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Rashi Goel

Inertia needs Ozempic

Inertia needs Ozempic Inertia is a paradox. Like healthy fat.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Inertia is a paradox. Like healthy fat.

It’s good for us because it keeps the good stuff bolted into its rightful place.

It keeps the earth from collapsing into itself by the weight of gravity. It keeps us wedded to our good habits. It keeps the married ones, married. And it keeps consumers buying our products out of habit.

It’s bad for us because it cements the bad stuff in its wrongful place.

It clogs our arteries and gives us heart attacks. It prevents us from holding a mirror to fraying relationships. And it lulls us into mediocrity because consumers are buying our products on autopilot.

Inertia. Too much of it can kill you.

It needs the Ozempic of innovation.

Innovation that compels us to show our true selves and unmask our uniqueness. Uniqueness melts away the fear of failure because we are compelled by what could be, instead of what is.

Liquid Death and Bob Dylan shattered inertia.

Liquid Death


Liquid Death is nothing but good old-fashioned H2O, served in a tall can that looks like a rocker’s cocaine-fueled goth fantasy.

They sell Water – a zero-differentiated commodity in an overcrowded category. Liquid Death created a positioning that’s all its own – Hydration meets heavy metal. Their razor-sharp wit annihilates all the rules of water marketing that gag and bind us.

Liquid Death Marketing (Google Images)

Mike Cessario (the founder) spent $1.5k shooting the launch ad, $3k in Facebook ads, and within months, had > 3 million views and more Facebook fans than Aquafina. They are a $700 million valued brand within 5 years.

This brand is not just fancy advertising. They have some solid marketing programs that are winning over the youth, making it one of those rare brands that are no.1 sellers both in Whole Foods (for the premium well-heeled consumer) and Seven Eleven (mass on-the-go consumer).

  1. Thrash the Thirst: Their water comes from a mountain spring in Austria and when we drink Liquid Death, we “murder our thirst”. They have turned a generic product benefit on its head – quenching thirst is a die-hard mission for them.
  2. Community Connect: Their ‘Debt Relief’ campaign gave a chance to consumers to win a student loan debt write-off.
  3. Planet-Protection: Liquid Death comes in a can. It doesn’t just quench thirst, it saves the planet from plastic.
  4. Collaboration: Liquid Death strategically collaborates with rebellious daredevils like Tony Hawk, the skateboarding legend.

Liquid Death is a masterclass that proves marketing does not have to take itself too seriously and can be more entertaining than a front-row seat in the Big Boss house.

The fact remains that while their marketing is kickass, their ongoing survival now rests with the business chops their founder (he comes from an advertising background) demonstrates.

Inertia. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Bob Dylan


Bob Dylan performed nationally for the first time in 1962 at the Newport Music Festival. Within three years, the evening of July 25th, 1965 to be precise, he broke his fans’ hearts.

That evening, Dylan took the stage. In his hands, not his regular acoustic guitar but a Fender Stratocaster – an electric guitar.

The audience tensed up. The Newport Festival was a Folk music festival and Dylan was a promising new Folk artist. Folk artists don’t play electric. Their music is supposed to be earthy, bereft of modern accoutrements like electricity and backup musicians.

But here, Dylan was shattering the unspoken contract between the audience and the performer!! He was going electric! An infuriated crowd booed him and his electric guitar off the stage.

He lost friends. Maybe he lost some confidence. But that’s okay because Dylan was in his experimental stage. He was toggling between channeling the music he listened to and discovering his unique style. While he toyed with electric that day, he eventually went back to his acoustic guitar but did not stop experimenting.

Even decades later, this day is celebrated in the rock music world as the day when a pioneering artist defied the rules and helped show straight-jacketed fans new possibilities.

Many say this was the moment when Bob Dylan truly became Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan talks about his transformation, “I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants me to be just like them.”

When we and our brands first taste success, we adopt the path of least resistance and keep repeating the same playbook. We forget that if we continue to cocoon in the familiar, over time the unfamiliar will make us irrelevant.

Inertia. “He not busy being born is busy dying.” – Bob Dylan

Thanks for reading

Sources and other links

  1. Liquid Death Ad
  2. Liquid Death “Better than Back Sweat?”
  3. Liquid Death Iced Tea
  4. Liquid Death’s business future
  5. Dylan and Newport– Time Magazine
  6. Billboard on Dylan’s night