YETI: B2B Marketing Lessons from the Legendary Cooler Brand with Sam Kuenle, VP of Marketing at Loxo

In this episode, we're talking about the legendary outdoor gear brand, YETI, with the help of special guest, VP of Marketing at Loxo, Sam Kuehnle. Together, we chat about investing in storytelling, working collaboratively with sales, and being realistic about what constitutes a true lead.

Episode Summary

What does it take for your customers to:

  1. Recommend your brand to all their friends, family and coworkers?
  1. Take pictures of your product and post it on their personal social media?
  1. Wear your logo even if they don’t own the product?

All of these are signs your customers are superfans evangelizing your brand. And transforming customers into devoted superfans is a potent marketing strategy that drives business growth.

This is what we’re talking about today as we chat about the legendary outdoor gear brand, YETI, with the help of special guest, VP of Marketing at Loxo, Sam Kuehnle. Together, we chat about investing in storytelling, working collaboratively with sales, and being realistic about what constitutes a true lead.

About our guest, Sam Kuehnle

Sam Kuehnle is VP of Marketing at talent intelligence platform Loxo. He joined the company in January 2023. Prior to his current role, he served as VP of Demand Gen at Refine Labs, a demand strategy and research firm focused on growth-stage B2B SaaS companies, where he spent over 2 years. He previously worked at Blackbaud for over 7 years, culminating in his role as Digital Marketing Team Lead. He is based in Jupiter, Florida.

About Loxo

Loxo is the #1 Talent Intelligence Platform and global leader in recruiting software. Loxo is a horizontally integrated suite of data-driven and AI-powered products designed to manage the full recruitment life cycle through a single system-of-record software platform. The platform includes a best-in-class Applicant Tracking System, an AI-driven Recruiting CRM, Candidate Engagement (multi-channel outbound recruiting solution), a People Search Engine of over 1.2 billion people, with contact information including verified mobile phone, personal and work emails. The instant AI sourcing, ranking and matching makes identifying, engaging and hiring the very best possible talent easier than ever before. More than 13,000 Executive Search, RPO, professional recruitment and talent acquisition teams across the globe are using Loxo to become hiring machines.

About YETI

YETI is a maker of outdoor gear like premium ice chests, coolers, vacuum-insulated stainless steel drinkware, and more. They’re an American company based in Austin, Texas that was founded by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders in 2006. The brothers loved to fish and hunt but found that they needed to buy a new cooler every season because parts would break on them. So they decided to make a cooler that was super durable, effective at keeping stuff cold, and all-around practical. Their dad, who was a teacher by trade, had also become an entrepreneur, developing sealant for fishing rods called Flex Coat. So this kind of entrepreneurship runs in the family. And their idea really came from meeting their own needs while also seeing a need in the market.

So when they were developing a prototype, they realized that they would have to sell their coolers for around $300 to cover their costs, far above the $30 coolers you can buy at Walmart. And because of this, they decided to reach out to specialty outdoor retailers and to go to trade shows. (Speaking of knowing your audience). Now if you look on their site, the hard coolers range in price from $250 to $1500.

And though they initially started with coolers, they expanded to cups and tumblers in 2014.

The brand definitely has cachet. People will put a YETI sticker on their truck or wear a YETI t-shirt even if they don’t own a YETI cooler. The brand has been called “aspirational,” no doubt because of the price but also the idea of having time off to go be in the great outdoors, loading up a YETI with fish or elk meat or drinks. But Aaron Vom Eigen, who’s a principal at the Austin-based design firm Pushstart who studied YETI, said,“It’s less about being sexy and more about the function and being durable.”

Speaking of, ice will last in a YETI cooler for up to 7 days, according to Springhill Outfitters. Though in hot conditions, it will last for a day or two. And they’re virtually indestructible. They’re made using the same process as white water kayaks. And they’re also tested against grizzly bears for bear-proofing (when paired with special YETI master lock padlocks.)

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From YETI:

  • Invest in storytelling. Create longform blog posts, videos and podcasts telling stories that exemplify your brand. They build brand awareness so you’re top of mind for buyers. Ian says, “Content is so important to [YETI]. If you go to their website, the navigation includes shops, gifts, customized, and stories. And in stories you have a bunch of stories that they've written and brilliant long form video content, which is amazing. They have ambassadors and they have podcasts. You have to have such strong content and advertising in order to be top of mind and to get your brand across.”
  • Work in tandem with sales. Supercharge your marketing strategy by keeping communication open with the sales team. Each side will inform the other on what works or what doesn’t, so marketing and sales both work harder for the business. Sam says, “One of the bigger [lessons] is learning how to work with sales. Because they don't care if you get one lead, 10 leads, 100 leads their way, they need to close deals at the end of the day. So if you want a good relationship with them and you really want to grow as a company, you need to be working together.”
  • Be realistic about what constitutes a true lead. It’s easy to convince yourself a contact will convert. But Sam says, “Whether leads are falling off, they're not qualified, or they're not closing for some reason, more often than not, it was because the leads weren't really leads. Like, we so conflated the definition of what a lead is. And we just said, ‘Oh, they downloaded an ebook, they're ready to talk to sales.’ It's like, ‘No, they just wanted to learn something or they wanted to watch this webinar. Stop calling them leads. Just give it away for free.”

*”How do we create champions? How do we get repeat buyers? How do we keep people from never wanting to leave us? In B2B, it's an experience. You make sure that they get the results they want. But in B2C, you don't have YETI people calling you. How do you like your YETI? Rate it out of 10. Would you buy YETI again? They've just ingrained it. I think part of that is the marketing side of it is just how they've done and accomplished that.” - Sam Kuehnle

*”KPIs are indicators. They are not goals. We need to stop treating them like goals. You can get tens of thousands of visitors if you want to show up for some random phrase. You can go to some content syndication website. You can gamify all that to hit your goals, but then you're doing a disservice because you're refocusing all of your team's energy on hitting these things that don't actually matter for your business because they want to justify their salary or their position within the company.” - Sam Kuehnle

*”How'd you hear about us? Just ask people when they come in and put it on the form. This is usually like the most memorable thing, or sometimes recency effect comes into play where it's like, you know, ‘The last thing I heard was a podcast with the CEO.’ That's another touch point for you to know if your content is working.” - Sam Kuehnle

*“Are we generating more pipeline as a result of the people coming in? Are the deals closing faster? Are we seeing higher win rates as a result? All of those are lagging indicators to doing that initial upfront work of building your content engine, but you can't be so obsessed with having that engine drive results on day one, on day 30, on day 60. It is a long game that you have to play.” - Sam Kuehnle

Episode Highlights


Check out YETI

Connect with Sam on LinkedIn

Learn more about Loxo

About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both nonfiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios) and Meredith Gooderham (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Meredith Gooderham, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

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