Arielle Madilian is a brand marketing manager with extensive experience in the CPG & Fine Jewelry industries. She believes in leading with authenticity first and creating mindful & purposeful content. Outside of work, you can find her visiting the local farmers market, finding hidden gems around the city, and exploring everything Northern California has to offer.

 We would love to hear a little bit about your background and how you got to Rowdy Mermaid? 

So a little bit about me. I grew up in California, went to school in Colorado, so health and wellness were a really big part of just my daily lifestyle. Boulder is a very health conscious community, so that kind of, when I was in college, that led me to like really be fascinated with the hub of natural foods, so when I left school, that’s like where I gravitated to right away. I was offered an internship with Justin’s Nut Butter at the time and that kind of led me to just like learning about the industry, kind of doing some general marketing things, doing some influencer marketing, which is very, very different at the time, you know, about 10 years ago than it is now.

Some PR drops, PR kind of placements, all of that good stuff. So that led me to move back to California where I was from and join a cosmetic company. So I joined Mark Wins, which, uh, has five or six different brands underneath their umbrella and so I was under the wet and wild Division, which, you know, a very different world from natural foods. And so there I was a marketing coordinator, kind of working with art department and the sales team, kind of seeing what does it look like to sell to big box retailers, the CVS’s of the world, the Walmarts of the world. And I realized, you know, I don’t really wanna go towards sales and cosmetics is not my passion.

So I took a leap to join a very, very small company that was based in LA and it was called Single Stone and it’s fine jewelry. So kind of nice. Had a very, um, diverse set of industries. I’ve kind of, uh, gone through. But at Single Stone we were a small team, five people. I really was the marketing from the ground up.

So the rise of Instagram, the rise of Pinterest, all of that good stuff. I was there from the forefront. So, that gave me a lot of just really good tools that I’ve used in my day-to-day, how to get organized, how to build, you know, brand personas, how to look at your brand holistically and appeal to, you know, your individual clients and then wholesale.

Then during the pandemic I really wanted to change and, you know, found myself really loving, you know, foods, again, spending a lot of time kind of exploring. And I moved to Colorado. Hub of natural foods and found Rowdy Mermaid that kind of perfectly aligned with what I was looking for. Um, I’m a big kombucha fan, so I was drinking that regularly and they just had launched a new product line called Adapt, which was um, a sparkling tonic line made with adaptogen.

So that was like perfect in terms of my interest and I took the leap and joined them and have been there ever since.

What is adaptogen?What is a functional beverage?

Functional Wellness Beverages is what Rowdy Mermaid does. So we are basically a beverage brand that has. Beverages Within our portfolio, we have our kombucha line and we have our tonic line. But the baseline for functional beverages is that there’s ingredients that provide an added wellness benefit.

So think of, um, ashwaganda, which is really good for your mood, or lions mane mushroom, which is really good for brain to combat brain fog. So these key ingredients that have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine, but bringing them in a way that’s like very drinkable and enjoyable for.

everyday life. You don’t have to take it into supplement. It doesn’t have to taste bad. It’s really just enjoying the, you know, the journey of wellness and a fun drink.

How did they come up with the name Rowdy Mermaid?

So the name is actually inspired by the founder’s daughter. Um, the founder was brewing home, brewing beer in his home. And he had a young daughter at the time who was like, dad, like, what are you making? Can I have some? And he’s like, no, honey, I, you know, you can’t have this. And she’s like, well, can you make me something that I can drink? So he’s like, okay. I’m brewing beer. What is it that I can, you know, make for her? And so he had a beautiful home garden in Colorado and he took these herbs and botanicals from his garden and started to infuse it into a kombucha. And so the whole premise was, Setting out to create a drink that his, that would suit the pallet of a three-year-old.

So he had, oh my God, product. He was like, you know, giving it to his kids, giving it to his wife, giving it to his neighbors. Everyone’s like, this is so, so good. Um, it was caffeine free, low sugar. So it wasn’t like giving her all those crazy, like bouncing off the wall, you know, things that soda does. Low, low acid, low alcohol.

And so he had this product, he’s like, okay, I think I wanna go forward with this now. What am I gonna name it? And so they were at, um, a Colorado Hot Springs and his daughter, who was the inspiration, was like splashing around, kind of being a little bit rambunctious. And he’s like, Sava, you’re being a very rowdy mermaid.

And it just stuck. So she’s done the inspiration from the beginning, you know, all the way from then and to the name.

Tell us about the Product Line, are there any new launches coming up?

We like to say that we, you know, reset the bar in every category that we enter. So we have our kombucha line, which has been our core line. We have nine flavors. We’re just about to launch our 10th, which we’re super excited about. It’s called Hello Ginger, designed for vitality. It has ginger and yuzu and lemon. So a really kind of great citrusy. . Um, and one of the great things about our product is they all are really, really beautiful. They’re white cans have these bright pops of color on the, uh, for the tails representing the different flavors, and this one’s gonna have a really cool ombre, um, tail. So it’s gonna have some green and yellow, so really, really pretty. So super settling. It’s just like such a great everyday drink. I try to cut that coffee and have like my kombucha or you know, even mix it into like a mocktail, which is really fun. Exactly. So yeah, totally aligned there. I’ve been even making my own ginger juice at home recently, so I’m like loving having that in the morning for sure.

Um, and then we have our adapt, or it’s. , it’s our, we just changed the name. So it’s called our sparkling tonics with adaptogens. Um, and adaptogens again are these herbs and botanicals that have these added health benefits. So the whole line is for immunity and clarity. And the main, um, piece there is the mushroom.

So we use reishi mushroom all for immune health, and then we use lion’s mane mushroom for your brain. And so that’s a key ingredient across the board. And, um, we make it soluble. So you don’t taste any of the mushroom funk. That’s good. , uh, you know, people have a hesitation of drinking mushrooms. Is it gonna take ch taste, chalky or earthy?

But our drinks really, really do a wonderful job at celebrating the ingredients and making it digestible in a way that doesn’t taste like bad.

Where are you distributed? Are you nationwide and have you ever leveraged influencers to help with shopper marketing?

We are nationwide, we are in Whole Foods nationwide and have really good distribution out on the West Coast. Um, we’re gaining more distribution kind of in the east and down south.

We have a great partnership with H e B and Sprouts, um, fresh time. So there’s a lot of great banners that carried the product, uh, nationwide, but yes. The beverage category has expanded exponentially. I think especially during Covid when everyone was taking drinks kind of on the go with them and looking for a format that was smaller.

Um, and so brand awareness is super important for us. We have really great and strong brand awareness in the Rocky Mountain region where our, our offices are. But how do we expand? , to be quite honest, the influencer marketing was a space that we were always like hesitant. Do we jump in early, do we not? We wanna make sure that we’re remaining auth athen, authenticity and integrity.

Um, so we really utilized brand awareness from a, or influencers for brand awareness. Specifically. This year we’re, now that we have more distribution, we’re really hoping to utilize them more for retail pushes and shop marketing. . Okay. Cuz I know that we have done a lot where like, you’ll literally, because oftentimes it’s like someone goes and the product locator function is completely wrong, and so they’re going to like five different stores.

Like it says it’s here, it’s not here. Do you ever see those issues? Is there any, and, and so what we do is we kind of point the influencers like showcase which store you’re going to and which shelf, like down to the shelf I, you know, in the store. Um, do you ever do any of that?  we haven’t yet, but that’s kind of in the works for 2023.

So we definitely have more of an emphasis there. The couponing like is very difficult. So if you’re trying to offer something to a consumer of like, Hey, go try out our product. Oh, I, it, there’s not a little, a lot of great digital solutions right now, so we’re really limited to, you know, giving them a physical coupon or mailing them something.

Mm-hmm. . Um, so this year we. Found a, a solution that we think is gonna work for that and then can now utilize that to help, you know, consumers try it because it’s a premium product and we wanna make sure that once they taste it, you know, they’re most likely gonna become a customer because the taste is there.

But there is, you know, so much on the shelf. So trying to cut through the noise and saying, Hey, like this is a great product and it has wonderful benefits and I get to try it for, um, a discounted, you know, a low risk discounted price or, . No, it makes sense.

Where do you find the influencers the content?

I mean, I know everyone’s like TikTok, TikTok, but sometimes, like you even mentioned Pinterest, like I think Pinterest is completely underutilized and underrated. Like where do you see the most traction? Video for sure. I mean, across the board video is the most eye-catching, which I, you know, is no surprise.

There’s so, so much content out there now that you need really someone to be able to stop in, you know, a matter of seconds to be interested in your brand. Um, we still, we do still have a strong focus on Instagram, but again, I’ve been building more of that TikTok channel this year and then gonna push more into that for next year as well.

Okay. And then like any of the other channels, like, they’re just like, . You know, I wish we could do them all, but we really will not grow these first and then concept. And then, I mean, recipes, for example, are really, really fun to develop for us, and we use on Instagram on TikTok, but. You know, implementing on that, on TikTok or on Pinterest as well would be great.

It’s just, that’s not our primary channel that we’re finding consumers, um, are looking for beverage brands right now.

What would you say would be like your demo in terms of like the types of people on these channels that are coming to you guys?

I mean, again, TikTok is fairly new for us. We’re putting much more eggs in that basket as we head into like 2023, but our demo is 25 to 45, so we kind of have a, a big range.

We’re finding, you know, different product lines are also landing with different consumers a little bit. Our overall bucket is that range, but you know, the tonics are a little bit more forward in health benefits. People are drawn to it from packaging, are willing to try it, but who’s actually purchasing?

You know, we still are, are looking through the data month over month to see where is it shifting. . Yep. Makes sense. So I know that we’re like at the tail end of this year, it’s a, I always say like my dad used, say you’re dancing at two weddings, like you’re still finishing 2022, but you have to plan for 2023.

And I guess I just, you know, would love from someone like you to like, what are your predictions if you have any for next year? Or like, what do you think’s gonna happen? I mean, there’s just every minute everything changes and so it’s always great to get. Yeah, I mean we’re definitely in planning mode for sure.

um, you know, I think there’s gonna be more focus again on content creators leveraging those and influencers to share your message and also just build that content for you. You know, teams are small, they’re trying to be in on so many different platforms, so really utilizing, you know, these extensions of our brands to really, you know, share the new news, share the messagings share to where to purchase.

There’s so much to share and. Do internal, I see more push, um, on both content creators and influencer. . Yeah. Um, a mixture of both, I think. And then two, as we kind of are going into an economic change, I think there’s gonna be a lot more, it’s a nice way of saying it. . Yeah. . Um, a lot more rise of like, how can you do more with the things that you’re already u utilizing?

So clothes, for example, how can you rewear that sweater with five different outfits? Or how can you, you know, utilize a drink?  consume every day in new ways. Maybe make it as a mocktail, you know, how else are you trying to change your lifestyle and how can you utilize the products that you already go to in fresh, um, experiences.

What are some ways to leverage influencer content?

So more like using it for omnichannel as opposed to just exclusively as a push. And I think that it’s another way to save money, um, you know, as a brand. . Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’d love to get, you know, some of that content in our emails and exactly. Even test out sms. We haven’t had the capability to do that quite yet, but it’s an area that we, we’ve talked a lot about do we wanna explore that and how could we utilize existing content to do that.

Recipes, I worked at Weight Watchers recipes work  fun. . Yeah. Well, I’m supposed to say dub dub now, I think, or ww. I don’t know. Um, and so tell, tell us a little bit more about the most rewarding, you know, part of working with influencers or a campaign that you just simply love that just whether now or past, you know, feel free to share.

Yeah, I mean, I kind of like when we have the, uh, ability to let the influencers take full reign and see what they come up with. You know, we recently partnered with, with you guys on our releaser rowdy campaign, and that’s where one, where we wanted to showcase more of like, who is the personality behind our consumers and our team

What does Release your Rowdy mean to you?

Um, how can you express your authentic self and what does that mean? So it’s been fun to see what’s come through. You know, some people are doing crazy things. Art. Yeah. Using kombucha for inspiring them to make an art piece. Other people are, you know, skateboarding, other people are roller skating. So it’s been really fun to just see what their take has been on that brief and, They have put out for us with that, you know, very little guardrails in place.

Yeah. That’s the best way to do it. And to me it’s just such a fun brand. It’s like colorful and cheerful and happy and I think we could all use a little bit more of that right now.

Name and influencer you’d love to follow, but hate to admit that you do.

Um, it’s a good question because I feel like I curate my feed so much now because I don’t want all the noise. But one who I absolutely love right now is B Brunch with Babs. I don’t know if you at all, but I think she’s just so hilarious and offers these crazy life hacks. Even one for Thanksgiving. I was like, wow, I don’t know how.

I’ve never thought of that. Um, which one was it? She gave one of those like, um, aluminum cupcake containers and she’s like, put your leftover Yeah. For leftovers. Those, I was like, this is genius. How have I never heard or thought about this? So it’s genius, but the problem in my family is they would need like 50 of those to take home leftovers.

Cause the little cupcake thing isn’t big enough. . Yeah. Very. , but it’s also nice to see, like, she doesn’t, she’s not the typical, you know, influencer. It’s nice to see like real value and tips from someone that, you know, is not the typical type of influencer. So I love, I, I follow her all the time as well.

Yeah, she’s unexpected, you know? Yeah. She’s not so curated. It’s just, it feels natural and feels like Exactly. You know, at your grandmother’s house. . Yeah. Yeah. It’s awesome. Well, thank you for sharing. Thanks. And just tell everyone like where we could find you online, what are your socials share? Yeah, yeah, sure.

Um, you can find me on LinkedIn, just my name, Arielle Madian. Um, my personal Instagram is just for myself, but for sure follow Rowdy Mermaid. There’s a lot of good stuff on there. Awesome. Thank you so much. We’ll keep looking out for your products and excited to see more innovations coming from you.

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