No surprise that popular outdoor outfitter REI is part of a panel on green supply chain strategies at next week’s Green Sports Summit in Seattle. The retailer synonymous with high quality outdoor gear has a strong commitment to the environment and an already well-developed sustainability program to match.
What REI also has is more than 4 million members. These are customers who have signed up to be part of the REI co-op system, and who annually receive a rebate/dividend based on their purchases and the company’s success. That’s a pretty strong fan base, and perhaps an opportunity for a green fan-engagement program.
What if REI added an incentive for green behavior (more points toward their dividend, perhaps) to their member program? Its customer/members are obviously passionate about the brand and the outdoor world/environment, and REI could strengthen this relationship while mobilizing a powerful force of 4+ million.
Every brand has fans, and engaging them can be just as powerful as a sports team activating their fan base. REI’s advantage is they already know who their fans are. Perhaps through a green customer engagement program other brands can begin to accumulate info and cultivate their own community of passionate fans.