Do you remember the last time you saw a water brand that made you do a double take? Probably not, because water brands are usually as exciting as watching paint dry. But hold on to your hydration station, because Liquid Death is here to slay the water game with their epic "Purple Cow" marketing tactics!
What is the "Purple Cow" marketing strategy?
The Purple Cow marketing strategy, coined by marketing guru Seth Godin in his book "Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable," is about creating remarkable, unique, and extraordinary products or marketing campaigns that stand out from the competition. The idea is that in today's oversaturated market, being ordinary or average is not enough to capture consumers' attention and generate buzz. To truly succeed, a brand must be remarkable, just like a purple cow would be in a field of ordinary brown cows.
The Purple Cow marketing strategy is all about breaking the norms, disrupting the status quo, and creating something that is truly remarkable and memorable. It requires a brand to think outside the box, take risks, and challenge traditional marketing approaches. The goal is to create something that is so unique, interesting, or surprising that it generates buzz, spreads through word of mouth, and captures the attention of consumers.
Okay...so how did Liquid Death use the Purple Cow marketing strategy?
Liquid Death Purple Cow Marketing Strategy
1. Unleashing a Killer Product
Liquid Death didn't settle for a run-of-the-mill water bottle. Oh no, they went all out and packaged their water in badass tallboy aluminum cans. That's right, the same kind of cans you'd find at a heavy metal concert. Talk about standing out from the sea of plastic bottles like a Viking warrior in a crowd of peasants! This remarkable product not only catches the eye but also screams, "We're not like the other boring water brands!" The distinctive tallboy can is not only visually appealing but also practical, as it keeps the water cold for longer and is infinitely recyclable, making it an eco-friendly choice.
But that's not all. Liquid Death took it a step further by injecting a heavy dose of humour into their packaging. On their cans, you'll find cheeky phrases like "Murder Your Thirst," "Death to Plastic," and "Dehydration Slayer." These unexpected and playful messages add an element of fun and irreverence to the product, setting it apart from the bland and generic water bottles you see on store shelves.
2. Rocking Disruptive Branding
Liquid Death's branding is as rebellious as a mosh pit. Their logo features a skull with a cracked can, giving off some serious punk rock vibes. And their name? It's not your typical H2O, oh no. It's Liquid Death, because why settle for "refreshing" when you can have something that sounds like it came straight from a heavy metal song? Liquid Death's branding breaks all the rules of the water industry and goes against the current like a maverick on a mission. Their bold and edgy branding sets them apart from the sea of generic water brands and creates a memorable and unique identity.
3. Slaying with Bold and Edgy Marketing
Liquid Death's marketing campaigns are not for the faint of heart. They throw conventional water advertising out the window and go for the jugular with their irreverent and downright hilarious approach. Their social media posts, videos, and ads are so edgy, they could give your grandma a heart attack. But hey, it's all in good fun, and it definitely makes them stand out in a sea of mundane water brands.
One prime example of Liquid Death's audacious marketing is their "Piss Off Plastic" campaign. In this campaign, they encourage their customers to collect their used plastic bottles and send them back to Liquid Death to be "upcycled" into a limited edition skateboard. Not only does this campaign generate buzz and engagement on social media, but it also sends a powerful message about the environmental impact of plastic bottles and Liquid Death's commitment to sustainability.
Another noteworthy example is their "Die Fresh" campaign, where they partnered with popular metal band Slayer for a limited edition can design. This partnership not only garnered attention from the band's die-hard fans but also created a buzz in the marketing world as it was a bold and unexpected collaboration that broke the norm of traditional water branding. Liquid Death's marketing is bold, memorable, and resonates with their target audience who are looking for something different and unique.
4. Telling an Authentic and Killer Story
Liquid Death doesn't just talk the talk, they walk the walk. They have a killer story to tell, and they do it with authenticity and passion. The story of Liquid Death is about disrupting the mundane water industry, challenging the status quo, and having a genuine purpose. They are not just selling water; they are selling a rebellious attitude, an eco-conscious mindset, and a sense of humor.
The story starts with Mike Cessario, the co-founder of Liquid Death, who was fed up with the plastic pollution crisis caused by single-use plastic bottles. He wanted to create a brand that not only offered a superior product but also advocated for the environment. With this vision in mind, Liquid Death was born.
From the very beginning, Liquid Death's story has been at the core of their marketing strategy. They have used their brand story as a rallying cry to attract like-minded individuals who share their values and beliefs. They have been unapologetic in their mission to "murder" plastic bottles and save the planet, and this authentic storytelling has resonated with their target audience.
Moreover, Liquid Death has built a community around their brand story. They have leveraged social media platforms to engage with their fans, share their story, and create a sense of belonging among their followers. They encourage their customers to share their own stories and experiences with the brand, creating a sense of authenticity and loyalty. This community-driven approach has helped them build a tribe of loyal fans who are not just customers but brand ambassadors.
5. Embracing Influencer Marketing with a Killer Twist
Influencer marketing is not a new concept, but Liquid Death has given it a killer twist. Instead of partnering with typical health and fitness influencers or celebrity endorsements, they have gone for a niche approach by collaborating with influencers from the alternative and punk rock scenes. These influencers are known for their rebellious and anti-establishment attitudes, which perfectly align with Liquid Death's brand persona.
For example, they have partnered with punk rock bands like NOFX and Descendents, as well as prominent individuals from the heavy metal community, such as Slayer's Kerry King and GWAR's Beefcake the Mighty. These collaborations have helped Liquid Death tap into a passionate and loyal fan base that resonates with their brand identity. They have also created limited edition cans featuring these influencers, which not only generate buzz but also become collectors' items for their fans.
6. Engaging in Guerilla Marketing that Slays
Liquid Death has taken guerilla marketing to a whole new level. They have unleashed unconventional and attention-grabbing tactics to create buzz and generate awareness for their brand. For example, they have staged fake crime scenes with chalk outlines of water bottles on sidewalks, created a fake "Water" bar at a music festival, and even organized a "Funeral for Plastic Water Bottles" protest.
These guerilla marketing efforts have not only created viral moments on social media but have also generated earned media coverage, with news outlets and influencers sharing the brand's unique and audacious campaigns. Liquid Death's guerilla marketing tactics have become a part of their brand DNA, and they continue to surprise and delight their audience with their out-of-the-box approach.
7. Connecting with their Audience through Dark Humor
Liquid Death's humor is not for the faint-hearted, but it's undoubtedly a key ingredient in their marketing success. They have embraced dark and irreverent humor, which resonates with their target audience that appreciates edgy and unconventional content. From their product packaging to their social media posts, Liquid Death injects humor into everything they do.
For example, their social media posts often feature memes, jokes, and witty comebacks that are sure to make you chuckle. They have even created a mockumentary-style video called "The Funeral" where they humorously depict the death of plastic water bottles. This dark humor sets them apart from other water brands and creates a memorable
brand personality that stands out in a crowded market.
8. Creating Memorable Packaging that Kills
In the world of bottled water, where most brands have generic and forgettable packaging, Liquid Death has turned heads with their unique and eye-catching design. Their tallboy aluminum cans are reminiscent of beer cans, featuring bold graphics, and a distinctive logo that resembles a heavy metal band's album cover.
But it's not just the aesthetics that make their packaging stand out; it's the attention to detail and storytelling that goes into it. Each can tells a story of a water source that has been "liquidated" or "murdered," with witty descriptions and creative names like "Death to Plastic," "Cranium Crush," and "H2Flow." This playful and irreverent approach to packaging has become a conversation starter and a key differentiator for the brand.
9. Making Environmental Impact Fun
Liquid Death has managed to make sustainability fun and entertaining. They have taken a serious issue like plastic pollution and turned it into a playful and engaging conversation through their marketing efforts. They have created initiatives like the "Death to Plastic" campaign, where customers can send in pictures of themselves destroying plastic water bottles in creative ways, and they reward them with free merchandise.
They have also organized events like "The 8th Annual Liquid Death Murder Your Thirst Awards," where they recognized their customers' creative and humorous ways of reducing plastic waste. By making environmental impact enjoyable and rewarding, Liquid Death has turned sustainability into something that their customers can be excited about and actively participate in.
10. Amplifying the Brand Story with Authentic Partnerships
Liquid Death has formed strategic partnerships with organizations that align with their brand values and purpose. For example, they have partnered with 5 Gyres, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing plastic pollution in the ocean, to raise awareness and funds for their cause.
They have also partnered with Skateistan, a non-profit organization that empowers children through skateboarding and education, to support their mission of providing access to education and opportunities for underprivileged youth. These partnerships not only amplify Liquid Death's brand story but also showcase their genuine commitment to making a positive impact on the environment and society.
In conclusion, Liquid Death's marketing success can be attributed to their bold, irreverent, and authentic approach to storytelling. They have created a brand persona that challenges the norms, embraces dark humor, and connects with their target audience on a deeper level. Their rebellious attitude, eco-conscious mindset, and sense of humor have helped them build a loyal community of fans who are not just customers but brand advocates.
Through guerilla marketing, influencer collaborations, engaging packaging, and unique initiatives, Liquid Death has disrupted the traditional water industry and created a memorable and impactful brand. They have proven that storytelling can be a powerful tool in marketing, and when done authentically and creatively, it can create a brand that stands out and resonates with its audience. So, if you're looking for a water brand that not only hydrates you but also entertains you, Liquid Death is here to slay the game!
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