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Marketing Strategy

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Marketing Strategies are the techniques used by companies to promote and sell products more efficiently.

“Most corporate mission statements are empty platitudes. This one guides every decision. And it's the centerpiece of a set of management practices that have helped Patagonia grow at a healthy rate and retain what is arguably the best reputation in its industry even while it faces increasing competition from much larger companies” (Business Week; p92-94).  The mission is not only to sell good quality products but to help people gain awareness of the environment around them.  Patagonia’s mission behind the brand, the products, and the sales is to save the world around us and preserve it so that future generations will be able to enjoy it like we have.  In order for companies like Patagonia to have customers in the future, we will need an environment worth exploring, worth climbing, and most importantly worth the risk of doing all of these ventures.  Behind the brand is truly where the mission of Patagonia really lies.   

MARKET OBJECTIVES

      Today, despite Patagonia’s continuing focus on alpinism, the brand is known primarily as a producer of distinctive outdoor apparel with an ethically thorough environmental standard. Catering to a range of outdoor sports enthusiasts, the brand now draws devotees whose interests are a wide variety of outdoor endurance sports: runners, paddlers, hikers, surfers, climbers, adventure travelers, or those who just wish to appear as such. This high octane, carefree lifestyle has come to embody what the Patagonia brand is about, passion for the outdoors and the pursuit of happiness.

      To further bolster this aesthetic, Patagonia has, since 1985, cultivated a highly philanthropic business plan. This business plan has helped Patagonia position itself as a unique company to its competitors. The company donates ten percent of its annual pretax profits (or one percent of sales, whichever is greater) to grassroots environmental groups. This means $17 million in cash and another several million worth of equipment, according to the company. 


BRANDING STRATEGY

      One of the main competitive advantages Patagonia has is by providing affordable, environmental, safe, and efficient products.  They also have a company that is actively protecting the environment.  They do this by having an environmental campaign called “1% for the Planet”.  This is a campaign where Patagonia pledges 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of natural environment.  They also contribute to the campaign called “Common Threads, Garment Recycling”.  They recycle old Patagonia base layers to make new polyester fabrics that can be used to make new fibers, as is explained on the market environment page.

TARGET MARKETS 


Patagonia targets a variety of markets including the active outdoorsman such as backpackers, climbers, kayakers, surfers, to the environmentally conscious, and to older and younger demographics.  

  • Patagonia offers a variety of high performance gear such as jackets, tents, packs, sleeping bags, climbing gear, river shells, wet suits, ski wear, etc.  These products obviously target the “active outdoorsman” because these are high performance necessities when venturing through the wild back country. “Function always dictates the form and the perfect form is the result of a perfectly solved functional need” which targets the outdoorsman who is primarily focused on his latest venture, not fashion (Seigal, Matt). 
  • Patagonia targets the environmentally conscious consumers because they use recyclable fibers and organic cotton.  Patagonia is also very environmentally active because it gives 1% of sales to the restoration and preservation of natural environments.  Patagonia also spreads awareness of the need to preserve the environment to people all over the world.  A large part of the website discusses the importance and extreme need to take better care of the world around us.  The values of the company target those who care about environment and therefore bring in a large portion of sales.   
  • The younger and older demographics are targeted because of the function and high performance level provided by all Patagonia products.  People of all ages want to buy products that will last and Patagonia provides this to the fullest. 

Due to the fact that they keep their financial statements private, we are unable to find the proportions of their actual sales to each demographic; however, the company tallied $260 million this past fiscal year.   

BRANDING FOR POSITIONING

      In addition, the brand makes an enormous effort to minimize the amount of pollution it produces, no small feat if one considers more commonplace manufacturing practices. A major producer of catalogues, Patagonia attempts to choose products that produce less harmful catalog stock. For clothing, it uses recycled polyester in many products and are aggressive denouncers of pesticide-intensive conventional cotton, using only organic cotton since 1998. This strict environmental standard that Patagonia places upon itself, helps distinguish their brand from other competing similar outdoor companies. Since, Patagonia’s target market are outdoor enthusiast and environmentally conscious people, the buyers feel strongly compelled to purchase products from a company that stays loyal to the outdoors that they love.

      A person who wears Patagonia seeks quality, durability and innovation. They are socially responsible, active and self-reliant. At least that’s the image Patagonia is selling, Patagonia has become a must have for many that are outside of the outdoor/granola type. Patagonia has become mainstream in today’s society that favors style and brand recognition and is even titled “Patagucci” by some. Regardless, Patagonia’s brand identity is a strong one. With twenty-nine stores in seven different countries, a strong catalogue business and a driving presence in countless other retail outlets, it should continue to climb every mountain.

      Patagonia has one sub brand called “Water Girl”. Water Girl is based out of Ventura, California, same as Patagonia and focuses on clothing and swimwear for women. Water girl is a unique sub brand in that it is made for women by women, their “easy travel, easy care” gear is perfect for the woman who is fast pace and constantly on the move.