By now, you’ve probably heard that Yeti Coolers has declined to do business with the National Rifle Association. While that is certainly Yeti’s right–yes, I do believe people have a right to decide who they will and won’t do business with, unlike some people–that doesn’t mean it’s not a stupid decision.
In fact, considering who Yeti’s customer base is, it may be a very dumb decision. As RedState‘s Brandon Morse notes:
Yeti is what’s known as a lifestyle brand. People pay exorbitant amounts of money for their products because having a Yeti cup not only fits in with their lifestyle, but it says something about them. Something along the lines of “I lead a more rugged lifestyle and I need a product that can keep up with me.”
The fact here is that people who buy Yeti products tend to be outdoor types. Hunters, fisherman, sportsman, construction workers, etc. The punchline is that Yeti coolers were primarily bought by people who tend to appreciate a middle American lifestyle, and middle America loves guns.
The punchline to this bad joke of a decision is that by rejecting the NRA, Yeti essentially turned its nose up to the idea of the gun rights the NRA heavily promotes and defends. Many in middle America tend to look at the NRA as a heavily defended wall that keeps the gun control wolves in the hills.
And Yeti, without rhyme or reason, turned its back on it. That’s not going to sit well with Americans.
This has led several people to call for a boycott of Yeti.
I am unable to participate in a Yeti boycott. Why? Because I wasn’t about to pay that kind of money for a cooler, anyways. I don’t care if it keeps things colder for longer, my Coleman is a whole lot cheaper and does the job well enough.
But some people like those high-end brands. Like Morse notes, Yeti is a lifestyle brand, and some people want that.
However, Morse also points out another lifestyle brand that has made it clear where it stands on the Second Amendment. RTIC makes coolers similar to Yeti. Its tagline is “Overbuilt – Not overpriced,” which looks a lot like a slam against Yeti. It seems it made its allegiances very clear via its Facebook page.
Doesn’t that really tell you all you need to know?
Yeti has given a middle finger to gun owners. While I think their business will be fine in the long run, they might see a bit of a dip.
RTIC, however, has just endeared itself to gun owners everywhere. Its told them all, “We’re with YOU” at a time when people seem determined to tell us all that we’re scum unless we forsake our Second Amendment rights. They want us cut off from the outside world and from every product out there…and RTIC steps in and says, “Not us.”
Maybe that’s just how it looks to me, but it’s enough to make me want to spend money with the company right now, and I don’t actually need anything.
That’s good for RTIC’s bottom line if nothing else.