Liquid Death: Mike Cessario

Mike Cessario came up with the idea for a viral water brand by asking himself “What is the dumbest possible idea we could have?” His answer was Liquid Death: an aluminum can of water that looks like a cross between beer and poison. While it seemed self-destructive, the idea turned out to be brilliant: Liquid Death connected with customers who don’t typically buy bottled water, and built a moat around itself by being entertaining and edgy—something most brands struggle with. As a former ad-man with one failed business behind him, Mike initially sidelined his idea when he couldn’t find a co-packer to put spring water in aluminum cans. But seven years after launch, Liquid Death is both a water and an entertainment company, with annual revenue well above $100M.

This episode was produced by Kerry Thompson with music by Ramtin Arablouei.

Edited by Neva Grant, with research from Casey Herman.

Our engineers were Robert Rodriguez and Josh Newell.

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