purpose brand series . Patagonia

A purpose brand that I am sure many of us have heard of is Patagonia. Patagonia continues to pave the way for brand purpose and authenticity through their unwavering commitment to the community and the environment.

Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the environment. They have awarded over $140 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups making a difference in their local communities. AND, in 2002, founder Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews (owner of Blue Ribbon Flies), started a non-profit corporation dedicated to encouraging other businesses to join their cause!

“We are in business to save the planet.”

When you buy from Patagonia, they assure you that their products have been created with less energy, less water waste, and less trash.

Despite this promise, Patagonia continues to push their purpose one step further.

In June 2020, Patagonia stopped all paid advertising on Facebook platforms as a way to boycott against the continued spread of hate speech, and misinformation about climate change and democracy. Yesterday, Patagonia commented that they continue to stand by that boycott even 16 months later!

Admittedly, this decision has affected not only their business, but the environmental non-profits that they support. Although… Patagonia has stayed true to their word! They full-heartedly believe that Facebook holds the responsibility to ensure that their platforms cause no harm.

Until Patagonia see’s accountability and significant change come from Facebook’s leadership, Patagonia will continue to refuse doing business on any of their platforms.

“We encourage other businesses to join us in pushing Facebook to prioritize people and the planet over profit,” – Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia.

Are you ready to clarify, communicate and live by your purpose? We can help! DM for more information.

Cuppa T FutureProof grad

We are so excited to feature another graduate of the FutureProof Retail Certification course run by myself and Lisa Hutcheson of JCW Group retail consultants.

You cannot imagine the energy behind Jule! And I don’t think it is all tea fuelled!

Jule epitomizes what it means to be FutureProofed and to be able to adjust to the changing and uncertain times that retailers face today and likely for many days ahead.

She is nimble in both mind and action. She quickly adapts to changing times because her mind is always open – to new ways of doing business, to new ways of thinking, and to new ways of being. That attitude was inspiring for the whole group!

When Jule learned something new – she applied it! Often within 24 hours!! Lisa and I got pretty excited about that because the certification is all about application and building a stronger retail business.

There was no pause for Jule during COVID.  CuppaT now has a new brand identity, new website, online shopping, re-merchandised, and has just introduced subscription boxes. Do you see what I mean?!

For Jule the opportunity to be in the course gave her some fuel to strategically “focus on her business and get the creative juices flowing again.”

I am not sure about you, but I will definitely have whatever Jule is drinking!

I encourage you to check out CuppaT! It is the perfect season for a warm cuppa or to gift one of her swoon worthy teas to anyone who needs to know you are thinking of them.

After visiting with Jule, I think you will also carry out some of her infectious optimism and who wouldn’t want a cup of that.

Don’t ignore your brands strategic value

I have never been a big believer in the 4P’s of marketing. Price, Product, Place, Promotion. I always thought there had to be more to it! Is it not that they are not important, they are just not everything!

The companies I admired were more than the 4 P’s.

I am currently enjoying the book: The Brand Driven CEO by David Kincaid and he also finds the 4 P’s leaves us wanting and not representative of successful companies.

His premise is that the 4 P’s will not drive sustainable growth.

His research indicates that the true drivers of growth are “leaders who think differently, think more strategically about their assets and create cultures that are opportunistic and nurturing”.

After decades of researching he concludes that “there is no better or more cost-effective way to achieve lasting success than through your most important asset – your brand”

Now that I can invest in 100%!

This is what the Story co is founded on. Your brand, your story, are your most valuable and differentiating asset. Growing this asset is everyone’s responsibility it should be as important to the C-suite as is it to the front line.

The ROI of Getting your Story Straight (and the high cost of not getting it right)

I often get calls when a company realizes that they are not telling their story very well, or at all. 

This causes confusion in the marketplace and often employees are just as confused as customers. Employees might know who started the company and when, but it often ends there, with a shrug. (The shrug, the worst of all answers!)

This confusion breeds mediocre results amongst the team, which can lead to loss of engagement, loss of confidence, eradicating any kind of positive culture and loss of sales. There is no common understanding of what makes the company different. They are at a loss as to what the corporate purpose is, and how their own personal purpose needs to be inextricably connected to corporate purpose.

Not only does the team feel the lack of confidence, motivation and inspiration, but the clients do too. Brand impact dissolves.

The brand is stuck. Your people are stuck. 

You need to get unstuck.

Everyone needs something to hang on to, believe in, and stand up for. Maslow figured that out a long time ago and today we need to be purpose driven more than ever!

Your story is the differentiator and the core of the best value proposition you will ever have. Because your story is not just about how your company started, it is also about how you are going to keep going, the impact your good work has, why that impact is important and why the world needs you right now, tomorrow, and the next day too!

Need to tell a better story? We can help! 

Changed forever

What will your brand stand up for?

Both Covid-19 and the racial injustice movement have changed us forever.

We can do better.

I’ve been thinking about just how can we do better.

If we have been changed, surely our personal brands and the brands we work for must change too. We cannot imagine that from here we simply go on as we have.

We have always had choices on which businesses we will support, but now that choice seems more important.

The truly purpose-driven brands have always been more successful. The purpose-driven brands employing people with a personal purpose aligned to the purpose of the company are even more successful.

So why now, when we have been so severely shaken by global events would we support brands that do not support our deepest held beliefs?

We won’t.

To get the attention of the marketplace you want to impact, it is time to declare what you stand for and what your brand will stand up for, and what you will not tolerate. Then find concrete ways to ensure you walk the talk.

If you are looking to be a purpose-driven brand, start by declaring your values. Once considered “fluff”, or a “nice to have”, now your values are a rallying cry, a uniting force, and a source for motivating a team of staff that wants to make a difference. Values are a way to retain and acquire new talent.  Values will also be your differentiator in the marketplace.

What would change if you added anti-racism to your values?

What would change if you added well-being to your values?

How would that drive internal and external change? What impact would the results of those actions have?

The time has come to be a purpose-brand.  If you need help navigating this impactful way of living and working, let’s work together to make this part of your story.

Forever changed is the silver lining.

Keep going.

Live your story, on purpose.

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