When outdoor supply and sporting goods retailer REI recently announced that for this year’s Black Friday, instead of slashing prices, it would be closing all of its 143 stores, shutting down online orders and paying its employees to #OptOutside instead, they were met with praise for being “a model for the future of marketing.” And while we agree that the co-op is thinking in the right direction, we see something even broader going on here — people are recognizing the importance of embracing the outdoors in recharging their creativity and motivation. As REI CEO and President Jerry Stritzke said, “We define success a little differently… It’s much broader than just money. How effectively do we get people outside?”
And while REI is an outdoor retailer, so it makes sense that they’d be encouraging their constituents to embrace nature, that sentiment shouldn’t be limited to rock climbing retailers. As we’ve said before, our company motto is “Think Like a Tourist,” or take yourself out of the everyday and embrace what can happen when you change your routine and your surroundings.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is to get outside. Whether it’s by using your lunch break to go for a walk, heading to the beach when you’ve hit a creative speedbump or just spending a little time writing outdoors, the power of changing your location and getting outside can reap real creative benefits.
So, why wait for Black Friday to take a stand? Grab a jacket, unless you’re in LA, get out of the office and clear your mind for an hour or two. You’ll have a much better chance finding your next inspiration when you live a little differently than if you’re waiting in line.