12 April 2023 |

Patagonia 🌌

By Ari Murray

Let’s call this one: To Patagonia, with Love.Β 

🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 

There are so many Go-to-Market lessons we can take from my our favorite brand in the world. So, where does one start?

How about with a story from my dad, Dave. He’s an environmental lawyer who (in his 6th decade), quit his private practice to go work full time for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

He told me a story: “I remember hearing a talk by the General Counsel of Patagonia in the early ’90s at an LA County Bar Association environmental meeting. I remember thinking. That is a great idea. I hope it succeeds. They were way ahead of their time on sustainability”. 

I’ve written about Patagonia, a lot. Hey, I’m a brand lover and they’re my favorite brand! Here’s something I shared when Patagonia announced that ‘Earth is now our only shareholder’ back in September. 

🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 

Now, onto the lessons as we Go-to-Market. 


*If Patagonia had set out to be strictly anti-consumerism, what good would that have done? Patagonia was (and still is) a working, thriving business.

A business with a P&L, a business with employees who need to get paid, and a business who can only do good for the world if they have the capital to contribute (they get that capital by selling physical products to consumers). 

If you can’t beat them, join them (then overtake them, build a cult-following that captures market share, and forever run your business in a way that allows you to sleep SOUNDLY at night). 


The Patagonia I wax poetic about is a wee 50 years in the making.

*In the beginning, it’s hard to focus on brand. Cash is tight. Investors are at your throat. 

And, as you may know, I’m a Growth Marketer by trade. I spend my days measuring ROI. I’m, shall we say, sometimes a Brand Marketer’s worst nightmare. 

For all things DIGITAL, the Growth team IMO is our tie-breaker. They run the ship. But!!!!!!! Us Growth Marketers need STRICT boundaries. We can only do our jobs (make our clients or our businesses successful as fuck), if we have the BOUNDARIES TO DO THEM.

SET UP GUARD RAILS. As a brand, there must be things that you are never allowed to do. Document those rules. Make breaking those rules a huge, huge, no-no. You can’t break with your brand’s core values for one single second. If you do, you’re not gonna make it. 


It’s a really, really, wise idea to let the world know the good that your business does. Shout that from the f’ing rooftops. Drives sales. 

UGC is king. Patagonia was ~30 years ahead of their time. Also, why spend $50K shooting 12 lifestyle photos when you can spend $0 on the GOOD STUFF (content from ACTUAL real life customers). 

Who you do business with says everything about you. Not all money is good money. 


*Every venture-backed business can afford 1% of sales towards something good. 

Actually, fuck that. Every business (even the boot-strapped type) can afford 1% of sales towards the greater good. Do the math BEFORE YOU LAUNCH. In your pricing strategy, add a 1% buffer. Respectfully, it’s not that hard to be a thoughtful operator. 

Patagonia’s sustainability efforts are costly. And yet, they do 100M/year in PROFITS. Doing good is fabulous for your conversion rate. 

🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ 🌏 🌊 🧒 πŸ₯Ύ