By Kaitlin Hastie : WordPress User khastie : Student ID 215268319
Patagonia’s marketing in this advertisement is bold and makes you question what the motives are behind this US company. Is this advertisement really telling me to not buy that jacket? It is an odd piece of marketing for a company, who’s main survival is through sales of its products. However this advertisement is just a continuation of what Patagonia’s business values are.
Calling to the socially responsible customer is risky business
Patagonia’s ‘Don’t buy this Jacket’ advertising could be considered as using ‘shock tactics’. These campaigns are designed to make you feel bad about a particular cause, and ideally create some engagement around your brand. However while many campaigns use shock, they do not think about how to further engage their customers in the political, social or environmental campaign.
Patagonia is one of few exceptions.
Patagonia’s business model centres on being socially responsible. As the company is acting in the best interests of society it is able to engage positively with its custo
mers. Customers want to feel good about the purchases they make, which Patagonia does. If you buy a down jacket from the website you can track the carbon foot print of your purchase, allowing you to feel completely engaged in the social responsibility journey.
This is just one of many integrated marketing communications that Patagonia has established to continue a positive perception around its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
IMC The Patagonia Way
IMC is defined as “an ongoing, interactive, cross-functional process of brand communication”. IMC is now seen as a strategic management tool, and a necessary resource for any business to be successful. Luxton et al state that IMC is dependant on the firms ability to be technically efficient. Only then will IMC act as a source of sustainable competitive advantage.
Currently Patagonia has the highest social media engagement for sport branded company. This engagement includes content that is received, the reach of that content and the companies responsiveness to the conversations from its users. How?
The customer endorses the product. It is simple, and very effective.
Patagonia has strong social connections with is customer base. It runs a number of campaigns that are driven by word of mouth through social media platforms, such as its website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Some of these programs include:
- Worn to Wear Program. Allows you to get your current Patagonia clothes repaired so that you do not have to buy a new ones.
- The company has paired up with an online company iFixit where consumers create guides for one another on how to fix your clothes.
- The Cleanest Line. A blog where Patagonia employees and customers to write about any social or environmental concerns that they feel strongly about.
- The Stories we Wear. This is where customers are encouraged to send in stories about their Patagonia clothes, where they have worn them and how long they have lasted.
- Personal endorsements from ex professional sports personal. These endorsements are mainly focused around the surfing industry for those who are no longer on the pro circuit, but are just living to find the best surf breaks.
Will the success continue?
The Patagonia business has been built on a philosophy of being socially responsible, as it creates a loyal customer base. The customers that shop at Patagonia are better educated, have higher then average incomes and are already environmentally focussed due to the fact that their hobbies (or jobs) require them to spend so much time in the outdoors – being one with nature.
The success will continue. Patagonia has shown that it is fluid enough to continue moving with current marketing trends, while still sticking to its core business philosophy.
‘ The love of a wild and beautiful world comes with an obligation to preserve its wilderness and beauty’. – Patagonia