- Richie Doherty
Yeti Rambler - The World's Best Travel Mug
According to the SEC Registration Statement in 2016, Yeti Claims, “We are a rapidly growing designer, marketer, and distributor of premium products for the outdoor and recreation market. Our brand promise is to ensure each YETI product will deliver exceptional performance and durability in any environment”. It's my opinion that Yeti exemplifies that claim.
As a product manager and marketer, we should strive to build a product and brand to compare to Yeti and their Yeti Rambler 20 Oz Tumbler Mug. They have built a product and brand that speaks to B2C customers as well as B2B customers through product quality and customization. The largest contributor to my Mid-High Value Assessment would be Product Quality and the main retractor is Product Price.
Yeti Rambler 20 Oz Tumbler Mug is an insulated traveler-mug with a clear, hard lid. According to Yeti’s website the mugs are made of 18/8 stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation. According to Brian S of The Drive, the Stainless-Steel material of the mugs strikes a good balance of light weight, durability and insulation. The shatter-resistant lid comes with a magnetic MagSlider that slides to open and close the mouth of the lid. According to Brian S, “In addition to a seal between the cup and the lid itself, these lids usually have a rubber or silicone seal integrated into the drinking spout cover as well”. Both the lid and the mug itself are machine washable. The travel mug is 6 ⅜ inches tall with a base of 2 ¾ inches wide, and it will fit into any standard cup holder. The travel mugs come in stainless, a variety of Duracoat colors and Seasonal Finishes.
The 20 oz Yeti Rambler Tumbler Mug is priced under $30 on the Yeti website, they are also sold online at Dicks Sporting Good, Amazon, and other Online providers. It's also sold in stores at various brick and mortar locations; Walmart, and other regional store supermarkets and sporting goods stores. The Rambler Yeti products come with a 5-Year Warranty. Ramblers are also customizable when purchased through Yeti’s website. Yeti has recommended liquid temperatures not to exceed 185 Degree Fahrenheit.
We’re going to break down the analysis of the product into 3 sections: quality, cost, and time. Within each section we will analyze the product from various angles based on the section and components of the products purpose. From there we will sum together the value of the product across these three sections.
The Rambler 20 oz Travel Mug exemplifies quality. We will start with the product purpose, keeping drinks cold and warm. From my extensive use of the product it completes its purpose almost to a fault. The 20 oz Rambler keeps liquids hot and cold for multiple hours and in various conditions. The technology of the double insulated Stainless-Steel material keeps the drinks warm/cold inside the mug and doesn’t conduct any of the temperature to the outside of the mug. Meaning that when you have a cold drink in the cup there is no condensation that collects on the outside of the cup. The same principle holds true for hot drinks, no warmth escapes to the outside of the cup to burn your hands. The 20 oz is the perfect size for most Large/Medium hot and cold drinks you can buy at beverage establishments.
The Lid: the lid’s seal where it connects to the Stainless-Steel mug provides a watertight seal. It is removable for sanitary purposes and sits within a recessed section on the parameter of the lid to lock in the temperature and liquid during drinking. The mouth of the lid is the default in the quality. Depending on the model of the Rambler 20 oz Travel Mug will depend on if you have the magnetic MagSlider. If you don’t have the MagSlider your liquids are vulnerable to spillage if tipped over. Even if the MagSlider is present your liquids still may escape the mug unintentionally. According to Yeti.com, “Please note - this magnet component is not leakproof and will not prevent spills”. The lid does a good job trapping temperature and preventing slips during drinking with the lid seal but there is room for improvement on the spill protection.
Odds and Ends: there are two further quality issues I would wish to discuss. First, due to the inner layer of Stainless-Steal and the high acidity of hot coffee there sometimes is reported a slight metallic taste to the coffee. According to thedrive.com, “Stainless steel mugs usually strike a good balance between a light weight, durability, and insulation, but they are prone to denting and can create a metallic taste in hot beverages”. The second is the design, there are no handles on this version of the mug. It can make for precarious handling and possible spills. The two positive I wish to discuss are the design and the accessibility to the liquids in the mug. The design is simple and easily recognizable in terms of brand view. There are several ways a user could adjust the color to their preferences. There are also options at Yeti.com where a user could customize the design beyond the color to add encryptions and company logos.
According to Yeti’s Registration Statement to the SEC, despite a 128% annual growth rate Yeti has decided not to decrease its cost and push out some of its lower quality/cost competition.
The Yeti Rambler 20 oz was released in April of 2014 at $29.99, according to CamelCamelCamel.com, since 2016 the lowest price a Yeti 20 oz Rambler has been is $11.10 at third party sellers and most notably it has only been $19.50 on Amazon. The price high for the product was $89.00.
Yeti is known for being a high-quality product and because of that they have a high-quality price. This is definitely on the higher end for reusable travel mugs. Many mugs are of less quality and made of possibly less expensive materials. It does feel that Yeti is missing out on a much larger demographic by artificially having high prices.
It also seems illogical to have additional products for sale that are associated with the product that could otherwise be included in the original item. For example, some Yeti Ramblers are sold on sale with no lids, or the lids don’t have the MagSlider. Another example, for $9.99 you can purchase a yeti rambler handle to slide onto your Yeti 20 oz rambler. With its current price, in order to get the quality of a new Yeti Rambler with a lid and handle you will need to pay $39.99. A high cost to keep your drink at the temperature you require it at.
In terms of time on Market, according to Yeti.com, the company was founded in 2006, in 2014 the Yeti released the Rambler 20 oz. Yeti has over a decade and a half of product sales and review data.
In terms of availability Yeti products are available 1 or 3 major ways in my opinion:
Through their e-commerce website where you are able to customize your tumbler and get it exactly to your specification. In this all in one location you can also get the necessary accessories to get the cup up to your specifications. In terms of time of delivery, with no customization, there is free UPS ground shipping with your purchase. The time to deliver is an estimated 4 business days. In order to get the valued 2-day shipping standard Amazon has set, you will need to purchase shipping for $20.00, thus increasing the cost and decreasing the value.
Another avenue to purchase the item is through Amazon. You can still get all of your accessories, but no customization. Here at Amazon there is free 2-day shipping.
The fastest avenue for getting your Yeti 20 oz Rambler is through 3rd party Brick-and-Mortar sellers, like Dick Sporting Goods and other outdoor sporting vendors. Here you can get your Yeti’s right after purchase but there may be inventory issues, no customization and might not have the accessories you need.
Overall in terms of time there leaves room for improvement. It’s my opinion that Yeti for the price could improve their supply chain and ability to add customizable features on Amazon That would go a long way to improving their time.
After assessing the three factors of value, I assess that the Yeti 20 oz Rambler is a mid to high value product. It’s differentiator is the ability to keep liquids at the desired temperature without major drawbacks to accessibility to the liquids and the design of the product.
The major retracting value factor is the price. The price of the overall product and its accessories. Where Yeti is able to capitalize is having a higher quality standard that they get to set the price for the remainder of the mark. From CamelCamelCamel, we have seen that they can vary price if they desire and there does leave the option for Yeti, if need be, to out value and out price its competitors to increase their market share.
In terms of customers, they have the ability with their customization to expand into the B2B market and add custom logos to their Mugs.
To summarize my critiques, I will restate that I think Yeti could include more customers through changing their prices. I suggest they either reduce their price to capture more customers or they offer better bundling packages to entice two types of customers, the B2C customers who want some accessories, or the B2B customers that want a large order.
I also suggest that Yeti focus on expanding their customization offerings to Amazon to offer that service there. I also recommend that they improve their supply-chain and shipping to decrease their 4-day shipping time for the 20 oz Yeti Rambler Tumbler.