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YETI: Brand Positioning Case Study

Jan 19, 2023
YETI Brand Positioning

This week we’re breaking down YETI and how it went from an idea for a cooler to a multi-billion dollar outdoor brand. Let’s get into it…

💼 The Brand: YETI

YETI is a premium outdoor brand known for its “bear proof” coolers, premium drinkware, and rugged outdoor gear. In 2022, the company reported over $1 billion in revenue.

💛 The Heart (Mission & Vision)

YETI was founded in 2006 by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders. The brothers grew up in Texas and enjoyed hunting and fishing trips with their dad, but were frustrated with the lack of durable coolers on the market. This gave birth to YETI’s simple mission — serve outdoor enthusiasts (like themselves) by creating a cooler that could withstand the harsh outdoor conditions.

👤 The Head (Strategy & Positioning)

YETI positions itself as a premium, rugged, and reliable brand in the outdoor market. While other cooler brands were selling for $30 — YETI priced their coolers at $300. It also specifically targeted outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. An audience that the Seiders brothers knew would value durability above all else.

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✋ The Hands (Tactics):

YETI’s marketing tactics include product demonstrations, influencer partnerships, and event sponsorships. The Sieders knew that if they could find a way to show their audience how durable their product was, and not just tell them, they’d strike gold.

My personal favorite is their “YETI Versus” campaign where they pitted their cooler against destructive forces. Unsurpisingly, the YETI always came out on top.

There was “YETI vs. Bear”

“YETI vs. 500lb Man”

And even “YETI vs. Stuntman” 

These campaigns payed off for YETI and continued to solidify the rugged, durable positioning it desired. 

How You Can Steal Their Strategy

  • Focus on the needs of your target market: YETI's success is built on understanding the needs and wants of outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers, and providing them with products that meet those needs.
  • Emphasize your unfair advantage: Some would have said the cooler market was crowded back in 2006. But the Seiders brothers knew there was a problem that was worth addressing. They didn’t just make another cooler, they made the most durable cooler on earth and then emphasized it everywhere in their marketing.
  • Partner with influencers and sponsors events that build trust in your niche: YETI's influencer partnerships and event sponsorships align their brand with exactly who they want to serve — outdoor enthusiasts.

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