The Importance of Brand Authenticity
For the last 40 years, Patagonia has remained true to the mission Yvon Chouinard created when he began selling pitons out of his parent's backyard: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Despite the increasing number of brands creating athletic-chic wear as a fashion statement, Patagonia has not swayed from its environmentally and socially responsible roots. As Maura Brannigan wrote, "While a growing number of sportswear brands are working overtime to capitalize on athleisure, Patagonia isn't getting sidetracked. Instead, the company is focused on delivering what it does best: well-made, effective apparel for the outdoor life."
This commitment to Patagonia's roots stems from a pure desire to not harm the environment the products are created to be used in. Simply, Chouinard and the Patagonia team believe in it. They are committed to the promise they made at the beginning, even in the midst of a competitive market. No one knows this better than "Authenticity" co-authors Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, who both address the necessity of brands to give customers authentic experiences. "The easiest way to not be true to yourself is to not understand your heritage."
"We got invited into the Patagonia tent five years ago and we’ve always been impressed by how the brand you know and love from the outside is exemplified on the inside. If you were to say 'we need to live the brand' inside Patagonia, the response would be a look equal to the word 'duh'. This level of self awareness and confidence in the mission isn’t common or easy to achieve for a brand of this size. We wrote about Patagonia in our book, The Physics of Brand, after marveling at their ability to craft a culture of responsible leadership and design thinking. We are proud to say we’ve worked with them in multiple projects and contributed to their mission." -Aaron Keller, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Capsule
A few weeks ago, Capsulites Dave, Aaron and Barry made their semi-annual trip to the Patagonia headquarters. While they were there, they took the time to pause and commemorate the shed that started it all. With a photo, the team highlighted one of the most important things a brand can do: remember where you came from. We are proud of our friends at Patagonia for their commitment to their roots, and for inspiring us to remember where we came from.