach to health experts and fitness gurus who edify consumers on how and why this works so well (and WOW do you get some big endorsements/investors anyway). Tell us why WTRMLN WTR never buys the love, and chooses to fund education and awareness instead?
In the cold pressed category, knowledge is required. Consumers need to understand the quality, integrity, sustainability, sourcing story…and they care about transparency. This is why we value our relationships with nutritionists and athletes, who can speak credibly in a 3rd party voice about what it is / why to drink it (benefits) / when to drink it. Experts legitimize and educate in a way brands can’t on their own.
Finally, I’d like to talk about the almost palpable aesthetics associated with the brand. I look at your Instagram feed, and it’s beautiful, sleek, vibrant pinks and greens – mixed with bold action shots and images of desirable experiences. I can feel and taste the melon coming right off the page; and I want to join in on all of the fun I’m seeing. Tell us a little about the design thinking and why you think it’s been such a success?
Our founder Jody Levy is a creative genius. She has a very clear vision for the aesthetic of the brand she created. Its sleek, modern, sexy, and playful…and its edgy. As her marketing partners, our job is to take her vision and extend it to the fitness world, such that WTRMLN WTR becomes “your sexy workout partner”. Our imagery makes sweat sexy!
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