There’s not anything brazenly attractive approximately the 24-ounce mug that Yeti, the Austin-based maker of high-overall performance coolers and drinkware, launched on its website in March. Tall, cylindrical, with a squarish deal with and plastic lid, it appears outwardly like every range of thermos-fashion drinking packing containers on the market—keep the one of a kind, all-caps emblazoning of the logo name on the mug’s base. When the mug—a “Rambler” in Yeti logo nomenclature—went live on Yeti’s website, it must’ve been a non-event; a straightforward addition to a trustworthy product lineup, if a quite high priced one at $30 per mug.
Instead, Yeti’s hyper-unswerving fan base swarmed. An Instagram put up saying the release of the 24-ounce Rambler—and it’s really worth reiterating that we’re speaking about a simple beverage container right here—unexpectedly garnered more than 20,000 likes. Online orders poured in and mugs shipped out so fast that inside the month Yeti offered out of the mugs absolutely (the corporation declined to percentage precisely how many units it moved), sending the enterprise scrambling to replenish its inventory. Its social media money owed continue to be awash in user remarks inquiring approximately its future availability. (As of this writing, it’s returned in stock online.)
Before Yeti, it turned into tough to imagine purchasers getting excited about a $30 beverage mug, plenty much less the $300 coolers upon which two Texan brothers released the company in 2006. Now that Yeti exists, a lot of its clients can’t consider buying a warm beverage field or ice chest from every person else. The essential driver of this cult-like obsession is, of the path, excellent; Yeti’s foam-insulated coolers famously maintain ice frozen for days at a time, and it has effectively translated its recognition for durability and high-performance insulation to product traces along with the whole lot from drinkware to bags and backpacks to canine bowls.
But that identical reputation has additionally spawned an intangible cultural cache that reaches past the hardcore hunters and fishermen that proved Yeti’s early adopters. Just as indoor-dwelling finance bros have appropriated the Patagonia vest as a cloth wardrobe staple, purchasers who don’t understand the primary component approximately tying a fly despite the fact that find their personal outside authenticity in Yeti products, despite the fact that “outdoors” extends handiest as a long way as a backyard barbecue. No longer a gap maker of uniqueness outside the system, Yeti has evolved right into a lifestyle brand, its intrinsic coolness sponsored through actual wasteland bona fides.
“There’s nothing about the authentic Yeti product that changed into particularly designed for looking or fishing, those were just the primary two communities to certainly understand the cost of the overall performance of the product,” Yeti CEO Matt Reintjes says. “But I think we tapped into something—people’s exhaustion with the use it and lose it nature of products. And so while we combined sturdiness and layout with surprising overall performance, after which packaged it right into a product supported with an emblem, that spoke to humans.”
Reintjes took over as CEO in 2015, overseeing Yeti’s transition right into a nationally identified brand and, as of October, a publicly-traded employer with an enviable increase trajectory. The company’s stock has risen greater than 60% yr-to-date, fueled through developing direct-to-consumer income and a growing retail footprint. The enterprise will open its first shops outside of its flagship Austin area this yr (in Charleston, Chicago, and Denver) and is eyeing remote places markets, from which it currently derives best four% of its sales.
Its core product, a roto-molded difficult plastic cooler with up to 3 layers of froth insulation, stays the center of the business enterprise’s offerings. The biggest iteration, the 82-gallon Tundra 350, weighs 89 pounds empty and retails for $1,300. But that lineup of superb-long lasting, tough-case coolers has multiplied to encompass soft-sided cooler baggage and rolling coolers higher suitable to the seaside or outside than the industrial fishing trawler or hunting camp, all of which hold Yeti’s signature first-class and ice-for-days insulation.