Recently, REI announced plans to close their nearly 150 stores on the biggest retail day of the year: Black Friday. The gutsy move shocked both businesses and customers alike but was met with resounding affirmation. In fact, the company’s Facebook re-post of an article announcing their closures received over 70,000 likes and over 40,000 shares. Their other posts about the same subject garnered similar numbers, begging the question, “What can we learn from their savvy marketing and brand stance”?
Staying true to your brand resonates with your audience: REI has never been about deep consumerism or flashy marketing with sleek models and fancy setups. Instead, they’ve stayed true to their roots, using real outdoorsmen and women to advertise their hardy wares. They’ve advertised with sweeping graphics of snow-capped mountains and steep cliffs, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle to both individuals and families. With their recent announcement, dubbed “#OptOutside”, they announced their reasoning is to urge their customers to be outside enjoying that day, rather than inside shopping. Their well-written phrasing stayed true to who they have always been and strive to be.
Social Media can be your best friend if you know how to handle momentum: REI certainly hoped their posts would become viral, and they were right. When viral happened, they had a plan. REI has posted subsequent graphics and images that capture the spirit and excitement their audience was displaying. Their well-timed and well-constructed posts feature strong verbiage and styling that stays true to their brand.
One example is this post featuring a professional skier, Caroline Gleich. Her quote was accompanied by a beautiful graphic with text overlay. This particular post earned plenty of shares and likes. A second example was their pre-planned response to people’s personal posts on their page: “We believe a life outdoors is a life well lived. Thanks for standing with us! #OptOutside”. If your organization is planning a big announcement, make sure you have a plan to handle the momentum and build upon it.
Audiences are now more likely to attach more deep, personal meaning to their decisions, so capitalize on that. As a faith-based brand or marketer, you know better than anyone else that your target audience attaches deeper meaning to their purchases and brand loyalty. Brands like Noonday Collection and Krochet Kids are examples of brands who are succeeding because of their commitment to good working conditions for workers and providing jobs for underprivileged persons in third-world countries. Their deeply-rooted belief systems help bolster their customer loyalty because the audience feels invested and that they are helping the greater cause. It is also what sets them apart as brands. Find the personal meaning that your brand has, and help your audience see it clearly.
As always, we are here to help! Our top-notch team of marketing and social media engagement professionals can give you answers to your complex marketing questions. Contact us today at 949-429-1000 or via our Contact Page.