When he’s not on a blogging sabbatical, my friend Bob Hoffman is relentless in his search for just “one major consumer-facing non-native web brand that has been built primarily by web advertising.”
Even the most ardent supporters of digital advertising are challenged to provide an example. But what if we remove the modifier, “major” from the equation? Will that lead us to an impressive case study? You and Bob be the judge.
Yeti Coolers is a six year-old company with $13 million in annual revenue. The Austin-based outfit with 70 employees and 56,767 fans on Facebook just sold last week to Cortec Group for “at least $47 million,” according to Austin Business Journal.
Rick Wittenbraker, Yeti’s vice president of marketing, doesn’t want to give too much credit to social media marketing, but he does emphasize the roll SMM plays in the brand’s rapid ascent. He says SMM is just a piece of the pie but, “it helped to make Yeti a well-rounded and complete brand.”
“The biggest lesson we’ve learned is that these are our beloved followers, and they help make this company what it is. We need to listen, and we need to respond and engage. They are an incredibly valuable and powerful group,” Wittenbraker says.
The cooler — which is insulated above and beyond the average cooler and costs $260 to $1,300 — is a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts who use the cooler while fishing, hunting or lounging at the beach.
Yeti’s projects manager, Denise Smith, who often acts as the company’s voice on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, adds, “People don’t really want to be marketed to. They want to be involved, they want to be heard and they really enjoy the interaction.”
By the way, the brand has 648,186 video views on YouTube.