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By Jamison “Jamie” Lynch – ComQi

A recent visit to see my brother brought me to Austin Texas.  Love Austin, the city is vibrant with a “Let’s enjoy the outdoors” culture and no place says this more than the Yeti Flagship store.  My brother, knowing that I work for a shopper engagement company, encouraged me to go there.  I obliged, despite not knowing anything about the brand.  Crossing “the bat bridge” on S. Congress I come across a large cowboy riding a fish, but did not think anything of it as we are in Austin, there are strange murals all over the place.  We hang a right and walk up some stairs as I gazed upon a bar.  Not a bad start.  We walk past the bustling bar and right into lively store space.

Every corner of this store had something so unique that one couldn’t help but check out everything.

Yeti Vs.

  • A standalone kiosk with video content on a loop. However, to just say that does it much injustice. The content delivers – videos of Bears, Flamethrowers, and 500lb men trying to beat up a Yeti cooler is highly entertaining something I could watch all day.  They also had the same cooler we see in the videos hanging on the side of the kiosk.
  • The Engagement Point! Absolutely brilliant use of digital and physical mediums to show off the durability of their product

The Barrr

  • Yeah, I know what you’re thinking; cold beers and a huge TV playing the Indy 500, what could you not like about that. However, the real highlight was the clever way they used their products to serve their customers. The coolers were used to store/serve ice to make drinks and the Rambler Drinkware products were used as cups.
  • The Engagement Point! Reinforce the brand and get people using your product and you will convert them to fans right away. 

Customize Coolers

  • A large part of the store was dedicated to customizing the lid of your cooler with a college logo or custom straps to match your camping gear. I would put a big Buffalo for Univ. of Colorado on that thing with black and gold straps and call it a day.
  • The Engagement Point! Everyone likes making something that unique to their life. In this case, the customization is done right in front of you.  No waiting or pre-ordering needed means the better customer experience

It doesn’t stop there …

  • Yeti Presents: Big Screen TV that plays outdoor movies while using the coolers as seats (another clever way to showcase the features of their product)
  • Stage: Live performances are played here on the weekends
  • Boat: Fishing boat in the middle of the store showing how their product fits that lifestyle
  • Franklin’s BBQ Grill: This is showcases the cuts of meat and how the grills are built. Also, giving the customer ideas of how to use their product.

So, while my brother is not an avid outdoorsman he still ended up buying a $300 cooler and $100 worth of merchandise.  Why does he love this store so much?  In walking the store with him the answer became obvious to me.  The Yeti brand exemplifies the aspirations of its target consumer and delivers a unique experience within its brick and mortar stores.  It does it creatively and authentically.   It pulls you in, feeling the brand around you along with beer, live music, fishing and hunting.  I cannot remember the last time I hung out at a store for so long but this past weekend I did just that.

Photo Credit: ComQi and iStock
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