Every once in a while you see activity, not just messaging, that really helps define a brand. A great example of this is REI's #optoutside campaign last year's Black Friday shopping event.
REI showed its authenticity be deciding to shut its doors and giving each of its 12,000 employees a paid day off to go explore the outdoors. While nearly every other retailer was busy advertising Black Friday sales, REI was making a splash on social media with its #optoutside campaign. Over 1.4M people posted pictures of themselves hiking, skiing, biking and paddling outdoors instead of spending time in malls.
We talk a lot about designing customer experiences. The best customer engagements come naturally from authentic bonds between customers and employees. If you walk into an REI store you'll know what I mean. The company attracts and employs outdoor enthusiasts - folks that often start as customers first. So, we don't think it was much of a stretch for REI think up or justify this clever campaign. It's a logical representation of the the brand -- authentic.