Gud finds a less-aggressive voice for its sports drink

The brand moves away from the category's "hulking-out" imagery to try to appeal to a broader audience.

GUD can drops

The sports recovery drink category is a crowded one, but Vancouver-based Gud might have found a way to stand out.

The beverage maker is aiming for greater inclusivity as a big part of its identity with the launch of its rebrand, developed by creative agency Here Be Monsters.

The rebrand incorporates brighter colours and a less “aggressive” approach to marketing and packaging, designed to evoke the more “refreshing” nature of the product, which delivers the protein and electrolytes one would expect from a protein shake, but in a more refreshing package that’s closer to a sports drink.

“People do sport because it’s good for them and enjoyable, and knowing the audience is broader, we wanted to be more inclusive,” says Tony Hird, co-CD and partner at Here Be Monsters. “We didn’t want to be bro-ey, but even bro-ey guys might gravitate toward this. We’re not looking to exclude them, but we want to include everyone.”

GUD hat berry back“Looking at the people Gud wants to target, whether they’re training for a purpose like athletics or just their own personal satisfaction, we wanted to lean into the enjoyment of the process,” adds Chris Raedcher, managing director and partner at the agency. “We’re trying to make an emotional connection and step away from the competition, which is all about results and that aggressive stance.”

As a challenger brand in the space, finding a way to broaden the audience while also speaking with a unique voice was vital for Gud’s future growth – and keying in on the joy of exercise and sport became the focus.

“This is a reflection of athletes enjoying what they do, with smiles on their faces instead of the strange, hulking-out kind of imagery,” says Matt Bielby, co-CD and partner at Here Be Monsters. “It’s a really interesting left turn in the category.”

So far, that left turn appears to be working, Raedcher says. The new look has received “a great anecdotal response on social media,” with people posting photos of themselves smiling and enjoying the drink in its new packaging.

The new look is reflected on the brand’s website and across its social media and other touchpoints, and Gud will be carrying it forward to physical events moving forward, Bielby says.