The climbing wall exists in every REI store across the country, and it’s one of the most brilliant belonging rituals ever designed. Not only does it incorporate the use of tools and equipment conveniently sold by REI stores, but it embodies the rugged, outdoor image the company has built.

When you walk into REI and see the climbing wall, it speaks of athleticism, achievement and adventure – something their customers can be a part of without ever leaving the store.

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.” – Brene Brown

You don’t have to have a climbing wall to make your customers feel like they’re a part of your brand, but belonging rituals are a critical part of customer experience perfection.


Megan Kent founded the Megan Kent Branding Group in 2013. Having held leadership positions at many of the most highly respected advertising agencies in the industry (Chiat/Day, Riney, Fallon, TBWA Chiat/Day, JWT), she’s developed game changing strategic platforms and go-to-market plans for brands such as BMW, Coca-Cola, Nikon, The New York Times, Sotheby’s, Clinique and Microsoft.

Megan’s greatest passion is creating desire for brands – she’s developed a proprietary branding approach dedicated to doing just that.  Her BRAIN FRIENDLY BRANDING® System is designed to give clients the ultimate competitive advantage by using the latest findings in behavioral and brain science to help companies create the most powerful emotional connection possible with their customers.

Follow Megan on Twitter @megkentbranding