You would be hard-pressed to find an outdoors-lover who has not heard of REI: it is the largest outdoor specialty store in the country. Much of REI’s success can be attributed to its dedication to outdoor culture and community, mirrored in its innovative co-op business model.
Earlier this month, REI acquired Adventure Projects, a route database for climbers, runners, skiers, and hikers accessed by over 3 million users every year. This move comes after the retailer posted incredible revenue increases for 2014, a clear indication that REI is doing something right. The partnership with Adventure Projects confirms that REI’s prioritizes outdoor culture. This acknowledgment and symbiosis is integral to the company’s success and highlights a new marketing trend: connecting with potential clients by highlighting a company’s own dedication to and love for the great outdoors.
People don’t just like REI because it sells products they need. They like it because the brand ethos supports and inspires new adventures, the moments that new and experienced explorers alike live for. By reliably intertwining its own brand with its customers’ desire to get outside and roam free, REI gains a following in the community that its success is wholly dependent upon. Relevant, pointed content is directed towards eager viewers. These viewers in turn discover what awaits them: brands that mesh with and enhance their lifestyle. We know it’s a win for everyone, and it’s the future of advertising.