Ugly Drinks co-founder Hugh Thomas shares how to build a strong brand identity

To build a strong brand, you need to constantly engage with product users. Use feedback from product users to continuously optimize your offering.

  1. “You shouldn’t look at the competition you should create a brand that stands for what you stand for and what you want to disrupt.” @uglyhugh #DTCPOD
  2. “I always recommend taking a night to sleep on ideas that can have a big impact on your business. Your thinking might be different the next morning.” @uglyhugh #DTCPOD
  3. “If you put a product into a store you probably won’t hear back until 12 months whereas with DTC you can get feedback within 2 weeks.” @uglyhugh #DTCPOD
  4. “Every time we make another run of limited-edition cans we test something new in the process - content, email, new way of launching it.” @uglyhugh #DTCPOD
  5. “The beauty of being a first-time founder is you get to be scrappy, make things happen, and learn from your mistakes.” @uglyhugh #DTCPOD

We Speak About:

  • [01:10] About Ugly Drinks
  • [02:50] How Hugh came up with the idea for Ugly Drinks
  • [05:20] The story behind Ugly Drinks’ branding
  • [07:15] How Ugly Drinks’ brand identity has evolved
  • [09:45] About Ugly Drinks’ big investment into community marketing
  • [12:35] How Ugly Drinks gathers community feedback
  • [15:50] What Hugh had to change to expand into the US market
  • [18:30] The scrappy things Hugh and his team did to be successful
  • [21:30] Hugh’s mentors and influences
  • [24:20] Hugh’s advice for other founders

A great brand isn’t built overnight

Hugh Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder of Ugly Drinks, joins the podcast to talk about his founder story.

A little about Ugly Drinks - it’s a beverage brand that sells flavored sparkling water.

Even though Ugly Drinks has only been around 2015, Hugh and his team have built an incredibly strong brand.

Every detail from what the company stands for, the imagery, and even the community has been carefully crafted.

The Ugly Drinks brand looks like a finished product but the “ugly” truth is, the brand is continuing to evolve.

Ugly Drinks has already had three iterations of the brand already. The first was to raise capital, the second version was the refinement, and the third version was done as the product expanded.

As the brand grows, Hugh and his team keep testing out new ideas and new flavors to continue refining and growing the brand.

Even the strongest brands need a strong community

Ugly Drinks has built a strong brand internally and externally.

For Ugly Drinks, even product users have branded themselves. The most loyal fans describe themselves as part of the Ugly Mob or Ugly Squad.

The Ugly Mob has been a key part of Ugly Drinks’ growth. By having a strong community, the beverage brand has been able to accelerate word of mouth.

The Ugly Mob isn’t just great for word of mouth though. Hugh and his team have helped foster a sense of community from the internal team as well.

They have a private Facebook group that is used to collect product feedback. They also often ask buyers to give their feedback.

Loyal fans are even asked to share ideas for new flavors. The ideas end up driving the product roadmap for Ugly Drinks.

Stay tuned as Hugh also discusses how long it took to develop the brand, what they learned from entering a new market, and some of the scrappy things they have done to be successful.

Want to start growing your own community? Add fuel to your word of mouth marketing with Trend.

Mentioned Links:

The Ugly Drinks website:

The Ugly Drinks Twitter account:

The Ugly Drinks Tik Tok account:

Hugh’s Twitter: