Yeti Leans Into Community Marketing To Drive Growth


Yeti’s marketing continues to involve the customer community, elevating the brand and deepening engagement with its core consumers. In the recent campaign, Mapping the Gaps, Yeti ambassadors are hitting their favorite unmapped trails worldwide with a GoPro and a cooler. The ambassadors will then share the 360-degree footage to Google Maps for the rest of the world to access via street view for the first time. Staying true to its brand ethos, the company wants to inspire others to get out into the wild and explore these trails.

Making The Outdoors More Inclusive

“The outdoors can be intimidating and may not always feel accessible for everyone, so we believe it’s important to search for new opportunities to leverage unexpected platforms in creative ways to help break down some of these barriers,” said Paulie Dery, CMO for Yeti. “Our hope is to encourage more people to get out and explore the Wild and maybe even inspire some to map a few new trails of their own.”

Through this initiative, Yeti can highlight the use of its new Hopper Soft Coolers with its ambassadors as they film and explore the great outdoors. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Beehive Basin Trail near Big Sky, Montana, with the legendary mountaineer and climber Conrad Anker as an example. “Map the Gaps is a fun way to introduce people to the outdoors. The combination of maps and hiking is useful and educational. I’m basically stoked about all the cool stuff I get to do with Yeti,” explained Conrad Anker, Yeti ambassador.

Authentic Community Building

Bringing into play the ambassadors, a core element of the Yeti marketing flywheel, allows consumers to see products and world-class outdoor enthusiasts in action. The other goal of Map the Gaps is to showcase the plethora of unmarked trails worldwide. “If only a few trails have available information, then people end up on the same few trails. They become crowded, and it’s not good for the trail or your experience. So if more are available, it can help spread people out,” said Steph Davis, Yeti ambassador.

The idea also inspires and builds community between Yeti and its consumers through the ambassador program. Yeti communities have expanded from only two in 2006 (fishing and hunting) to 15 in 2023, including more diverse categories such as culinary, skate, rodeo, and golf. Yeti has 200 brand ambassadors.

Financial Earnings Show Strong Growth In DTC

Yeti continues to leverage its marketing and ambassador programs to drive growth throughout the company. The direct connection to its core customer base has been highly successful. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales were up 14% for the third quarter results. In less than ten years, Yeti has progressed from earning 8% of its revenue from DTC to 59% in 2023.

The intentional shift from wholesale to DTC has allowed the company to understand its core customers better and deliver relevant marketing information and products to the target markets. “Last quarter, we discussed the debut of our every single-use campaign, showcasing our product durability and contrasting Yeti to single-use disposable alternatives,“ said Matt Reintjes, president and CEO of Yeti, on a recent earnings call. Reintjes explained that the campaign was so successful that it was expanded internationally across major metropolitan markets and 18 college campuses. “This is one example of the impactful and nuanced way in which we walk consumers from awareness to consideration to purchase and repeat,” said Reintjes.

DTC helps grow gross margins and deliver more to the bottom line. The gross margin outlook for the full year is 56.5% compared to last year at 52.7%. “We delivered remarkably strong gross margin expansion of nearly 650 basis points, highlighted by the ongoing recovery of inbound freight costs and favorable product costs. This result further supports our efforts to stay on offense with brand and growth investment while also taking care of the bottom line,” said Reintjes. Community marketing serves Yeti’s core customers, drives deeper brand loyalty, and strengthens the bottom-line profits.

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