Before Yeti created a $5 million cooler and adventure brand, the icebox/cooler market (aka the “esky” market, despite Esky being a brand) was a a low-cost and cheap product market.

Chris Hladczuk documents their story in a recent release of his email newsletter which I recommend subscribing to.

How did they make money in a notoriously cheap and low-margin market?

The issue is that a premium cooler costs $100+ to make.
So YETI ends up selling coolers for $400 when the competition is selling for $40.
How do you compete?
They don’t.

But it creates an opportunity for a 10x product for power users that costs 10x the price.
Another example is Canada Goose jackets.
Spend $1,000 on a coat but be warm enough for an Iditarod in Alaska (and look cool doing it).

The premise in Chris’s argument is that there are enough people in the cooler market that actively don’t want to buy a cheap cooler, they actively desire a high-quality and expensive cooler. They see the cheap prices and don’t want them, they are searching for a cooler that is high priced and brings them high value. It’s not about competing with the cheap products, but standing at the other end of the market providing high value.

Find your believers and be where your believers are: Whichever market you are working in – I’m imagining that most people reading this are talking about weddings – identify what the high value position looks like, and where are those people. Which groups are they in? Which events are they attending? What are they reading or listening to? Go there. Chase them. Look for them. Be them. Let them identify with you, as a customer of yours, as a person who sees value in what you provide.