Want a 3-step crash course in leisure brand marketing? Put away the kayak and visit REI.



This is not the place to learn about leisure marketing.


If you’re new to leisure marketing, I suggest you follow these 3 easy steps to get yourself up to speed quickly.

Step 1: Spend some time in a place where people have a serious commitment to leisure.

I live and work in Denver, Colorado. which is about as close to Mecca as a marketer of leisure brands is going to get. Every weekend, someone in our office is heading west on I-70 to put all four limbs to the test.

I’ve learned a lot about leisure brand marketing just by hanging out with outdoor enthusiasts and asking them why they buy what they buy.  But if you really want to learn about leisure marketing, you need to hang out with other leisure marketers.

Step 2: Identify the world’s best leisure brand marketers and spend some time with them.

Here in Denver, great leisure marketers are on every street corner and bike path. One of my favorites is the REI flagship store here.

REI sells gear and equipment to thousands of serious climbers, runners, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts. The store is broken down into specialty shops staffed by sales associates who are outdoor enthusiasts themselves.

If you stop and chat with one,  you feel like you’re part of a community of fellow believers rather than at a retail store.

They never try to sell you anything. They just respectfully answer your questions, and tell you what they know from their own experience. It truly is a community of people who enthusiastically exchange ideas about their passions.

Step 3:  When you see them doing something well, try to imitate.

In this business, it’s ok to borrow from your friends. Especially if your brand is not in the exact same category.  One area of the REI experience worth imitating is their website and online store.

They’ve taken their concept of creating a community of like-minded enthusiasts, and brought it to life in a way that few leisure brands can match.

With customer reviews of gear, articles and videos featuring expert advice on the outdoor activities members want to learn about, and a whole section where members can seek the advice and counsel of more experienced enthusiasts in their sport. And share their experiences and photos with their favorite outdoor activity.

That’s my favorite leisure brand marketer.

Who would you say is doing a good job of leisure brand marketing in your neck of the great outdoors?  Tell us about it.



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