Wednesday, October 28

REI #OptOutside


All's fair in love and war, as they say...especially on Black Friday.

Known as the "Super Bowl of Retail," the day after Thanksgiving has long long long been the biggest shopping day of the day, fueled by families being together, anticipation of holiday gift giving, and retailers boosting sales with big promotional boosts.

Bam!

Critics have said that it's getting out of control with blockbuster sales, extended hours, and even retail doors opening on Thanksgiving itself. Black Friday has become much bigger than just one day.

It does start to make your head spin, and I for one avoid it. But as a marketer, it's hard not to put your brand in arm's length of shoppers looking to shop.

Well this year retailer REI is saying "enough is enough," and has announced that it will remain closed for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday...giving its employees a well deserved holiday off.

The announcement came with a call-to-action to #OptOutside, encouraging shoppers to skip the malls and spend the day outdoors, like its employees.


Good brand messaging. Here we are talking about the brand, right?!? I'm betting REI wouldn't have been on many people's radar quite yet otherwise. #OptOutside hashtag and all.

They even created a website to help people #OptOutside.

Critics here say the move is beyond just wanting to be good to employees, and that the brand is using the announcement to exploit its positioning and ultimately promote its products.

I say, "but of course." Shouldn't all policies consistently drive towards the same brand positioning? Isn't this a better way to promote what this particular brand is all about rather than having a 50% off sale that starts the evening of Thanksgiving and extends for 24 hours into Black Friday?

I think it's smart for this brand and I also think it's generous to take a sales day off and still pay your employees.

Well done, IMHO.

What's your experience?  JIM.

PS - Who knew that REI stands for Recreational Equipment, Incorporated?

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