REI Internship (Summer 2019)
Competitive Brand Audit, Illustration
Over the summer of 2019 Dylan and I conducted a competitive brand audit for REI, along with several other projects for the co-op. Insights from the audit would go on to inform future brand positioning and strategy.
We aimed to define what made each of the brands we researched stand apart in the broader consumer market, in order to maintain and differentiate REI's brand position among them.
Research, Analysis, Presentation Design, and Illustration.
We were provided with a list of brands to research, which broke down into the following categories: Outdoor Brands (Patagonia, Backcountry, Burton, L.L. Bean, Outdoor Voices, Evo), Heritage Brands (Filson, Converse), and Large Brands (Target). The remaining brands pictured above (National Geographic, Moosejaw, Cabela's, ACLU) were dropped from the final presentation post-research for brand-strategic reasons.
Two full days of physical data collection ensued. After a digitally-sourced equivalent, we created groups of content functioning like mood boards for each brand. Keeping an impeccable file structure was a must, with the amount of data collected.
Distilling the brands into core, intrinsic descriptors was the next step. These would be the valuable first impressions a customer might have when initially interacting with the brands. We conducted word associations and recorded our instinctive reactions with sticky notes. Imagining the brands as human personalities turned out to be quite useful. We refined the characteristics to between two to three per brand.
When complete, we designed a deck with our findings. Each brand, represented by the two to three word characteristics was followed by a mood board and three proofs—how the brand conveyed these characteristics through their focused design choices.
We gave a total of three 45-minute presentations, first to the branding team, then to a group of strategists and creative directors, and finally to co-op brands.
We were given the task of designing holiday and occasion gift cards for REI. This was an exercise in high-fidelity iteration, designing between print and web, and working within the brand guidelines. These are a selection of my chosen designs.