Clients & Customers,  Implementation,  Marketing

Case Study – REI – How they use Soulful Marketing Principles

I’m excited to dive into a more extensive case study with you.

We’re going to explore some core principles of Soulful Marketing, and how it has created immense success into some well known niche brands.

My hope is that it will spark some creative ideas on how you can weave these principles into your own business.

Let’s take a look at one of my favorite stores/brands – REI. Alice and I have been to most of them in Northern CA and Oregon!

We plan on camping later this year and had to stock up on some stuff. That’s why I decided they’d be a terrific case study.

Before I share this with you, I want to warn you that this email is a bit longer than usual (Yeah, I know they’re usually kind of long, but not this long!) because I wanted to jam a bunch of good ideas in there for you. 🙂

And – when you click on the photos below – it takes you to the REI site for more info and inspiration.

A refresher on REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.). It’s an outdoor gear and clothing company that was founded in 1938 by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in Seattle.

It started as a Co-op with this mission –

“Intent of the founders of this organization was to secure sufficient membership to make group buying possible; to distribute the goods with as little overheads expense as possible, using membership cooperation with the work as much as possible; to gradually build up a reserve for purchasing stock; to have the membership fee ($1.00) so that everyone interested will be financially able to join. (November 30, 1938)”

Since it started, REI has built a tremendously loyal following of outdoor enthusiasts who share their sustainability, environmentalism, and community values.

Soulful Marketing Core Principles and How REI has Implemented Them Over the Years:

1. Connect Authentically With Your Dream Clients. This is about building authentic relationships with them. You do this by personalizing your marketing strategies and focusing on your dream clients.

REI – Connection is at the heart of their marketing strategy. They have spent a tremendous amount of time building authentic relationships with their dream customers. They’ve become a trusted resource for outdoor enthusiasts across the country. REI has mastered the art of building authentic connections with its customers through its various initiatives.

One example is the “Force Of Nature” campaign, which highlighted women making strides in outdoor activities and adventure sports. By sharing the stories of real women who were pushing the boundaries of what was traditionally considered a “man’s activity,” REI was able to create a sense of connection, community, and authenticity around their brand.

This campaign showed that REI wasn’t just trying to sell gear. They were also committed to promoting diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment in outdoor activities. Additionally, REI’s hassle-free return policy and knowledgeable sales associates further contribute to their reputation for genuine customer service.

2. Communicate & Connect to Your Dream Clients with Empathy – It’s all about understanding your dream client’s needs, wants, hopes, dreams, and desires.

REI’s messaging is centered around understanding and empathizing with their customers’ needs and desires. For example, their “Opt to Act” campaign encouraged customers to take small, sustainable actions in their daily lives to help the environment. This messaging aligns with the values of many REI customers who are passionate about preserving the outdoors for future generations.

3. Align with Your Mission, Core Values & Purpose – By aligning with your core values, mission, and purpose in your marketing, it will empower purpose-driven entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with these strategies.

REI has a clear purpose beyond just selling outdoor gear and clothing. They are committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing and are actively taking steps to reduce their environmental impact.

For example, they encourage customers to recycle their old outdoor gear and clothing and have introduced a rental program for outdoor gear, which helps to reduce waste. A co-op system was how the company was founded.

By aligning with this core value, it supports their purpose, and that’s how they’ve created a community of like-minded people passionate about the outdoors, the environment, and sustainability.

4. Use Personalized Marketing in Your Business – How to stand out from the crowd by creating specific personalized marketing strategies to connect with your dream customers that will grow your business.

Through personalized marketing strategies, REI has stood out from the crowd and connected with its dream clients. Mainly because they understand the unique needs and desires of their dream customers. Over the years, they’ve created tailored marketing strategies that resonate with customers on a deeper level.

This has helped them grow their business while staying true to their core values. One example is creating a lifetime membership for a nominal fee. This way, you are considered part of the community and the REI family. It comes with many perks, and having a community of like-minded people always works well to grow your business.

They also brilliantly shared stories about their employees and customers. The “Every Trail Connects” campaign is an excellent illustration. This campaign highlighted stories of diverse individuals and their personal connections to the outdoors. Through these stories, REI manifests its commitment to inclusivity and its genuine passion for outdoor adventures, fostering a sense of community and authenticity.

5. Creating Authenticity & Transparency in Your Marketing & Messaging – Soulful Marketing empowers mindful entrepreneurs to use authenticity and transparency in their marketing and messaging to their dream clients, creating business momentum and growth.

REI is known for being genuine and transparent in its messaging. They share stories about their employees and customers, which helps to create a sense of community and authenticity. They also prioritize customer service and are known for their hassle-free return policy and knowledgeable sales associates.

Their “Opt Outside” campaign in 2015 showcased their authenticity and transparency by closing all their stores on Black Friday and encouraging their employees and customers to spend time outside in nature instead of shopping.

It promoted REI’s love for the great outdoors and demonstrated its commitment to helping people experience the benefits of nature firsthand. By closing their stores and losing out on a day of sales,

This campaign demonstrated their commitment to their mission while also showing that their values were more important than just making money. The campaign’s success and positive media attention have further solidified REI’s reputation as a brand that prioritizes authenticity and transparency. Every year they continue to “Opt Outside” and close their stores on Black Friday.

How can you and your business be like REI? By following these 5 principles:

  1. Connect authentically with your dream clients.
  2. Communicate & Connect to Your Dream Clients with Empathy
  3. Align with Your Mission, Core Values & Purpose
  4. Use Personalized Marketing in Your Business
  5. Creating Authenticity & Transparency in Your Marketing & Messaging

I hope this has inspired you with some ideas about how you can be more authentic, connect and and personalize your marketing.

I’d love to know what you thought of this case study – want more of them?

Let me know if this is helpful. I love doing them.

Happy mid June. We’re off next week to Southern CA to visit the parents. More to come!

Quote I’m Pondering:

“Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it”

~ Mary Oliver, excerpts from her poem – Instructions For Life.

Two Powerful Mantras to Inspire:

“I am a magnet for inspiration and positive energy.”
“I attract success and prosperity with all of my ideas.”

What I’m Reading:
Full Circle Marketing: Transform Your Marketing and Turn Customers Into Evangelists by Wayne Mullins

Full Circle Marketing: Transform Your Marketing
and Turn Customers Into Evangelists 

By Wayne Mullins

Latest Book Review:
The Magic of Thinking Big – Acquire The Secrets of Success… Achieve Everything You’ve Always Wanted
 by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Weekly Photos:
The June celebrations continue… some choice shots from our weekend in Sacramento at their PRIDE festivities. Topped it off with some amazing food and spectacular dessert options. And Emma always has to make at least one appearance

I have more pictures of our adventure on my social media, check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Also, in next weeks email, I will give you the link to this email that I post on my blog so you can save it for future reference. Remember all my past emails are on my blog.

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