A conversation with Liquid Death's CEO/Co-Founder Mike Cessario.

How to build a whole brand  Q+A with Mike Cessario - Wide

A conversation with Liquid Death's CEO/Co-Founder Mike Cessario.

A whole brand is a brand that transcends its core product and represents something much bigger. It goes beyond just a functional benefit as to why people love the brand.

A brand is not a whole brand when its messaging is limited to a small aspect of a person’s mind space. Nike is a whole. brand as it transcends the functional details of rubber or shoe fabrics. It taps into a larger mindset inside people beyond shoes. A “partial” brand (not whole) is one that doesn’t go beyond the functional benefits of its product or service in its communications.

Whole brands talk and act like real people instead of acting like offices. Real people aren’t terrified of having an opinion on a variety of topics, they are ok with having faults. They don’t need to be loved by every single person they meet. They are complex and have a range of emotions. They are ok with disagreeing about something with a friend, and they might be the type of person you’d want to hang out with. If most people talked to their friends and family the way most brands talk, they wouldn’t have many friends or relationships, regardless of whether they are telling the truth or pushing an important issue.

"Whole brands treat marketing like it’s a product of its own."

  1. Stop living in fear of random people on the internet.

  2. Make your brand more accurately reflect the people running it.

  3. Find legitimate reasons people would still love your brand, even if your product disappeared.

  4. Embrace the idea that you have no clue what will actually end up working the best. Treat ideas like the stock market. Make lots of small bets and take calculated risks. You'll almost always be dumbfounded at what actually ends up being the home run (and you never could have predicted it).

  5. Treat your marketing like it's a product of its own. Is it so interesting, funny, emotional, and entertaining that people would pay a fee just to experience your marketing? If your honest answer is "maybe a few people would," then your brand is probably ahead of 99% of other brands.

This conversation originally appeared in the 2022 State of the Whole Brand report. To read more about how to build a whole brand click on the report download link below.

Download How to build a whole brand. Right now.

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