Recently I spoke with Stephanie, an employee of REI and alum of the Masters of Communications of Digital Media Program at the University of Washington (I graduated from the same program). She shared a wonderful message with me. Here we go... As a retailer of high-quality camping, hiking and sporting goods, REI could consider other sporting goods stores (the Sports Authority, etc) their competition. Stephanie told me that CEO Sally Jewell promotes a very different view.
So, who's the competition?
XBox 360, Sony Playstation... and so on.
Brilliant huh? Instead of being stuck inside in front of a TV, REI wants children and families to explore the outdoors, climb mountains or go camping in our great park system. REI values being active and wants to promote this to the world. What a great message!
This values-based competitiveness probably not only makes a workforce more productive (and inspired), but also is a smarter business approach. Why should sports retailers fight over the same small market, when you grow your market with new consumers.
Values-based competitiveness probably doesn't work for every industry, but it might be a fresh way for you to look at marketing or strategy for your organization. Give it a try.