Don’t Buy This Jacket

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Buy-spread-consume. Stop.

Patagonia, a manufacturer of outdoor clothing and gear, is making a big statement this holiday season. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to sales, it’s not profit they’re most worried about.

With a storied past, dating back to 1957 when Yvon Chouinard began making climbing gear out of the back of his car, Patagonia has always had a vocal passion for the environment. The company is built on a belief in the value of products that do their job for a very long time. Patagonia sells its high quality gear at a premium price, to an adventurous demographic that shares its values.

With this in mind, their counter-intuitive advertising makes clear business sense. Rather than grab a temporary boost in holiday sales, they are appealing to the core values of their market and establishing loyalty for the long run.

Economics aside, the company cites a deeper mission as their core motivation for the standout ad.”Businesses need to make fewer things but of higher quality. Customers need to think twice before they buy” says their ad (shown above) and accompanying video.

But what is it that makes this ad uniquely powerful? It’s the simple fact that they mean what they’re saying. Cliche’s aside, this message is from the heart. And that’s the beauty of strong brands: they’re real and they already exist.

As a branding firm, we pride ourselves on building great brands; but a brand pulled out of thin air would never last. It has to come from within the organization to have any chance at sticking. That’s why it’s our job to find your passion, find your purpose, and communicate it in a way that resonates with your market. It’s a powerful process, and sometimes a difficult one, but it creates lasting relationships and long-term success. And like Patagonia, we wouldn’t have it any other way.