Fast Company recently released a list of their picks for the Top 50 Innovative Companies. One of my favorites is Patagonia, the outdoor clothing apparel company. Patagonia has a number of innovative marketing methods, but what stands out most is their directive that encourages customers to buy less. By doing so, they actually sold more.
As reported by Fast Company, “The company clocked $500 million in 2011 sales, growing almost 30% in each of the past two years–all while setting the bar for sustainability.”
Through their Common Threads Initiative, Patagonia partnered with eBay so that consumers could buy and sell Patagonia gear from one another. They organized the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to set a standard for best sustainable practices that thirty companies- including Nike and Wal-Mart -have joined, in addition to several other initiatives for sustainability and conservation.
As a result, customers value and respect Patagonia as more than just a brand that sells outdoor clothing. Patagonia is conscientious, responsible and the type of organization consumers are proud to support.
Now is a good time to take the opportunity to observe the marketing choices of companies you admire or those that are creating a buzz – what works and what doesn’t? Who is a leader in their market? Considering taking a page from Patagonia’s book in your 2013 plan. How can your brand not only create more socially aware practices, but also engage consumers and garner their support by doing so?
PHOTOGRAPH BY FLICKR USER DIETMAR TEMPS