Hasta la victoria Patagonia!
Why it’s good for a brand to threaten to sue the Trump administration.
The Patagonia website currently has an all black homepage with the following words in white: “The President Stole Your Land. In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.”
Patagonia aren’t just venting they are threatening to sue, this is from their blog: “Yesterday, the president didn’t just reduce the boundaries of your public lands. He revoked two national monuments. No president has ever done that before. It is widely unpopular and unprecedented. It is also illegal, and Patagonia will be challenging his action in court.”
This is exemplary, coherent and thoughtful brand behaviour from an “Activist Company”. Patagonia’s Mission Statement is: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Their actions confirm their intentions. Their brand has an aura of integrity and authenticity.
It makes business sense, they are connected with their consumers by a shared philosophy. I imagine at least some of their customers are Trump voters but I don’t think they risk alienating them. People who love climbing, skiing/snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, trail running and mountain biking all love nature: they share a desire to continue enjoying it, to protect it. The passion they share for the great outdoors is stronger than a political party policy or the cult of a personality. The respect and good will a brand can earn by standing up and fighting authority on behalf of their community is huge. The only way it can lose that respect is not by losing the fight but by walking away from it. A committed brand is a strong brand.