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385: Consumer-Focused Product Development and Go-To-Market Strategy with Stacey Andrade-Wells, VP of Marketing at Liquid I.V.

385: Consumer-Focused Product Development and Go-To-Market Strategy with Stacey Andrade-Wells, VP of Marketing at Liquid I.V.

Stacey Andrade-Wells joined Liquid I.V. as Vice President of Marketing in January 2022. Before that, she spent over seven years at Procter & Gamble working on a variety of brands like Mr. Clean, Swiffer, and Gain. As a second-generation Colombian, she is passionate about driving diversity in all aspects of her work. This passion lends itself perfectly to her work at Liquid I.V., focusing on using hydration as the entry point to making wellness accessible for everyone.

Liquid I.V. is a wellness company based in Los Angeles. In 2020, Liquid I.V. became part of Unilever’s companies through acquisition. Their product lines are non-GMO electrolyte drink mixes designed to deliver rapid hydration utilizing a proprietary technology they call cellular transport technology. By increasing the absorption of water and other key nutrients into the body, the end result is 360-degree wellness. According to Stacey, the functional drink industry is expected to develop at a rate of 6.5% between 2023 and 2032 and reach a size of over 206 billion in 2023 alone. This growth means Liquid I.V. has to be continually innovating, and they always start by asking consumers what their needs are. Liquid I.V.’s go-to-market strategy focuses on getting communication right by nailing down who they are speaking to, what message will resonate with them, and making sure they reach them at the right time. Stacey calls this “mastering the intersection of creativity and medium.”

In this episode, Alan and Stacy discuss what Liquid I.V. is, the evolution of the brand, how inclusivity is a core part of its strategy, and the future of the functional beverage industry as a whole. They talk about the unique functional ingredients in the products Liquid I.V. sells, how this sets them apart from competitors in the marketplace, and how listening to consumers where they are the most honest (in the comments section) informs their product development. Liquid I.V. has carved out its place in the market by keeping a finger on the pulse of culture, advocating for clean water access for all, and being mindful not to frame itself as a drink mix exclusively for high-intensity sports athletes but as a way to improve hydration for everyone every day.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What does it mean to operate with intentionality in your go-to-market strategy?
  • What differentiates Liquid I.V. in the marketplace?
  • How is Liquid I.V. staying on the bleeding edge of in-person activations, sampling, and influencer marketing?

Key Highlights: 

  • [01:45] Stacey’s personal wellness and growth journey
  • [04:10] Her path to VP of Marketing
  • [05:55] What is Liquid I.V.?
  • [07:20] What sets Liquid I.V. apart in the market?
  • [10:05] Inclusivity is part of the strategy.
  • [13:15] Trends with male consumers of wellness products
  • [14:20] What is IN Liquid I.V.
  • [19:00] The future of functional beverages
  • [24:10] Go-to-market strategy 
  • [27:00] “If you try it, you buy it.”
  • [31:45] Growing up as a second-generation immigrant
  • [34:45] Advice to her younger self
  • [38:45] AI is an opportunity, not a threat.
  • [40:00] Notice where consumers speak most freely.
  • [41:10] The closing gap between consumers and brands 

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