Think different: REI, Outdoor and fitness retailer closed for Black FridayOctober 29th, 2015

I always love seeing think-diffcompanies do things differently. We live in such a follower society, where companies do what everybody else does. No originality. Followers seldom succeed in business. The trendsetters, the originals are the ones that really make an impact.  Apple of course comes to mind, but happily there are other examples.

So, as you can imagine I love seeing what are REI is doing in closing on Black Friday. They of course are an outdoor outfitter, so this whole OptOutside hashtag is a fabulous idea on many levels. From an employer’s standpoint, this will have a positive ramifications for a long time. People looking for work will look at this company with a favorable light. Even customers that enjoy the savings that Black Friday offers will be impressed and we’ll have a much more positive view of this company. Everyone wants to support a company that does the right thing by its employees.

Now of course the naysayers will find something negative about REI. I read one analyst who said they aren’t deep discounters anyway so it’s not a big deal. Way to go negative you genius.

“The thing that is powerful to me is this clearly is not a financially self-serving act,” he says. “It’s an act where we’re really making a very clear statement about a set of values.” ~REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke

They are even taking it a step further, REI will have no Black Friday promotions and won’t process any online orders until Saturday. They will just a small handful of its approximately 12,000 employees will be on call, while the rest get a paid day off. This to me really shows their commitment to this. I figured their web department will be processing orders although the brick and mortar stores themselves would be closed. So, this isn’t a publicity stunt, this is an authentic attempt to change their company values, and highlight their commitment to their workers. So those folks get to spend more time with their families, which is exactly what Thanksgiving is for in my view.

Now of course, you are wondering what does this have to do with my company, RooSites. Well, since you asked I will respond with the answer. One of the main things I always tell clients is that a website if nothing else should differentiate you from your competitors. You need to show why you are great. We spend too much time doing competitive analysis, when we really need to be spending time showing them why we our better, why we are the best. Your about page (which is one of the most viewed) is a great place to do this. I encourage you to make sure that page shows your value proposition.