advice on how to build meaningful brands

March 21, 2019

59 | Creating “Accidental Activists” one bottle at a time – with Kendra Peavy

Why you’ve got to listen to this episode:

Swell Bottle was not the first company to come up with a multi-use water bottle nor were they the first ones to launch a product with an environmental protection focus. So how did they achieve a huge adoption and notoriety and a cult-like following? How did they get the attention of people like Oprah, publications like Vogue and GQ and retailers like Starbucks and Nordstrom?

Of course, having a high-quality product that outperforms the competition helps but as we have seen in many other industries, high-quality products alone don’t guarantee success. So, what is the magic behind Swell? Was it their “secret sauce”?

In this episode, I interview Kendra Peavy, VP of Global Communications for Swell Bottles. Kendra shares with us what has made Swell become a beloved brand and how they are making waves and helping transform habits.

Who can benefit from listening in:

Like many organizations Swell started from a very humble beginning with Sara Kauss, its founder, being the only employee for the first 2 years and with no external financial backing. In fact, Sara still is the sole owner of the company.

Yet the company has managed to achieve great levels of success that both financially as well as a beloved brand. Swell has become an integral part of the everyday lives of its clients. A place only a few remarkable brands achieve.

Swell’s story is filled with both practical advice as well as inspirational guidance.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • For every decision you make, every message you put out, you have to ask, “Am I being real?”.
  • To tell the right story you need to know your audience, properly position your product so it fits your customer’s life story and find the right retail stores, the stores where your ideal customer goes to.
  • Don’t let perfection keep you from starting something.
  • You have to keep your teams informed and constantly educate them and remind them of the need and the reasons you do what you do.
  • Our bottles are the vessels that inspire consumers to make small changes in everyday habits to have a positive impact in the world

Links to resources mentioned in this episode




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