Sometimes you can have a great product but poor marketing. Looking at you Betamax.
Sometimes you can have a bad product and amazing marketing. Looking at you Fyre Festival.
Sometimes you can have a great product and marketing. Looking at you MUD\WTR.
MUD\WTR is a coffee alternative “who generated more than $16 million in revenue in 2020, and is projecting $60 million for 2021.” This is in one of the most crowded verticals - morning energy - and they are extracting $60 MM plus per year out of a market that has deep moats built in. Starbucks alone spent $305 MM in marketing last year, let alone their earned media value derived from all the individual stores.
As fans of highlighting exceptional brands, we wanted to do a deep dive on MUD\WTR’s amazing marketing flow from ad to email to home.
Our ask as you read through this master class is to think how each step of the journey instills more confidence in the customer's mind for their purchase decision.
Word choice matters and copy can often be an afterthought. There is a concept of God Terms in rhetoric - freedom, independence, power, choice, etc. - that trigger the audience to think in a new direction.
MUD\WTR is not replacing a habit. It is a new morning ritual with the key concept of elevating a morning coffee habit to replace that with a ritual. A word typically used for sacred practices versus bleary eyed, hot beverage making.
Outside of the elevation to “ritual” they choose a first person narrative in many instances. An interesting choice to make their ads feel more personable.
They have captured a person’s attention and caused them to take the first small step, a click. What’s the reward for taking this action? An amazing landing page showing a product demo with simple copy to understand about the product.
The CTA is TRY IT over BUY IT as MUD\WTR knows that customers have a cost to switching. Now the key is to reduce a customer’s risk aversion through the flow by reducing complexity and increasing confidence in their choice.
What other elements do you notice?
Derek Sivers sold CDBABY for $22 Million in 1998. He credits part of the business success to “this goofy little thing:
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th. I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
That one silly e-mail, sent out with every order, has been so loved that if you search Google for “private CD Baby jet” you’ll get over 20,000 results.”
We think that MUD\WTR might be fans of Sivers as their email marketing takes inspiration from this story and doubles down on their playable traits.
If they care this much about their emails, how much do they care about ingredients? That is an amazing message to land with customers who just purchased but not yet tasted your product.
The follow up email extends the brand personality from order confirmation. It even adds in a bit of altercasting to the purchaser where you are already aligned to adopting the new morning ritual.
At this point, I was more than happy to see my product arrive. I had watched several videos about MUD\WTR and was ready to elevate my morning ritual.
Even better, they thought through this impression as well. The box is of course simple cardboard to be on brand guidelines but they extend the copy from its emails to the box.
At this point, I don’t know who could resist opening the package and making their first MUD\WTR on the spot.
Notice that they continue this turning of language throughout the copy - hut, vessel, shepherd, etc.
Again, if they care this much about the box - how much do they care about the ingredients? Continually landing with a customer that every touchpoint is driving the brand is something that can be missed entirely with many DTCs.
This is also where small companies can battle with the big box or online retailers is adding in these key personal touches.
If you're curious, the product is as good as their marketing!