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- Decoding Patagonia’s approach towards influencer marketing
Decoding Patagonia’s approach towards influencer marketing
Its confusing 🤔
Thanks so much for the thunderous response to the last edition of the newsletter!
Speaking about thunder, I want to introduce you to Patagonia: everyone’s favourite sustainable outdoor brand, which happens to be the centerpiece of today’s Morning Rush.
Its holier-than-thou approach towards brand marketing has appealed to some but has appalled many.
In 2023, it was named as one of Time’s most influential companies of the year, due its ‘investment in earth’, where founder Yvon Chouinard and his family effectively gifted the outdoor-clothing retailer’s annual profits (an estimated $100 million) in perpetuity to defend the planet via the Holdfast Collective, a new nonprofit organization that now owns 98% of the private company—and doesn’t plan to sit on dividends.
The earth seems to be happy.
But what about the creators who work tirelessly to create content for the brand?
Let’s find out.
Which Side Are You On?
Patagonia has a legion of influencers who have turned into ambassadors for the brand. As of 2022, they boasted a whopping 2,000+ influencers donning those iconic puffer jackets and flexing those sustainable wares on social media.
Their ambassadors are sorted into different groups based on what sport they play, since Patagonia’s gear is also sorted separately according to sport. The brand, then, reshares the videos of their ambassadors being in their element while wearing Patagonia’s clothes.
This type of indirect marketing works wonders because it is purpose-driven and is based on mutual values. Moreover, they get to fill their feed with unique content and value their collaborators in the process.
But while influencers are out there conquering peaks, Patagonia is diligently working behind the scenes. The brand has managed to achieve a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions per product since 2008.
Interestingly though, according to Net Influencer, Patagonia doesn’t pay its ambassadors anything.
Because of the company’s staunch commitments towards “low profits and no profits, it doesn’t pay its creators.
Read More: Earth is now our only shareholder.
Clearly, it's not all sunshine and clear skies in the world of Patagonia's branding.
The brand has been caught in the crossfire of confusion, with some influencers advocating for minimalist lifestyles while others are showcasing lavish adventures. It's like trying to decipher if you should be camping with a basic tent or splurging on a high-tech geodesic dome.
Patagonia's messaging seems to oscillate between the rugged explorer who patches up their gear and the stylish urbanite who wants to make a statement. While they’re advocating sustainable fashion, it’s worthy to note that the collection is nowhere close to being affordable.
It's a wild ride, but perhaps that's what makes the brand so intriguing.
What are your thoughts around Patagonia? Do you think the brand’s “business for good” approach, where creators aren’t remunerated directly for their work, is healthy? Or the very fact that they get to work with a mission-driven like Patagonia is consolation enough?
I’m eager to hear what you think.
That’s it for this week! We’ll be back with another story next Tuesday. 👋🏼
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