Why Patagonia Has Mastered the Art of Online Brand Management

Patagonia has long been a standout brand when it comes to managing their image online. Over the years and through many stages of growth and success, Patagonia has operated with purpose, and this purpose is established in the core values that are the backbone of operations at Patagonia and the key to their solid online image.

You can’t reverse into a mission and values through marketing. The organisations that are struggling with this are probably the ones that are thinking about marketing first.

Alex Weller, Patagonia


When looking at the success that Patagonia has had over the years in achieving a positive image, the number one thing they have going for them is that they operate with a mission and values that are known, understood, and believed in throughout their entire organization. From the way they treat the staff at their overseas manufacturing facility to their commitment to operating in an environmentally responsible manner, Patagonia embodies their mission in a way that is tangible to their customers. This tangibility translates to marketing that connects with customers on levels that is genuine. It is this authenticity of purpose ingrained into every element of operations that the primary goal at Patagonia is not to look like a good story, it is to be a good story.


On Black Friday, 2011, Patagonia shocked both marketing experts and its fellow competition by putting out an ad that implored customers to NOT buy their jacket, paired with a list of the environmental impacts of purchasing on of their jackets and recommending customers reduce, reuse and recycle. This initiative was shocking for the lack of focus on encouraging customers to spend money and the level of success that was found when customers chose Patagonia over other brands for their new purchases. Patagonia saw a 30% bump on their Black Friday sales, all because they stayed true to their mission. At the core, the purpose of the 2011 ad was never to sell more product, it was truly to encourage their customers to reflect on why they are buying and how it changes the world around them.


Patagonia across the board stands out as a company that writes its own rules. So thoroughly connecting with their mission they never approach marketing with the traditional motivation. Traditional motivations do not connect with their mission, nor do they connect with their customers. In a way that is remarkable, Patagonia succeeds along paths where others fear to even tread, carving out a path for themselves and becoming a leading example of what corporations can be if only they are brave enough. From encouraging recycling clothing through the worn wear program to their extreme commitment to environmentally and socially conscious operations, Patagonia truly lives their mission and translates that mission into marketing initiatives that embody who they are–thus connecting on a personal level with customers who share their values.









HubSpot Content Marketing Certification

Certification Complete: HubSpot Content Marketing
Time to Complete:
5.5 hours

Highlights: This very easy to complete free course is made up of videos, quizzes, a study guide, and a final exam. The videos are expertly made and the concepts are easy to follow. The only improvement that I would have found helpful, is a note-taking guide, where it guided you through the sections of the course and helped one identify the important takeaways from the videos. I felt as if I often was not sure if I was truly taking notes on the things that I would be tested on later.

Disappointments or Frustrations: Other than the lack of a note-taking guide, this course was relatively frustration-free. However, I could see that this course could carry some frustration for those who do not learn well by watching videos. The course does not offer a readable text option for learning, and therefore those who would like to read the content are left without support in that area.

What you learn: The Content Marketing Certification Course focuses on the skillful creation of a story for the purposes of marketing. It describes the traits that are needed in the building of a story, Characters, Conflict, and Resolution, and guides the learner on in the development of the content. During the development stages, the course focuses on writing style, outreach focus, emotional alignment of the content. Finally, the course concludes with solid recommendations on how best to physically apply the content to the digital marketing world.

Overall Opinion: Overall, this course is a very good reminder of maximizing the content that is produced through the story it tells to the customer. From the highly experienced to the absolute novice, this course acts as a great educational tool for those who are looking to increase or refresh their knowledge on how to build and use a story for advertising purposes.

Rating & Recommendations: I give this course a 4 out of 5, simply because I do believe it is lacking in the area of printable content tied to the subject matter. I have already recommended this content to friends.

Marketing Personas for Outstanding Results

It is no secret that email marketing is growing to be an ever-changing and difficult medium to crack. Today, we all understand all-to-well the reality of the overfull email box and gleaning the worthwhile emails from the spam is often overwhelming. Whether we are consumers or marketing experts, we all know what it is to have an inbox so full that it is difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat. So, what does that mean for the world of professional marketing? This overwhelming level of widespread email marketing is something that makes it difficult to for consumers to value emails as meaningful a contact point with retailers. However, there is a way to maximize email as an advertising touch-point through the use of marketing personas. Focusing ads through targeted segmentation is an excellent way to tap into the depth of data available and stand out to the consumers who matter the most.



It may seem counter-intuitive to begin with developing a strategy before you understand the personas you are dealing with, however, it is important when beginning a process as important as looking to develop marketing personas to know where you want to take a marketing campaign. This is where the development of a marketing strategy comes in. Understanding the product you offer as well as the motivational aspects of your company’s advertising department are key in beginning this process. Laying out the core values of the company becomes a launching point for motivating the customer to connect with your message and product throughout the email marketing campaign, which will, in turn, lead to increase conversions. It may seem a simple step, but it is important to develop a strategy in order that it may be refined as the personas take shape.

SOURCE: https://venngage.com/templates/reports/energy-consumption-user-persona-guide-623fdac1-3080-4c07-b47b-aeeac6d78654


It is an easy thing to say that emails should be targeted to segments/peronas, but what does that mean in reality? What goes into developing a true segmentation profile that is useful for future targeted email campaigns. The process of identifying buyer personas always begins with a need to know and understand your customers purchasing behavior and demographics, and be able to identify possible personas that can be targeted in the first place. From the type of device they use, to the time of day their visit your site–data is key to beginning this process. Tracking whether a person completed a conversion or if they simply browsed the site significantly affects the segmentation and targeting of their email marketing group. So, analyze the data and be sure to fully understand the origins of their connection to your website, and seek out as many demographic factors as reasonably available. Building a solid foundation to begin your marketing personas will save a lot of trouble and return better conversion results at the end.


When was the last time you tried purchasing something on your website? Do you use your product? Do you understand what it is like to use your product as someone who is not on the internal side of production? Does your product answer the question it set out to answer? Does it compete with the answers competitors are bringing to the table?

The path of a buy is an experiential process. Understanding both the motivation of the customer’s request/question, as well as the answer that you are presenting via your product and how it compares to the competition is key in how an email message is approached. By asking these questions you can begin to build a good definition of your buyers personas’ and how to frame a targeted email marketing campaign as a value-added proposition.


If you don’t understand what appeals to your persona group from a click to conversion standpoint, an email marketing campaign, no matter how high the value-added proposition, will never work. Framing the structure so that its value-added proposition appeals in a click-appealing manner is key to success. This is where understanding the motivation of your client becomes a powerful tool and the refining of your marketing strategy takes shape. Look at ways you can slice and dice your persona groups into more their more refined elements. Error on the side of caution, group specifically and minutely, and then target emails according to the demographic elements specific to the groups therein. It is better to send 15 highly specific and relevant emails to highly interested parties than to send 100 to emails to those who are detached and only mildly interested.


Yes, you know these are elements you need to achieve, however, it never hurts to bring them up again and again. In knowing your targets, you also much know how to speak to them. Writing clear copy means that as you connect with your customers, you also challenge them to question if their needs are met. You offer a solution to the challenge, and in doing so you call them to action to convert. Compelling customers is a challenge, and creating a copy that is uniquely meaningful and appealing to your target personas is the cornerstone piece of developing an effective persona marketing campaign and strategy.


  1. https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32991/11-great-ways-to-get-personal-in-your-email-marketing.aspx
  2. https://fulcrumtech.net/resources/email-personalization/
  3. https://www.smartinsights.com/email-marketing/using-personas-email-marketing/
  4. https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/01/31/email-marketing-with-buyer-personas
  5. https://www.saleshandy.com/blog/buyer-persona-in-email-marketing/
  6. Lead Image: https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/why-email-marketing/

Ethical Marketing in a Data-Driven World

In a world that is growing ever more focused on the digital data of our lives, the influence of social media and the data gathering is growing.  Digital marketing today spans every facet of everyone’s’ lives, from the doctors people search for online to the plane tickets they book.  As we share more data, we, as professionals, must consider by what code of ethics we are operating and if they are truly high enough.

In March 2018, news about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data-gathering scandal broke. It was an awakening for some that were long overdue. From the user standpoint, the reality that the friendly social media platform that made up a large portion of their entertainment, socialization, and even family time was not protecting the user’s data as was assumed. The violation of trust inherent in the breach was enough for many to rethink and/or abandon facebook altogether. From the standpoint of those using digital marketing, it was a wake-up call the fragility of the profit model upon which we rely. However, as we look back 20 months down the line, we have to consider if that awakening was enough.  Have the public users truly understood the risk they put themselves each day? Have we as data gathers truly comprehended the weight of the responsibility we have to protect the data with which we have been entrusted.

Today, social media platforms continue to profit solely on digital marketing and the data they gather, and they are stronger than ever. Facebook remains the number one digital marketing source, offering access to over 1 billion active users each day. By what ethics does Facebook approach the collection of our data? Do they approach it was ethics at all?

When it comes to data collection, this problem is not limited to Facebook. There is little that is done today that cannot somehow be subjected to data mining. As the data access points grow, so does the risk and the greater need for responsibly and ethical guidelines. This is evidenced by the ever-growing stream of data breaches that hit our news streams each week. 

Source: https://www.csoonline.com/article/2130877/the-biggest-data-breaches-of-the-21st-century.html

We, as professional markets, are driven by the potential profit inherent in this endless stream of data. However, with this endless stream, there is a growing risk to those we target. On a scale of 1 to 5, where one is safe and five is dangerous, the digital marketing model is tipping into the realm of 5. Indeed, without active participation on the part of the data gathers and digital marketers, to truly hold themselves accountable for the potential devastation that they can indirectly inflict through their lack of ethical and responsible practices, we stand to lose the trust of those who keep us alive today.

It is with this in mind that I recommend the following Code of Ethics:

Be Transparent

If you’re going to share data, be honest about it. Your customer has given YOU their data, not someone else. If the gathering of this data is for the purpose of sharing it with someone else, don’t hide that. Otherwise, you’re violating their trust and risking both bad press and the loss of clientele.

Never Compromise on Security

Breaches happen and chances are it will or has already happened to you. Don’t be made a fool of (again). Security is out there, and it isn’t rocket science to ensure that the data you collect is protected. Do it. It’s worth the expense and will save you the heartache of bad press later.

Know Your Audience

Your ad was never going to appeal to everyone. It is something that everyone knows from the beginning. So, know who it will appeal to and carefully craft your marketing to reach those people. We all have enough spam in our email inboxes as it is. Making each contact point with your customer as meaningful as possible means knowing who your customer is and what it is that interests them.

Know Your Business Partners

Pick who you work with carefully. Know how they work, the social culture of their business, the motivations, and the reputation that they have earned. The way those you partner with act reflects on you.

Use Analytics Wisely

Analytics measures are constantly growing in complexity. Be sure you know how to use them to their fullest and allowing them to provide you with the best information. With this information use it to make good choices on how to move forward. Otherwise, you might miss signs of trouble ahead.

Never Be Complacent

Constantly be questioning if you’re doing enough. Continually consider if the methods of the past are sufficient for today. Hackers get better. Security measure improves. Customers change interests. Business Partners adopt new projects and hire new employees. Every aspect of the world is constantly in flux, don’t be caught out simply because it was what you did in the past. There is no faster road to obsolescence than complacency.

Stay Classy to the End

Working with a professional agency is something that customers appreciate—even when they’re on their way out the door. When a customer requests to end a relationship with you, make it simply and thorough. This is your last chance to make an impression, make it a good one. When a customer doesn’t convert, don’t turn into their worst email spammer. Remember, a reputation is earned through all actions, not just the ones that make money.

Don’t Hide Your Mistakes

If the worst happens and a scandal knock at your door, own it. Make amends for it. Learn from it. Customers understand that mistakes happen and sometimes choices are made that have consequences that were unintended. It is the agencies that are willing to grow from their mistakes that succeed in maintaining trust. Talk about what you did wrong and turn it into a lesson on how your company cares instead of an example of how you don’t.