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Death of Yeti Coolers

The Death Of Yeti Coolers

One Bad Choice From Yeti Coolers Can Sink A Company Fast

Yeti Coolers have been the talk of the fishing and hunting industry for the last 10 years. They single-handedly changed the cooler buying industry. For years igloo and Coleman dominated all coolers with their run of the mill, low priced coolers that did not last any length of time. Then out of nowhere two brothers set out to change the cooler industry. Not only did they make an exceptional product, but they could charge what they wanted for it and people still bought it. They have created such a cult following that consumers will do anything to get their hands on yeti products. Unfortunately, like most companies, Yeti got too big and have completely forgotten where they came from and who got them to where they are today.

Grizzley Bear Tested Yeti Coolers

One Of The First Grizzley Bear Tested Coolers

How It All Started At Yeti

The two brothers who founded yeti coolers did so primarily because of one reason. They were tired of buying coolers they could not stand on because they were cheaply crafted and would collapse while out on the boat. This fear while sight casting for redfish and other inshore species fueled this pair of co-founders and set up what Yeti was made for. One other thing they wanted was to create a business they could run that still allowed for them to go hunting and fishing.

Yeti Fishing

First Cooler You Could Cast From And It Not Collapse

Back in 2006, when their coolers hit the open market at 300-400 for a cooler people thought these guys were crazy. They knew if they could market it them to the average customer people would want them. If you build them, people will buy them. They found influential people in the hunting and fishing industry and made sure they were only using their coolers. Even though they were giving them away for free, thousands of people began seeing them on TV. This was without even sponsoring and advertising on these hunting and fishing shows. Next they would approach every mom and pop bait store or hunting store who at the time did not carry any coolers and made sure they got them to carry them and feature them where customers would see them. It was this formula of success that drove the yeti brand.

It was this brilliant, hard work marketing scheme that paid off. It not only brought great brand awareness, but it educated consumers on why Yeti was different and why everyone needed to be using a yeti cooler.

How Yeti Lost Its Way

Yeti Coolers: Not customer friendly

How Many Customers Think Yeti Feels About Their Customers

When you produce such a great product at such high prices with outstanding margins, there will be people who want a piece of that pie. Since 2006 you have seen an influx of cooler companies trying to carve their niche into the industry. All of these companies figured out they can do exactly what Yeti is doing minus the expensive prices. There is no science behind making a rotomold cooler that will be as durable as a Yeti Tundra. Brands like Rtic, Mammoth, K2, and Engle Coolers have proven they can make a comparable cooler at half the price. This is ultimately led to the decline of Yeti. As a company you must adapt. The days of paying 300-400 dollars for a cooler are gone. As the consumer I can get almost any cooler that is a rotomold cooler and the ice retention is as good or better. A question that always popped up is, "why do customers keep coming back to the Yeti brand?"

Rather than adapting to the influx of the hunting and fishing market with price, Yeti decided to stand firm. They truly believed their coolers were the best and there was no need to cut their prices. It is this mindset that turned off a lot of people to Yeti. Another thing happened that was not predicted. Their coolers worked so well, people are still using their first generation coolers. How many coolers could an average consumer need if the coolers last for years? I own a Yeti cooler that I have had for over 6 years. Until that cooler breaks down, I see no need to buy another. This came back to hurt Yeti in the long run. Over the last few years, they thought they could set the market again with a 5-gallon bucket. They decided to come out with the Yeti Bucket that runs $29.99. The average fisherman can go to Home Depot and buy a 5-gallon bucket for $3.99. But they did not stop there, they came out with bucket accessories that if you were to purchase the bucket lid, the bucket cradle you are looking upwards of $110 dollars for a 5-gallon bucket. Yeti got lucky the first time consumers were so receptive the first time, unfortunately, your not going to get lucky again.

 Why I Will Never Buy Another Yeti Product

Boycott Yeti Coolers

My dad always told me that there are good choices and then there are bad choices. This week Yeti Coolers made a bad choice. They formally cut ties with the National Rifle Association. The NRA came our with this statement:

“Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why.  They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation.  That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed.  They have declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.  These activities enable them to appreciate America and enjoy our natural resources with wholesome and healthy outdoor recreational and educational programs.”

The NRA is filled with avid anglers and sportsmen who proudly express their right to bear arms. It is these same avid anglers and hunters that helped Yeti create an identity in a non-existent field like coolers. In all seriousness, this is a slap in the face of millions of people who love the NRA and love to hunt and fish. Yeti has moved into a new age of being a lifestyle brand and this truly shows the direction this company is going in.

Did they forget that Yeti Coolers were bought predominately by middle-class Americans who love guns? After a few days of terrible backlash from this announcement, Yeti released their own statement after videos of people burning and destroying their yeti products began popping up all over the internet. Companies who supported the NRA started dropping them from their stores. It was political suicide in the hunting and fishing community. Here is a statement they released.

Yeti Statement in response to NRA

Yeti Coolers Statement In Response To A Massive Fallout With Consumers

One may laugh at the timing of this statement. If consumers embraced it for standing up and pulling NRA support would they have made this statement? That is a very good question, one that many sportsmen and anglers are asking themselves. Viral videos began popping up all over Facebook and Instagram of people destroying their Yeti tumblers and coolers. For a few days, Yeti began sweating it realizing how much money they were about to lose. If you are part of any of the facebook forums, this was all people were talking about. They instantly remembered the people who helped them get to where they are and decided to do some damage control. They blamed the NRA and said they the letter was just to inform the NRA they would be getting new discount codes. I personally think this was a ploy to save the company. What do you think?

We would love to hear your comments and concerns on the matter. Do you think Yeti originally meant it? Did they go back on their word after the bad publicity? Comment below, share with your friends or email us at 


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