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June 11, 2024

REI’s Premium Content Arm: Co-op Studios, with Paolo Mottola, episode 136

REI’s Premium Content Arm: Co-op Studios, with Paolo Mottola, episode 136

EP 136. REI’s Divisional VP of Brand Marketing, Paolo Mottola, returns to give an inside look at how their internal content arm for premium brand storytelling content works. Creating films, podcasts, feature length content and more.  




    1. Paolo Mottola discusses the importance of brand storytelling for REI. What specific elements of outdoor culture and the brand's 24 million cooperative members contribute to this storytelling tradition?

    2. Paolo mentions the significant impact of storytelling in the outdoor industry. How has this tradition influenced REI's approach to content production and strategy, and how does it set them apart from other brands?

    3. The challenges of engaging with audiences and the need to create compelling content that cuts through the noise in the digital space. How REI Co-op Studios navigates these challenges, and what can other businesses learn from their approach.

    4. Paolo emphasizes the importance of keeping the strategy in-house and the risk of creative and brand fragmentation when outsourcing strategy. How crucial is it for businesses to maintain a cohesive strategy for their content production, and what potential pitfalls can result from a lack of internal involvement?

    5. Content distribution strategy used by Co-op Studios and the impact of ambitious content creation goals. What should businesses consider when setting ambitious goals for content distribution, and what lessons can be learned from REI's experience in this area?

    6. The need for internal support and buy-in when introducing storytelling initiatives within an organization. How can businesses effectively garner support for their storytelling initiatives, and what are the common challenges in this process?

    7. Balance of integrating storytelling with core business content and more independent content creation. How should businesses navigate this balance when developing a content strategy, and what considerations are essential to find that equilibrium?

    8. Paolo highlights the importance of demonstrating proof of concept and the need to show stakeholders a tangible representation of the storytelling vision. What are the key strategies for effectively showcasing proof of concept for content initiatives within an organization?

    9. Aligning your content strategy to business objectives and the customer journey. How can businesses effectively develop content strategies that serve both the business goals and the customer journey, and what role does this balanced approach play in successful content creation?


  • 06:01 Content production challenges and best practices discussed.

  • 07:15 REI brand emphasizes education, sustainability, and modernization.

  • 10:11 Co-op Studios offers different formats for storytelling.

  • 14:16 Comparison between multimedia producers and journalists/filmmakers.

  • 19:20 Differentiate storytelling, media, and branding effectively.

  • 21:12 In-house strategy is crucial for brand cohesion.

  • 26:02 Content strategy emphasizes business needs and customer journey.

  • 27:13 Connect with Paolo Mottola on LinkedIn, research REI.




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