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Case Details

Case Code: BECG156
Case Length: 18 Pages 
Period: 2018   
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note: Available
Organization : Patagonia Inc. (Patagonia)
Industry : Outdoor/Retail
Countries : US
Themes:    --  
Case Studies  
Business Strategy
Human Resource Management
IT and Systems
Leadership & Entrepreneurship

Patagonia's Fight for Public Lands: Brand Activism or a Marketing Play?

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From the time it was founded in 1973, Patagonia had taken up several national conservation efforts. According to its figures, the company had donated nearly $90 million to environmental groups since 1985. The company’s website also stated that in 1986, it had pledged to give 10 percent of its profits to small groups which focused on either saving or restoring natural habitats. In 1988, Patagonia launched a campaign to restore the natural splendor of Yosemite Valley , ..

Business Ethics Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Environment, Case Studies
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From the very beginning, the Bears Ears National Monument had been the hotspot of Trump’s review of national monuments. It was actually Patagonia which played a major role in persuading President Obama to designate Bears Ears as a national monument for several reasons. According to analysts, this national monument was considered vital to the country’s heritage as it featured thousands of Native American artifacts, including ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs . Apart from being the sacred home to five Native American tribes , it also became a popular spot for rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the US. .


Apart from these measures, Patagonia came out with its first television advertisement, which focused on the issue. This came as a surprise to market experts because the company generally invested in its own customers instead of spending on advertising. For the first time in its history, Patagonia spent nearly $700,000 on a TV and radio campaign in three Western states of Utah, Nevada, and Montana in August 2017. Rather than showcasing a new line of outdoor clothing or gear, the minute-long television spot featured founder Chouinard explaining the importance of public lands and the ongoing threats those lands were facing, with a special focus on national monuments like Bears Ears, Grand Staircase Escalante, Gold Butte, and other such places. ..


A letter sent to Herbert and signed by Patagonia, REI, and North Face Group, stated, “America’s public lands are ‘a vitally important issue’ that affects the economic health of our industry, our local communities, and the lives of all Americans’. The people of the United States, today and tomorrow, share equally in the ownership of these majestic places. This powerful idea transcends party lines and sets our country apart from the rest of the world. That is why we strongly oppose any proposal, current or future that devalues or compromises the integrity of our national public lands.” Patagonia was also worried about preserving the originality of such public lands. “Once these places are developed, you can’t go back. It truly is about protecting for future generations, as much as anything else. You’ll never get it exactly as it was. And these places are pristine,” said Kenna..


Patagonia’s fight for public lands wasn’t devoid of criticism. As soon as its protest came into the limelight, criticism started pouring in from several sections, especially from the Trump administration. The official Twitter account of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources utilized its platform to bluntly accuse Patagonia of lying to the general public about Trump’s decision to reduce public lands...


Chouinard strongly believed that when citizens understood the intrinsic value of Nature, they would be ready to take action by approaching the issue of land stewardship more mindfully and also by supporting politicians that share their values. He said Patagonia’s message was mindful of this fact. A few market experts also asserted that this was the reason why many people connected with the brand emotionally and added that the company would therefore continue to win. “Being able to explore places like Bears Ears is why Patagonia was created and fighting to protect them is why we are still in business...


Exhibit I:Lush – List of National Monuments under Review
Exhibit II:Products and Services Segmentation of Patagonia (2014)
Exhibit III:Historical Revenue (Sales)
Exhibit IV:Demographics of Patagonia’s Customer