7 Reasons Why Yeti Coolers Are So Expensive

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Yeti coolers, well-known as they are for their cooling, are also well-known for their price. These coolers are expensive. In purely monetary terms, they go ahead of their competition by quite an amount. Quality of the Yeti coolers is unquestionable. But their competing brands aren’t far off the mark in that regard either. So why are Yeti coolers so expensive?

7 Reasons Why People Shell Out Big Bucks For A Yeti Cooler

1. Their Branding Is Top Notch

One of the biggest reasons people pay big money for coolers is the perceived brand value. Yeti has established itself as a purveyor of top-quality coolers. The name and the brand have built trust, and people are willing to pay a premium for products they can depend on.

They’ve had time to build their brand, and the company has done an admirably good job at it. Back when the first Yeti hit the market in 2006, it was miles ahead of the competition. That superiority gave it an edge, and the company made sure they wouldn’t lose it. 

It’s the same reason people will pay higher for a brand like Calvin Klein or Apple. There is some factor of exclusiveness, but there is also an implied bond of trust that the brand’s product will be worth its price. 

2. Yeti’s Marketing Is Off The Charts

Yeti has closely supported its brand with amazing and thoughtful marketing campaigns. It’s not the conventional strategy of bombarding consumers with ads, or bland ads that extoll the specs of the product. Their marketing is thoughtful and presents the product in a more natural setting.

There are these beautiful documentary-style videos that tell amazing stories, and Yeti is more of non-intrusive product placement in these. 

Look at “Hometown” that I have embedded here, and enjoy the wholesome story. These are ads that people look forward to, and what they actually watch rather than tuning out. This is not a one-off, there are other amazing stories and videos on Yeti’s channel. Are they ads? Yes. Will I still watch them and look forward to the next one? Yes!

Their more direct ads are fairly interesting too. They manage to convey their message without boring the viewer with random details or appearing too obtrusive. A bear jostling with a cooler? Okay Yeti, I’ll watch your ad. Sigh.

That’s not to say that every piece Yeti has put out is killer, but yes, their marketing is consistently above-average. Campaigns like the YetiNation and Yeti community are engaging rather than evangelizing. It helps that the company is willing to spend on their marketing and has some top figures from the industry working for Yeti.

3. First On The Market

In 2006, if you really wanted your beers, beverages, and kills to stay cold, you got a Yeti. It’s been 13 years since then, and that still holds true in the public psyche. It’s also worth noting that the company didn’t dilute their brand in the name of cost-cutting or increasing profits. As long as you have reasonable expectations from your cooler, Yeti will live up to it.

That sort of headstart can work wonders, and Yeti had years before viable competition showed up. Think of the days of Apple with Steve Jobs when the iPod and iPhone were launched. They transformed the market landscape and it was years before viable competition showed up. And even then the iPhone continued to be on the top for several years.

Yeti came on the scene when coolers did a marginally better job than leaving beverages in a random ice bucket. This was a cooler that could keep things cold for days. It became synonymous with a quality cooler – a connection that the company has not let expire.

4. Yeti Is The Benchmark

Whether due to market forces or unwittingly, Yeti has become something of a benchmark for cooler performance. Even as the competitors extol the virtues of their products, they will invariably end up comparing their product with a Yeti. Consumers will wonder how the cooler they’re considering stacks up to a Yeti. 

If everything ends up being compared or benchmarked against a Yeti cooler, it isn’t a stretch to assume that the cooler stands at the top of the pyramid.

5. Yeti Has Been Consistent With Innovation

Yeti used their headstart to the company’s advantage, and built on it. Their rotomolded coolers changed the game in 2006. Rather than simply sitting down and enjoying the fruits of this success, the company continued to push innovation. 

Apart from the rotomolded coolers, there are soft-sided coolers, rambler cups, bottles, duffle bags, and others. To put it plainly, they have been putting out some really great products and innovating with existing products. For example, those soft-sided coolers are awesome and change the landscape in terms of convenience and user experience.

Yeti’s competition isn’t devoid of innovation. Yet, in terms of visibility, all they seem to do is play catch-up. The biggest thing their competition can offer is a lower price, and even then, the consumer may doubt the value.

6. The Yeti Quality

The high cost of the Yeti cooler is backed by their high quality. Why are Yeti coolers so good? For one, the Yeti coolers actually deliver what they promise. These coolers will keep their contents cold for days. They will also last years and maintain their quality.

Once the quality argument is settled, it could be said that Yeti has “justified” the price of their coolers. It isn’t tough to bring people around to the argument that higher quality equals higher price. I’m not saying that’s a universal truth. I’m saying it’s a cogent and viable argument to make. 

For example, Yeti uses airtight, leakproof, and waterproof zippers for its soft-sided coolers. They say it is the same quality as those used in hazmat suits. I have no idea what a hazmat side zipper costs, but I’m willing to concede that it is far more expensive than a conventional zipper. After all, an airtight, leakproof zipper isn’t something ordinary.

To be fair, Yeti’s competition isn’t too far behind in these parameters either. As Yeti alternatives, Orca, Grizzly and Pelican Pro Gear offer very decent coolers. They offer as much of cooling as Yeti does, and are practically as indestructible and long-lasting as a Yeti. Even so, they lack one important thing that the Yeti has, which brings us to our next point.

7. Yeti Coolers Look Expensive

One reason people are willing to pay big money for Yeti coolers is that Yeti coolers look worth the money. No one wants to casually fork over the figurative boatloads of money for a Yeti cooler without being convinced. The looks of these coolers do that convincing. 

Even if the competition makes coolers as rugged and feature-rich as Yeti, they don’t often match the look. In appearance, a Yeti literally shines over the competition. Its finish looks better, the color hues appear richer, and the overall effect is that it looks convincingly worth the price. 

It’s something like putting a $200-300 phone on the table with a Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone. A user can instinctively point to the more expensive phone. There is nothing wrong with the lower-priced phone. However, a user is likely to be more understanding of the premium cost of a more expensive phone. 

You got it, the finish of these coolers is an important factor that drives their price. It doesn’t necessarily confirm superiority over cheaper competition, but it makes it easier to convince the consumer of the price tag. 

Would You Pay For A Yeti Cooler?

The competition may be able to match the Yeti cooler in quality, but would you, as a consumer be confident enough? If you’ve ever wondered why are Yeti coolers so expensive, an easy (though crude) answer would be because consumers are willing to pay for it! The brand value and the better finish make the cost appear justified for the consumer. It helps that there are rarely any complaints about the quality of these coolers.