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從制冷機到馬克杯都大賣,消費者為這個品牌而瘋狂

Clay Dillow 2019年08月18日

這家公司將可靠性、設計感和驚人的性能結合起來,然后包裝成一個有品牌支持的產品,對消費者非常有說服力。

今年3月,美國奧斯汀的一家高性能冷卻機和杯具制造商Yeti在其官網上發布了一款24盎司的馬克杯。乍一看去,這個杯子平平無奇,又高又圓,有一個方形把手,蓋子是塑料的,外觀跟市面上的其他馬克杯沒有什么不一樣——除了下方那幾個大寫字母的商標銘文。這個杯子被命名為“漫步者”(Rambler)。本來一個杯子上架,并非什么大不了的事情,無非是一個簡單的產品線里添加了一個簡單的產品——而且30美元的價格還算是有點小貴的。

誰能想到,Yeti的死忠粉們居然對這款杯子趨之若鶩。社交網站Instagram上的一篇宣布Rambler馬克杯開售的帖子,居然很快就獲得了2萬多人點贊——請注意,它只不過是一個簡單的馬克杯而已。由于網上搶購熱烈,不到一個月,“漫步者”馬克杯就賣斷了貨(該公司拒絕透露到底賣出了多少個馬克杯),Yeti公司不得不抓緊補充庫存。與此同時,還有大量熱心網友在各大社交網站上詢問該馬克杯以后還能不能買到。(至本文發稿時,該商品已經再度上架。)

在Yeti公司之前,很難想象消費者會為一個價格高達30美元的馬克杯而瘋狂,更不用說價格達到300美元的制冷機了——兩個來自于得克薩斯州的兄弟正是靠著這臺制冷機創辦了Yeti公司,而Yeti在英文中本來就有“雪人”的意思。自從Yeti公司成立后,很多消費者再也不去其他地方買杯子和冰柜了。當然,消費者能夠對一個品牌產生這種近乎被洗腦式的瘋狂,首先離不開這家公司過硬的質量。Yeti的泡沫隔熱制冷機一次可以讓冰塊保持數天而不化。Yeti從制冷機上積累的好名聲,也慢慢擴展到了它的箱包、杯具乃至寵物餐具等其他產品上。

There’s nothing overtly sexy about the 24-ounce mug that Yeti, the Austin-based maker of high-performance coolers and drinkware, released on its website in March. Tall, cylindrical, with a squarish handle and plastic lid, it looks outwardly like any number of thermos-style drinking containers on the market—save the distinctive, all-caps emblazoning of the brand name at the mug’s base. When the mug—a “Rambler” in Yeti brand nomenclature—went live on Yeti’s site, it should’ve been a non-event; a straightforward addition to a straightforward product lineup, if a somewhat expensive one at $30 per mug.

Instead, Yeti’s hyper-loyal fan base swarmed. An Instagram post announcing the launch of the 24-ounce Rambler—and it’s worth reiterating that we’re talking about a simple beverage container here—swiftly garnered more than 20,000 likes. Online orders poured in and mugs shipped out so quickly that within the month Yeti sold out of the mugs completely (the company declined to share exactly how many unites it moved), sending the company scrambling to replenish its inventory. Its social media accounts remain awash in user comments inquiring about its future availability. (As of this writing, it’s back in stock online.)

Before Yeti, it was difficult to imagine consumers getting excited about a $30 beverage mug, much less the $300 coolers upon which two Texan brothers launched the company in 2006. Now that Yeti exists, many of its customers can’t imagine buying a hot beverage container or ice chest from anyone else. The fundamental driver of this cult-like obsession is, of course, quality; Yeti’s foam-insulated coolers famously keep ice frozen for days at a time, and it has successfully translated its reputation for durability and high-performance insulation to product lines including everything from drinkware to bags and backpacks to dog bowls.

Yeti公司出品的24盎司“漫步者”馬克杯。圖片來源:Yeti

Yeti的早期用戶群主要是狩獵和釣魚愛好者等“硬核”玩家。隨著產品打出口碑,它的聲譽也形成了一種無形的文化資產。就像很多搞金融的宅男衣柜里都有一件Patagonia的馬甲來彰顯自己的戶外情節一樣,很多消費者都將Yeti的產品與戶外劃了等號,哪怕他們眼中的“戶外”只是在自家后院搞一次露天燒烤。現在的Yeti已經不僅僅是一家小眾的戶外設備生產商了,它已經進化成了一個生活方式品牌,它酷到骨子里的范兒也得到了萬千顧客的追捧。

Yeti公司的CEO馬特·萊因杰斯表示:“Yeti的產品最初并不是專門為狩獵或釣魚愛好者設計的,他們只是最先認識到這些產品的性能和價值的兩個群體。不過在這個過程中,我們也達到了一些效果——人們已經習慣了一些商品用完了就丟棄的性質。所以當我們將可靠性、設計感和驚人的性能結合起來,然后把它包裝成一個有品牌支持的產品,對消費者就很有說服力了。”

2015年,萊因杰斯成為了Yeti公司的CEO,負責領導公司向全國知名品牌轉型。同年10月,該公司正式掛牌上市,增長勢頭令人艷羨。受直銷業務和零售業務的增長推動,從年初到現在,該公司的股價已經上漲了60%以上。該公司計劃今年在奧斯汀旗艦店以外開設第一批分店(地點選在了查爾斯頓、芝加哥和丹佛),同時該公司也在著眼海外市場,雖然目前它只有4%的銷售額來自于海外。

Yeti的核心產品是一種滾塑的硬塑料冷卻機,用三層泡沫隔熱材料隔熱。它直到現在仍然是Yeti的拳頭產品。最新一代的冷卻機被命名為“Tundra 350”,容量為350加侖,空重89磅,零售價為1300美元。除此之外,該公司還推出了軟質的冷卻袋以及滾動式冷卻機等產品,以更好地適應海灘和后院等使用環境。這些產品都保持著Yeti一如既往的高品質,而且能夠保證冰塊幾天不化。

But that same reputation has also spawned an intangible cultural cache that reaches beyond the hardcore hunters and fishermen that proved Yeti’s early adopters. Just as indoor-dwelling finance bros have appropriated the Patagonia vest as a wardrobe staple, consumers who don’t know the first thing about tying a fly nonetheless find their own outdoors authenticity in Yeti products, even if “outdoors” extends only as far as a backyard barbecue. No longer a niche maker of specialty outdoors equipment, Yeti has evolved into a lifestyle brand, its intrinsic coolness backed by real wilderness bona fides.

“There’s nothing about the original Yeti product that was specifically designed for hunting or fishing, those were just the first two communities to really recognize the value of the 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 when we combined durability and design with shocking performance, and then packaged it into a product supported with a brand, that spoke to people.”

Reintjes took over as CEO in 2015, overseeing Yeti’s transition into a nationally recognized brand and, as of October, a publicly-traded corporation with an enviable growth trajectory. The company’s stock has risen more than 60% year-to-date, fueled by growing direct-to-consumer sales and an increasing retail footprint. The company will open its first stores outside of its flagship Austin location this year (in Charleston, Chicago, and Denver) and is eyeing overseas markets, from which it currently derives only 4% of its sales.

Its core product, a roto-molded hard plastic cooler with up to three layers of foam insulation, remains the center of the company’s offerings. The largest iteration, the 82-gallon Tundra 350, weighs 89 pounds empty and retails for $1,300. But that lineup of super-durable, hard-case coolers has expanded to include soft-sided cooler bags and rolling coolers better suited to the beach or backyard than the commercial fishing trawler or hunting camp, all of which retain Yeti’s signature quality and ice-for-days insulation.

圣克魯斯島J2牧場。圖片來源:Jeff Johnson/Yeti

隨著關于Yeti產品的高性能和可靠性的名聲越來越響,Yeti的手提袋、服裝、寵物用品、干燥袋以及杯具等產品的銷量也在不斷上漲。今年第一季度,Yeti售出了價值9100萬美元的杯子、水瓶、水壺、酒杯、馬克杯等,較上年同期增長了20%。這也是該公司直銷收入飆升的主要因素之一。

Yeti非常擅于與消費者建立直接聯系,方法很簡單,就是用產品質量為自己代言。當然和其他知名零售品牌一樣,Yeti也有自己的品牌大使。不過不同的是,Yeti的品牌大使是競技牛仔、戶外燒烤達人、專業(或者業余的)飛釣大師,以及各路戶外運動愛好者。它最知名的品牌大使當屬約翰·弗洛倫斯,它是職業沖浪界里的一個響當當的人物,但在沖浪界之外,知道他的人并不多。

摩根士丹利的零售研究常務董事金伯利·格林伯格認為:“這是一種非常草根化的營銷手段,而不是那種自上而下、輻射全國的廣告方式。這樣就與消費者建立了真實的聯系,而且這種很‘酷’的感覺,也是你在傳統媒體上買不來的。”

這種品牌的酷感在很多方面都有體現,比如社交媒體上最近興起了一個“SHITI COOLERS”惡搞現象——SHITI COOLERS是美國的一個服裝品牌,它在Instagram上開了一個賬號。賬號的創建者制作了一種貼紙,上面寫著“SHITI COOLERS”的字樣,跟Yeti的標識頗有幾分相似。用戶可以將它貼在自家的非Yeti品牌的冷卻機上。這當然是所謂“Yeti文化”的一種惡搞,但同時也可以看出人們對Yeti的產品質量和流行程度的尊敬。

萊因杰斯表示:“有幾次我看到他們的貼紙出現在了各種各樣的東西上,連我也忍不住笑了。不過我認為,歸根結底,這些東西也算是對我們品牌發展的一種認可。我們希望有朝一日,能將這些‘SHITI COOLERS’的粉絲變成真正的Yeti粉。”

不過前提是,Yeti的冷卻機還得有足夠的庫存才行。(財富中文網)

譯者:樸成奎

As its reputation for durability and high performance has grown, so have Yeti’s sales of tote bags, apparel, pet accessories, dry bags, and, of course, drinkware. In the first quarter of this year, Yeti sold $91 million worth of cups, water bottles, jugs, wine tumblers, and—of course—mugs, a 20% increase over the prior-year quarter and a major driver of the company’s soaring direct-to-consumer sales.

Yeti has proved particularly adept at connecting directly with consumers by simply letting the quality of its products speak for themselves and—critically—not trying too hard. Like any other modern retail brand, Yeti has brand ambassadors. Unlike most retail brands, its ambassadors are rodeo cowboys, barbecue pit masters, professional (and amateur) fly fishers, and outdoors enthusiasts of all stripes. Its best-known ambassador might be John John Florence, a name that carries serious weight in the world of professional surfing but doesn’t extend terribly far beyond it.

“It’s a very grassroots approach to marketing instead of a top down, generic national message that gets broadcast,” says Kimberly Greenberger, a managing director in retail research for Morgan Stanley. “And that builds authentic connections and a cool factor that you frankly, can’t buy in traditional media.”

That innate cool factor manifests itself in myriad ways, including through ancillary social media phenomena like “SHITI COOLERS,” an Instagram account and apparel line that’s something of a comedic send-up of Yeti’s ascent to “aspirational” status. The account’s creators produce stickers that read “SHITI” in a block-letter style mimicking Yeti’s own logo, allowing users to cover the logos on their non-Yeti coolers. It’s a swipe at “Yeti culture,” sure, but also an homage to Yeti’s product quality and popularity.

“I’ve had a chuckle a few times seeing some of their stickers pop up on a variety of things,” Reintjes says. “But I think at the end of the day, those kinds of things are a recognition of how we’ve evolved as a brand. And, you know, we hope someday to convert some of the SHITI cooler fans to Yeti fans.”

That is, if there are any Yeti coolers left in stock.

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