YETI UGC: Highlighting products that have been through the ringer
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You can't swing a stick (or hop on Twitter) without finding a talking head preaching the values of user generated content or UGC.
What is UGC? Essentially it's any content (video, social media post, review) created by a customer instead of the brand and is in the same family as social proof.
Essentially customer comes across product, customer likes product, in fact customer likes product so much they post about it without being asked to do so.
And while UGC has become a valuable tactic for brands, it's also become very scripted and has lost some of its authenticity.
Well to those thinking no one is putting out authentic UGC anymore, YETI says hold my very, very, very cold beer.
Over the past couple of months YETI—known for their line of coolers, bags and a host of other outdoor products aimed at keeping your drinks and food cold—has put out several Instagram stories featuring products that have been through the ringer.
For instance the brand has posted examples of coolers that have survived (well at least they're still recognizable) boat fires and being dragged 20 miles along the highway. Another video shows a water bottle that was pulled out of a truck fire and still had ice in it.
These videos aren't from wannabe YouTube stars following in the footsteps of 'Does it Blend,' but rather real customers who have gone through some sort of serious experience and taken solace in the fact that while their truck or boat may not have survived, their YETI product did.
20 miles of road rash
So what's the response been?
Each post has received an average of 33,000 likes, which is exponentially higher than most of the rest of the Instagram content coming out of YETI's account.
Why the positive response?
Marketer Darien Payton believes it's all in the story-telling.
"The thumbnail/cover photo is captivating. An interesting story opens up the question “what does it look like inside?” Then inside is decently intact, which is a satisfying ending. A classic case of sharing an engaging story vs. rattling off features."
So while some in marketing may feel UGC has become a Dumpster fire, YETI is showing the content in the end can be the ice and cold beer that's the treasure hidden within.