Liquid Death Mountain Water Is Betting Big on Branded Merchandise
Liquid Death, the company known for creating the most intimidating name possible for canned water, is using some of the $75 million it raised in Series C funding to create a new line of flavored waters.
With that comes the need to market its new products, and Liquid Death says that merchandising and apparel will play a larger role in the company's strategy. Now, you might remember Liquid Death as the brand that came hot out of the gate with skateboards made using Tony Hawk's actual blood mixed into the screen printing ink. So, you have to assume the company is going big.
According to BevNet, Liquid Death's 2021 branded apparel sales passed $3 million, a huge increase from $700,000 the year before. Like other beverage companies like Red Bull or Monster, Liquid Death is becoming a household name, and participating in events and sponsoring athletes like skateboarders pushes the brand even further.
Blacker than black metal, deather than death metal, and just in time for spring. Our new limited edition Black Death embroidered hat styles perfectly with white face-paint and bone necklaces. Less than 100 left of each color for this initial drop. https://t.co/MMU3U2Vfay pic.twitter.com/WZZhKD12te
— Liquid Death (@LiquidDeath) March 23, 2021
Founder and CEO Mike Cessario said that more than half of direct-to-consumer purchases in 2021 also included a product from Liquid Death's e-commerce store. And he likened the company's merchandise approach to musical artists releasing merch drops and capsule collections.
“Merch is a very serious part of our business, just like it is for Metallica or Travis Scott, or any of these huge artists where merch and apparel is a huge part of what they do, even though technically what they do is make music that people consume,” he said. “They’re not clothing manufacturers, but I think it all goes hand in hand and not many CPG brands know how to really take advantage of that.”
New Future Death merch collab with the artist Boss Dog. There’s less than 100 of these hoodies left. If you miss out you can preorder and reserve one for the second release in a few weeks. Available in our merch wormhole at https://t.co/X5sk5bR3VW pic.twitter.com/aNFk0j8lYT
— Liquid Death (@LiquidDeath) March 6, 2021
Liquid Death is, on the surface, just a water company. But no one is "just a [product] company" anymore, really.
As we've seen with Peloton, P.F. Chang's and countless others, brands are increasingly adding merchandise and apparel to their primary product offering. Liquid Death is doing the smart thing by using its hype as a relatively new company to acquire cool status, thus becoming a brand that kids want to sport on a T-shirt.
The brand's e-commerce site is robust to say the least. It has multiple T-shirt and sweatshirt designs, socks, plush toys, hats, refrigerators, ski goggles, night lights, can coolers, face masks, posters and more. Liquid Death has a long way to go to come close to Peloton's hefty apparel sales, but it's clear the brand has fully bought into branded merchandise.