Catherine Dix from Waterdrop: Dealing with Djokovic at The Aussie Open | #402

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Catherine shares how she’s taking on the hydration giants

Catherine Dix is the AU and NZ Director of global hydration company waterdrop. In 2023, Catherine orchestrated the brand’s Australian launch, where it achieved over $2 million in revenue in its first 12 months in market. Alongside her work with waterdrop, Catherine is also the Chief Operating Officer at digital marketing agency Webprofits, which has afforded her a wealth of experience in the ecommerce space.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Catherine Dix, Director at Waterdrop

Did you carry a water bottle around when you were a kid? Of  course you didn’t.  Unless of course, we have some zoomers listening.  Well, times have changed and whether you prefer a fluoro Frank Green or a pastel Stanley Quencher, most people carry a water bottle these days.  My guest today has taken the hydration trend one step further, adding flavour and nutrients to the mix.  Catherine Dix is Director of Waterdrop Australia, a brand originally started in Europe that came via the US to Aussie shores just last year, selling water bottles plus a range of microdrops to encourage everyone to drink more water.  In this chat Catherine shares how she went from running an agency to running Waterdrop, why being a dealer at The Australian Open was such a good idea and how Australia Day saved the company from a warehouse catastrophe.

“How is the beverage industry just so broken that we pre-fill beverages and we cart them around the world and people pay for that?”

Catherine Dix

Djokovic partnership

So he is an investor in Waterdrop. So he’s an investor and an ambassador. He is divisive. He also cares very much about what goes into his body and he cares very much about sustainability. And he has been a big proponent across Grand Slam tournaments and very like noisily angry about being asked to use plastic bottles on court. And he’s been fighting that for quite a long time. 

We’ve created our own hydration product with him, which is Sela X Waterdrop, which is an electrolyte drink that he has. So he’s now got his own line with us as well. So that’s kind of, that journey comes back to, he loves the bottles. He wants his own nice bottles on court that keeps his water cold that he wants to drink from. And he also wanted his own hydration product. 

So, you know, incredible partnership of how it’s come about and something that we absolutely as a brand to have that leverage point in Australia has been huge for us. You know, this kind of funny pinch me of being 12 months into it and we’re at the Australian Open.

Fire escape

We actually had the most outrageous start to our launch in Australia. January 2023. We had chosen a 3PL provider and our stock was arriving in Australia and it was Australia Day. And so we were like, oh, will it arrive on the Thursday? And I think Australia Day was the Friday and maybe it won’t get there in time. And then we’re in Melbourne for the Open and I saw on my Instagram all these pictures of like a warehouse fire. And I was like, wait a second, isn’t that? 

And where our goods were meant to be sent to the 3PL, it was that crazy e -commerce warehouse fire that burnt down on the Friday and our goods hadn’t made it there. They didn’t make it on the Thursday. And we just had this hugely lucky escape that our goods were still sat at the airport because of Australia Day and didn’t get burnt in this fire that ruined a number of businesses and poor e -commerce businesses that had all their stock in there. 

Committed to building a community

“It was consistency and it was painful and it was six months of not very many people. I doubted it at multiple points and thought, is this going to work? 

We’ve posted every day on a Monday for the last 12 months, every Monday, regardless of whether people have liked or commented or done things. We’ve done comment competitions and just getting people to engage. I had a competition one week where two people entered it and I sent both of them a water bottle. and you just kind of, and I just, We just didn’t give up. And then there was an inflection point after six months where people just started to post. 

And I think that’s really hard in digital when you’re investing quite a lot of time and energy and you think it’s going to get there, but like, is it? And it has, and now I think it’s incredible, incredible, but that was like a leap of faith.  It was kind of saying we’re doing community and we’re creating this community and we’re committed and we’ll be customer-centric.” 

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