Hyper Curious

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Hugh Thomas is the founder of Ugly Drinks, a challenger brand founded in 2015 in the UK, before launching in the US in 2018. Ugly is a hyper curious, super irreverent and rebellious new soda brand disrupting the market, taking on the sugary soda industry by making sparkling water accessible to all.

Key takeaways:
The systemic issues with sugar
Ugly is about being authentic
How to expand into US
Why they’ve stayed lean
Why you need to separate yourself as a founder from the brand

Show Notes

“We got this idea of the ugly truth and built a brand around no fake marketing promises, no BS, no calories, no sugar, no sweeteners, you can just drink it ugly, have no guilt with it at all. It replaces that soda moment.”

Hugh Thomas is the founder of Ugly Drinks, a challenger brand founded in 2015 in the UK, before launching in the US in 2018. Ugly is a hyper curious, super irreverent and rebellious new soda brand disrupting the market, taking on the sugary soda industry by making sparkling water accessible to all. 

“I felt that consumers often get blamed for being overweight. But really, it's the system and the food and drink products that have been shoved down our throats and marketed to us for 100 years that are really causing the problems.”

In today’s episode, Hugh chats about brand building, how to strike the right balance of rebelliousness and familiarity when you’re building your challenger brand:

“I think great branding is a balance of art and science. Ultimately, I think one of the reasons our brand stands out so much is because it's authentic and comes from the soul.”

He also shares his biggest lessons learned from expanding Ugly in the US from the UK, and the importance of working on your mental health when you’re creating a company that is looking to change global consumption of sugar. 

“We started selling in one shop [in the US], same as we did in the UK. And then we built from there. Now we’re in 15,000. So it's like, just keep building.”

On today’s podcast:
  • The systemic issues with sugar
  • Ugly is about being authentic
  • How to expand into US
  • Why they’ve stayed lean
  • Why you need to separate yourself as a founder from the brand

Links:

What is Hyper Curious?

For the change-makers, explorers and entrepreneurs by heart or practice, Hyper Curious podcast is a celebration of what’s best in human beings: OUR CURIOSITY.

Get ready to change your perception of what it means to be an 'overnight success'. Here you will listen to the most intriguing U-turns and A-ha moments of our guests, and how embracing changes (rather than fearing it) keeps them curious and evolving.

Your host is Beta Lucca, a successful BAFTA-winning entrepreneur and Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech who has failed, succeeded, and built a multimillion-dollar gaming business. Beta brings her upbeat energy, bold attitude and multipotentialite mindset to interview your favourite authors, poets, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, founders and artists.

If you don’t know them already, you definitely will now!

Listening to these incredible human beings is the perfect start of your day. One that will provoke you to think differently, laterally, upside down, and offer you new fresh perspectives to help you act boldly. You’ll finish each episode feeling energised, inspired and empowered to reinvent your world and reinvent yourself.

For more information, visit http://hypercurious.fm