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Brand Spotlight: Patagonia

Brand Spotlight: Patagonia Brand Spotlight: Patagonia Brand Spotlight: Patagonia
03/24/16
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by Anna Johnson
At BAV Consulting, we often explore brands that have the ability to bring certain aspects to life: Consumer Trust, Social Responsibility? Patagonia is often an example that comes to mind as the brand passionately radiates its values-oriented and transparent nature through every touch point. Our BAV metrics indicate that consumers give Patagonia credit for all of these important factors, but it is their approach that sets them apart.

Patagonia is not extremely well-known among the general population, but those who know the brand really like it. According to consumers, Patagonia is High Quality, Reliable, Down to Earth and Trustworthy.

PatagoniaQuality and Reliability are functional indicators of brand health, but Down to Earth and Trustworthy are key aspects that confirm Patagonia resonates on a more emotional level. How does Patagonia do it?

Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign has been countlessly touted as an example of a brand that stands for what it believes. Patagonia urges for mindful consumption, an ideal that breaks from the constant reassurance that consumers “need” the next X, the new line of Y, the newest Z…

Patagonia Jacket

In this ad, Patagonia ironically expresses the sentiment to not buy its jackets, unless of course, we truly need one. Separating needs and wants, Patagonia tells us that if we decide to purchase, we should trade in our old jacket, recycle it, or donate it.

More recently, it’s worth applauding Patagonia for its efforts putting first its employees, parents, children, sisters and brothers, a demonstration of how a company can live by a social code while still meeting numbers.

Patagonia is known for providing its employees with great work-life balance and benefits, but it doesn’t stop there. Patagonia released an email this month with the subject: “Patagonia supports paid leave. You should too.”

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In this email, Patagonia took a stand behind a cause that is very important to the livelihood of families in the U.S. and communicated yet another initiative that goes well beyond selling jackets. The email read:

“Patagonia supports employees with paid leave to care for themselves or an immediate family member. We do it because it’s the right thing to do for employees and their families–and because it’s good for our business. But this kind of support is far too uncommon in the United States, where just 13 percent of workers have access to paid family and medical leave…”

Patagonia believes that the FAMILY Act would be a good step for families in the U.S. so the company shared this information with the public. To bring this cause to life, Patagonia uploaded a video to their blog, The Cleanest Line, which highlighted vignettes of employees that have taken advantage of paid leave: http://bit.ly/1pfQwSF

BAV Data confirms that standing for what you believe in works to build strong brands and successful businesses. What can other companies learn from Patagonia? Can other companies forge their own paths that are equally transparent, honest and look out for the greater good?

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