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Misaligned marketing

Dear REI,

As a longtime co-op member and professional conservationist who has worked with REI for years, I was greatly disappointed to see recent news reports of your partnership promoting Ford’s new Bronco. Climate change is the greatest threat to the future of the planet, not to mention humanity. REI has been outspoken on this issue. However, it seems that there is some inconsistency in your marketing, which in turn undermines your leadership. I like most of the REI’s membership still drive combustion engine vehicles, but I think it’s fair to expect better from your marketing efforts. Please reevaluate the direction of your marketing and the marketing consultants you are using. REI can and must do better. Thank you.

22 Replies

As an REI Cop member since 1999,  and a retired US Fish and Wildlife Service and NPS employee of over 33 years, I was very disappointed when I learned of REI's partnership with Ford promoting the very low MPG internal combustion engine Bronco Sport as"our ultimate outdoor rig". Really?? REI couldn't wait for an all electric Rivian SUV or Pick up, which Ford is helping to fund, or even the upcoming F150 Hybrid?  After 8 months on a waiting list, I am a recent purchaser of a Toyota RAV4 Prime, the plug-in hybrid model with a 42 mile EV range, and while not the perfect SUV, it would have been a better vehicle to feature.  We are a two EV family, as we recently purchased 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus, which is all-electric. 

Next time, please do a better job considering which vehicle align best with REI's Climate Goals and its members priorities!

Thank you. 


People, before getting all outraged/disappointed/etc over REI partnering with a car company that produces a good vehicle well-suited for off-road adventures, remember that not all vehicles are created equal. My wife and I have owned a lifted Jeep, a fun little Toyota 4x4 truck, a Prius, a Dakota truck, a 1-ton Chevy dually, and currently another hybrid - a Hyundai Ioniq. I've enjoyed our hybrid cars and the savings at the gas pump, but there are many, many places we could not take our hybrid cars. I enjoyed cruising past the gas station in Death Valley and not needing to stop to pay for exorbitant gas. But we also couldn't leave the pavement. Many of the places I used to go rock-climbing and kayaking needed 4WD, so just settle down. REI partnered with the kind of vehicle that can actually get outdoors-loving people to the outdoors. I'm happy with our hybrid for commuting, but like most tools, it has its area of use, and it's a bad fit outside of that area. You don't use a screwdriver as a hammer, and you don't use a Prius where a Bronco is better suited. Carry on, REI.

I was hoping these forums would be better than Facebook but its the same thing here. WAY too many people pushing their will onto others. Ol' Tim has it right and more people can benefit from these words vs blindly believing all you hear . . . . 

"Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities -- the political, the religious, the educational authorities --- who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing -- forming in our minds -- their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself."