top of page


The Brand

REI is an outdoor gear and apparel retailer.  Along with selling high-quality merchandise they also offer experiences through their educational classes and trips.  REI is the nation's largest co-op with 151 stores in 36 different states and a member base of over 17 million people. Their staff members are well trained and can help advise customers on what they may need.  With REI's wide selection of products, anyone from beginners to experts can get what they need.​


REI has successfully run many different campaigns to get people outdoors such as their #OptOustide campaign, where they closed their stores on Black Friday encouraging everyone to go outside and experience new things instead of shopping.  REI is focused on getting people outdoors and try new things from gardening to mountain climbing.  REI doesn't mind what people do outdoors, instead, they just want more people to experience the outdoors.

The Ask

Grow REI's business by increasing consideration among Asian Americans.

The Problem

Asian Americans didn't perceive REI as a company that was for them and in REI's promotions, Asian Americans couldn't see themselves in them.

The Method

In addition to our secondary research, my team and I visited an REI store where we interacted with their products, learned more about the classes and trips they offered and talked with employees to better understand the brand.  Along with our store visit, we also crafted surveys that we sent to Asian Americans to gain insight into how they perceive the outdoors.​

The Findings





Asian Americans felt that they didn't have time to devote to going outdoors, as 11% of them are likely to own a small business.


When growing up Asian Americans weren't exposed to the outdoors as their families were never very interested in outdoor adventures, resulting in only 6% of outdoor activity, participants consisting of the Asian American population.


In the past twelve months, 73% of millennials have participated in an outdoor activity.


Within our targeted locations 1.35 million Asian Americans live there.

Target Audience

Second-generation Asian Americans


Age:                       24 to 35 years old

Income:                $55,000 to $130,000

Location:              California, Washington, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Nevada


*These demographics were determined based on our findings of REI and when most people truly start to experience the outdoors. The locations were determined based on where the largest Asian American population in the United States resides and that is near natural activities.


We created an integrated campaign that showed REI as an outdoor authority. Our campaign was called Step outside. Stay outside.  It was intended to show off the wonders of the outdoors and encourage adventures at a yonger age to go outside for the first time and continue to go outdoors.​


In an integrated campaign, reintroduce REI as the approachable expert on outdoor activities.


We created an out of home promotion that used billboards to inform people of nearby outdoor attractions.  The billboards would be placed near the attraction and merged with the scenery. 


Asian Americans interact predominately with advertisements on their phones, so my team and I recommended that REI would send out a notification when their audience was near a popular outdoor activity.  These ads would encourage them to get outdoors while simultaneously increasing awareness for REI.


We recommended that on social media REI take advantage of their #OptOuside campaign and integrate the Step Outside. Stay outside. campaign with it to help encourage peoples firsts.


To help Asian Americans feel better represented by REI my group and I found influencers that REI could partner with.  We chose popular Asian American outdoor enthusiasts that would interact with their followers about the outdoors and review REI gear.


We created a pop-up shop that REI would take to popular colleges with a high Asian American student base.  At the shop, students could interact with REI, get free REI branded merchandise and see what it would be like to try different outdoor activities through a VR headset.


Along with the influencers and pop-up shop my team and I designed starter kits that REI would randomly give away.  These kits would include 4-6 essential items that would help people start their adventure.  With having these kits it would encourage more people to visit and interact with the influencers and REI's pop-up shops.​

Cody Colvin: VCU Brandcenter Project REI Step outside. Stay outside logo

My Role

Brand audit

 Target persona

Research deep dive and analysis

Strategy and positioning creation

Strategic recommendations


Christopher SuarezStrategist

Brianne Johnson: Strategist

Kelley Barrett: Copywriter

Jenna Anderson: Art Director

Jeremy Stokes: Experience Design

bottom of page