5 min read

“Murdering Thirst” and Conquering Marketing - Liquid Death

Published on
April 22, 2024

Liquid Death isn't just water—it's a marketing marvel. This product, seemingly mundane, skyrocketed to $263 million in retail sales in 2023, boasting a $1.4 billion valuation. In a world where being noticed is as vital as innovation, Liquid Death stands out. This blog explores how a simple necessity transformed into a cultural icon, through a masterclass in branding that proves that in today’s market, the power of a brand is everything.


The business originated from the unconventional mind of Mike Cessario, a former creative director with a vision to make water not just essential but exciting. Launched in 2017, the brand took a simple product—water—and repackaged it with a rebellious twist that appealed to a demographic often overlooked by traditional water brands: young, edgy consumers who crave authenticity and a story in every can.

From the start, Liquid Death was more than just water; it was a stand-out statement. With the fitting brand tagline, “Murder Your Thirst,” they’ve ingeniously combated plastic pollution. Their marketing savvy turned a plain commodity into a sought-after lifestyle brand. Here’s the breakdown of their strategy:


Liquid Death forged its identity by embracing the aesthetics of punk rock and heavy metal scenes, crafting a brand that hits a chord with a distinct yet impactful audience. The choice of tallboy cans, designed to mirror the look of beer, invites a rebellious spirit with every sip, positioning consumers as part of an alternative not only to plastic bottles but to mainstream choices. The bold use of the skull in their design further amplifies this defiance, symbolising a fearless embrace of life’s edgier side while simultaneously nodding to the brand's commitment to 'killing' plastic pollution.

Viral Social Media Presence

The brand’s marketing prioritises entertainment and content people genuinely want to watch and engage with. The results to date are over 3.1 million followers on Instagram and 5.1 million on TikTok. Liquid Death has mastered the art of social media engagement, and their content goes beyond simple product promotion; it engages with pop culture, environmental activism, and humour.

Each post, video, or story isn’t just seen; it’s interacted with, making their marketing campaigns less about expenditure and more about engagement.


Liquid Death has a knack for staying current and connected, leveraging collaborations with renowned figures to amplify their brand’s coolness. It's not just about star power; it’s about aligning with personalities who embody the brand's ethos, such as Travis Barker. They’ve issued limited edition drops and also turned negative attention on its head, converting hate comments into a punk rock album, a creative twist that keeps their marketing initiatives unpredictable and engaging. Beyond partnerships, Liquid Death also continues to innovate with new products such as now expanding the business to iced teas and flavoured waters, ensuring they remain a dynamic presence in the marketplace.


At the heart of all of this lies - community! What sets Liquid Death apart is its success in cultivating a true community rather than just a customer base. They resonate with the current cultural zeitgeist with uncanny accuracy, cutting through the noise with marketing that is direct: entertain, engage, and reflect the views of their audience.

This transparent approach has not only fostered brand loyalty but has also encouraged active participation from consumers, making them feel part of a movement rather than just purchasers of a product.


The brand's choice to use aluminium cans, which boast a higher recycling rate than plastic, is a testament to their commitment of sustainability. However, more than a marketing angle, sustainability is woven into the fabric of their mission, striking a chord with eco-conscious consumers who are increasingly mindful of the products they support. Liquid Death isn't just participating in the conversation about sustainability; they are leading it with actionable practices that their customers can stand behind.

Lessons in Marketing

Businesses looking to replicate Liquid Death’s success can draw valuable lessons from its approach. Here are 7 action points for you to follow:

1. Storytelling

Developing and telling your business’ story is just as important as your product. Liquid Death’s marketing transcends traditional advertising by weaving a compelling narrative that captivates its audience. The brand’s story is not just about selling water; it's about fighting against plastic pollution, embracing a punk ethos, and breaking norms. This narrative engages consumers on a deeper level, turning them from passive buyers into active participants and advocates.

2. Authenticity

Focus on forging a genuine connection with your audience by being real. People can sense a fake from miles away, and nothing turns off a potential loyal customer like a brand that tries too hard to be something it's not. Liquid Death isn’t just another face in the crowd—it stands out by owning its edgy, no-nonsense vibe. It’s this raw honesty that has helped them build a solid base of trust and loyalty with their customers. In today's market, being true to who you are isn't just good ethics; it's good business.

3. Visuals

Ditch the usual playbook and dare to stand out with your visuals. Liquid Death threw the standard water industry look out the window and crashed the party with its heavy metal vibe and bold designs. By looking nothing like your typical bottle of H2O, they've managed not just to grab attention but to latch onto their customers' hearts. That’s the power of visuals that hit the right nerve. So think about it: how can your visual identity shock, awe, or simply make someone feel right at home? Investing in your brand’s look isn’t just spending—it’s building the face of your future.

4. Consistency

Consistency is king, and Liquid Death’s got the crown. Whether it’s the way their cans feel in your hand or the punchy vibe of their social media, they’ve nailed a consistent style that fans can spot from a mile away. This isn’t about being predictable—it’s about being reliable in the story you’re telling and the experience you’re delivering. Make sure every touchpoint with your brand, from tweets to packaging, is singing the same tune. That’s how you turn a one-time buyer into a lifelong fan.

5. Knowing Your Audience

Liquid Death isn't just throwing darts in the dark; they know their target and they hit bullseye every time. They get that their crowd is young, eco-minded, and over the played-out ad jingles. The brand speaks their language, talks their talk, and walks their walk. For any business, a profound understanding of the audience's values and concerns is imperative for crafting impactful communications.

6. Conflict and Resolution

Every great story has some drama, and Liquid Death’s is the battle against plastic waste. They’ve not just thrown their aluminium can in the ring; they’ve positioned it as the hero in this fight. That’s storytelling gold. Pinpoint the villain your audience wants to defeat, and show up as the hero with the solution. If your business offers a solution to resolve your customers’ conflicts then you are onto a winning story.

7. Create your path

There’s no template for what Liquid Death’s done because they shredded the template and rewrote the rules. They’ve shown us that if you want to turn heads, sometimes you’ve got to be willing to flip the script on what’s expected. As a business dare to be different, shake up the status quo, and carve out a niche that’s unmistakably yours. It's not just about being unique; it's about being so authentically you that your brand becomes the one others want to copy.


In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, Liquid Death stands as a testament to the transformative power of bold branding. It's a reminder of the power of creativity, authenticity, and connecting with your audience in building a brand that lasts. Liquid Death shows us that unique branding isn't just a nice-to-have; it's what sets successful businesses apart from the rest. In today's crowded marketplace, it's all about finding your niche, telling your story, and captivating your audience.

At B3 Marketing, we understand the critical role branding plays in business success. Whether it's brand management, digital assets, or crafting dynamic marketing campaigns, we provide tailored solutions to elevate your brand to new heights. With our expertise and your vision, let’s write the next chapter of your brand’s success story together.

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