✨ “Brands: Trust through the redemption of a real customer benefit💫 — Stephan Mangold
Nowadays customers want to buy from brands who are authentic, brands that not only talk but also act and live by their values!
UNDA, a Berlin-based start-up, is such a brand. UNDA is not only talking about sustainability, but also acting on it. UNDA id more than just a drinking bottle. It is the first sustainable multifunctional bottle. It’s got local production according to eco design directives, CO2 neutral production and distribution, sustainable financing, etc. The UNDA bottle is 100% recyclable and the brand’s aim is ZERO WASTE.
💡 Entrepreneur Stephan Mangold, founder and CEO of UNDA, proudly tells his story about his inspiration, his big WHY starting his own sustainable business.
💡He explains the meaningfulness of the unique UNDA bottle in terms of product features and sustainability and in what way authenticity is captured.
Tune in to an interesting start-up and soon to be a global brand story coming from Berlin.
Get in touch with Stephan Mangold | UNDA:
Get in touch with Brigitte Bojkowszky:
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Ready for brand stories get inspired and learn from thought leaders, CEOs, business owners, and managers who tell their brand stories who share their valuable insights from their own experience. Welcome to BrandsTalk I'm your host Bridget. For print lovers this show is to help you develop and grow your brand in a more strategic and sustainable way. Walk the Talk. Let's get started and dive with me into the world of brains. My guest today is Stefan Mangold. He is the founder and CEO of UNDA, a Berlin based startup which developed a unique long lasting reusable multifunctional bottle with an innovative three in one technology. Stefan and his team inspire their customers by feeling good in using this stylishly designed environmentally sustainable, and multifunctional bottle, thereby making a meaningful contribution to the planet. I warmly welcome Stefan Mangold. Welcome to Brandstalk. And oh, nice to meet you. Nice to having you today as my guest. And I would like to know a little bit about your background. Could you tell us a little bit about your story that brought you right there where you are right now? Yes. So um, like my background is I'm I studied economics and bachelor and also focus on sustainability and also in the master energy economics. And during my studies, like I just covered like travelling with the backpack a lot. So I went to different countries. And like what I saw there was a really big problem of the pollution, not having recycling systems in those countries. And sort of pollution on land, but also they are in the ocean. So really big problem there. And yeah, if you if you go backpacking, like without the reusable bottle, you discover how much waste you actually produce, but also how much money you spend only with this bottled thing you use bottled water. And so this is really also not only bad for the environment, but also bad for your pocket. Yeah, so you're originally from Germany? You our company is based in Germany in Berlin. Yes, your company is called UNDA, and you found it under in 2019. So what was your initial motivation to start your own business? I mean, starting your own business is a bold move. So how did you handle any doubts? And how did you cope with the risk of starting your own business being your own boss? How was that? Yeah, so it was like, especially because I started like on my own so it was you have to get a lot of lots of feedback from also people who are not your friends or not your family or not your co workers but like we're really can look at your business plan for example, I write a business plan for competition but also for grand so you get a new from people are not in your bubble, let's say like this. And also you have to be really patient. Yeah, so but like I got the possibility to write this business plan to to apply for grand for first brand to finance the designer and found a really good designer which saw multiple reward a designer and then I got another grant with writing another business plan to keep you have to be patient and also keep on working on this. So it's all about this specific bottle. So what is your vision with your business with this specific bottle? What is your inner conviction of bringing about I mean, that's what it is, I think a change to the world, right? And what is your big why? That you are pursuing that you are inspired about? So, the big also intrinsic motivation is like to do something against pollution like, or, and also help other people to act like in their in their daily life or if they go to sports and or if they go to on the way to the to walk. So it helped them to prevent easily waste without compromising on their lifestyle. And so the initially really the problem was like the pollution of the oceans. And also you can see the pictures in the media, which very like beaches are polluted, but also like how pollution is in India, for example. And yeah, all right, so there is a lot of competition out there when it comes to bottles, right? So who is your fiercest competitor? And what is this single thing that sets you apart from all this competition out there? Why should a customer purchase your bottle and not just go for any other bottle what's what's so specific about your bottle, so the fiercest competitors in Europe, for example, it's Dopper. In the US, there are like bigger companies, like Nalgene or something like which are made in the USA, which is a big selling point there. But like, nobody of them has like a screen three in one system like the window. So the window can be used not only as a bottle, but also as a big cup, it can be converted into a big cup, having no parts left over so you won't lose any lid or any bottleneck. And it also can be used as a box so you can store easily a small snack in it, or you can use it as a breakfast box. And so the multifunctional system three in one system of the bottle is very unique. And there is no other like this. And additionally, you also can attach it to a court carried very easy, it's very lightweight, and also Swiss made sort of high quality. Okay. And in addition to that nowadays customers really want to buy from brands that are authentic brands that not only talk but also act and live by the values who take a position on issues and living by our values means being authentic. So what does authenticity mean to you and ultimately is infused into the owner brand. So, we think that we want to be sustainable all over so of course, for example, the owner is made sustainable, like it's made according to ecodesign directives that means it is for example made using 100% renewable energies parts can be replaced so it's 100% recyclable it's distributed co2, nitrous neutral and but also the company we have sustainable financing and sustainable bank account and also yeah be as sustainable as possible on use public transport and so on. And, and, and we also want to cooperate with like sustainable companies but also for example, like this zero waste balloon festival we cope cooperated with to act together with other brands or events that are sustainable. So are you having already brand partnerships that you can work with? Are you searching for any other brands that want to work with you right now? Yeah, so we are always on the search for other brands, sustainable brands, maybe they are also good brands that fit really good to the bottle because you cannot only drink water out of it. You can also use it as a snack box and so on. So there are multiple multiple use cases for a bottle and multiple other products we can cooperate with. Perfect, that sounds really great. And the name on that is a very unusual name, let's say like that. So is there a story behind what does UNDA stand for? Yeah, so the origin name was a biggie German name, which is not very international. So, but we wanted to launch on internationally on Kickstarter, as you already did. So we want to have international and really short name. And, but it's really hard to find a name, especially because there's a lot of competition. And also, there are lots of names which are already gone. And there's also big business with lawyers who then yeah, we also did, brainstorming, we searched on, on the on web pages, artificial intelligence, and so on. But finally, we launched a landing page, which was called named bottle.com, where you can suggest names for the bottle with some restrictions. So the page is online, you can check it out. And then we choose on because a nice Latin means wave water ocean, and this really fit, skip to the bottle. And was still free. So we choose this paddle under. Yeah, I mean, I love this, this, you know, the names and how names are created, because there's usually a meaning behind and it has a deeper meaning in your case, as well. So I'm glad you found that name. Yeah. And what were your biggest challenges when it comes to branding as to shape the brand in such a way that you consistently achieve your desired perception in the market? Yeah. Is there anything that was particularly difficult for you to overcome? Yes, definitely, it's really difficult because of the big competition we have, but like, also, like, I think, most people don't give a shit about the name of the bottle. But it's something especially if you only have the chance over the internet, as we now have, because of the corona situation, it's really difficult to get to know the name, you need to have. Budget for branding campaigns and stuff. This is one thing. And yet, there are lots of other bottles who have kind of a story, but most of the bottles don't have a story at all, but they are still there. So I think it's really important also to have a story behind and why you do this. And what's your intrinsic motivation? So where do the customers find you? So is there a there is a website, I suppose you are on social media? So how do you connect with your customers? And what's your message that sticks out because you need to differentiate yourself and be consistent all the time. And not only that, you have to be relevant, otherwise customers wouldn't buy you. Yeah. So we, we do like we do, for example, the Instagram challenge UNDA bottle. Now we do it right. Hydration challenge, we sometimes we cooperate with other companies and and people can window an hour with another brand together. So you can have a connection there. But we also make like artists, contests, because we also can brand the bottle. So you can also print on the bottle, for example, like picture but also a logo from a company. So it's also to companies available who want to brand the bottle and do something good for their employees or for their customers or type clients. Yeah, this is a wonderful idea to have, first of all brand partnerships with other companies to invite them in challenges, but also the final customer because involving them inviting them to participate. And thereby you get a lot of feedback. And that is so important going forward, shaping your messages and also when it comes to your bottle making all this updates and changing certain things about it to make it even more appealing to a customer. I like that. That's great. Good. Do you have any advice for startups in terms of branding, so where you have the difficulties and yeah, you would say I need to pass that on, because this is really critical and really important for someone who is starting his or her business when it comes to branding. Yeah. So really important is to be consistent and to like not to change your name, for example. Or if you change the name, like really be be really sure. And also be creative in finding, finding your name and and really start early with sorts where you want to go like, what do you want to, like, we started really early to decide the test, it has to be sustainable. So there's no way around. So it's really important part for the for the bottom. Okay, Stefan, is there any UNDA brand story, something that was particularly exciting or rewarding for you something that you have celebrated a success story that you want to share with us? Yeah, I mean, we got like the, like the Kickstarter, Team favourite. So this was really nice. Also, we got discovered by by GQ and British Vogue. So this was really and this was through social media. So they came to us, we didn't, we didn't go to them, they came to us over only because they saw our Instagram profile, which had less than 500 followers by by this time. So was we were really small, just at this time. And also the success that for example, we discovered after, after, or by testing the owner, we discovered even new features like if you put a small light into the to the small box, you can use it as a small diffusing light. Why camping? This one point also had another, also people asked us and came to us Yeah, you also can use it as a breakfast box. By putting the milk in the big box and the small box, the cereals, and mix it together fresh. So that was really nice to see. How are the people also creative with the multiple use cases on us? Yeah. All right. So in which countries are you operating right now? Are you in Germany in the German speaking region? Or where are you? Mainly we are in, in Germany, of course, but we also deliver in Europe. And we are also in on what's on USA. So you can order the bottle there easily. And we try to expand to Asia as well. And because of Kickstarter, we kind of we deliver to 24 countries. But at the moment we only deliver in Europe and the US. Okay, so once you're really well known and you have lots of friends of earnest, you you see it's going to explode everywhere. You got to be everywhere, globally. So before coming to the end of our show, Stefan, I would like to do a quick word wrap with you. Are you ready to give me short and quick answers? Yes. All right. So when it comes to green tech, green tech is a heavily growing industry that is really comparable to the industry really revolution and 19th century and might saving us from heavy climate change. Oh great. Yeah. consistency. Consistency is very important. Especially when it comes to prints. Yeah, vision. vision is really, really important, especially if you found a new company, and especially in difficult times, like Corona for the motivation. Absolutely. Without that it' almost impossible. You need t have this perseverance and tha comes from the vision and fro the act, what you are strivin for you want to achieve right And the legacy you want to leav behind. Yeah, last but no least, brains brands trust through the redemption of a real customer benefit. Like this one. Yeah. So Stefan for listeners who would like to find out more about you. Where do they find you? Where can they contact you? You can find us and like social media. At under bottle. It's called spelt Sunday without s and y bottle So, under a bottle.com, or Instagram at UNDA bottle, or you can contact e at contact at UNDA b ttle.com. And you also find us o tick tock, tick tock, and F cebook, just under a bottle t gether. Great, Stephen, thank you so much for being my guest today on BrandsTalk. It was really a d light talking to you about y ur UNDA bottle that insp res customers and helps them make a meaningful cont ibution to save our planet. Than you so much. Thanks, Bridget. Thanks for the interview. Thank you. And that was my conversation with Stefan Mangol . If you liked my show, head ov r to bridgetbrands.com and sig up for my newsletter to neve miss an episode. I look forwar to welcoming you in m community. Also, don't forget t subscribe to my brandstalk podcast on your preferred app. share it on social media and if you find a minute or two, leave a quick grading or review. Thank you so much. I hope you will stay tuned in on the next episode. When we dive into the world of brands.