Marisa Zupan, the Co-Founder and CEO of United Sodas, was this week’s guest on ONE37pm’s Open Dialogue with Phil Toronto. The two discussed United Sodas, working in marketing and brand strategy, and ultimately made Zupan want to start her own business.
Open Dialogue with Marisa Zupan, the Co-Founder of United Sodas
So, what is United Sodas?
“We are a soda company that launched in May of 2020. The full name is United Soda of America. We are essentially premium all-natural sodas that focus on a variety of different flavors and are organically sweetened for everyone to enjoy. Also, it feels exciting, new, and captures the best part of soda, while leaving the worst part of soda in the past.”
Zupan did not have a background in the soda and beverage industry before entering it in May of 2020. However, she did work in the marketing and branding space and used her experience in both occupations to build United Sodas.
“I had been working in strategy, marketing strategy, brand strategy, communication strategy, and advertising strategy. I was at agencies, and I was at brands. I was a mentor to founders of new companies who wanted to learn how to build brands. And through that journey, I eventually found my way to making my own and doing it in a very different way. So, before starting United Sodas, I did not have any experience making a soda brand. I come from outside the beverage industry, and I am applying those brand principles to build a product and building a team, company, and culture,” shared Zupan.
According to Zupan, timing played a significant role in why she decided to create her own brand.
“Timing had to be right, and it was also the people that I was surrounding myself with that allowed me to feel I had the confidence, and the resources, and team to be able to do it. Essentially, I met my Co-founders during a time I was a consultant, and they had been working in the beverage industry for a while, and I had been working in it on the brand side,” Zupan said.
“And I cooked up, in an incubated way, this exciting idea because everybody was cooking up things outside of soda to capture the soda opportunity. So, why do we not do it on the inside and that was really the first exciting impetus started. Then we developed it, and it allowed me to transition. And I love this idea, I love this team, it is the right time in my life, and we just decided that we are going to make this jump together.”