Transcend the Transaction: Just Don’t Buy This Jacket

High end outdoor apparel company Patagonia believes its product will stand the test of time. In fact, they encourage customers to buy used Patagonia products instead of new and repair rather than replace. Best of all, business has never been better.

Their “Worn to Wear” initiative highlights that “every patch is a memory, every tear has a tale. These are the stories we wear.”

Patagonia’s products literally and figuratively become the fabric of their customers’ lives.

Back in 2011, as part of the launch of its Common Threads initiative, Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard said, “This program first asks customers to not buy something if they don’t need it. If they do need it, we ask that they buy what will last a long time – and to repair what breaks, reuse or resell whatever they don’t wear any more. And, finally, recycle whatever’s truly worn out. We are the first company to ask customers to take a formal pledge and be partners in the effort to reduce consumption and keep products out of the landfill or incinerator.”

Amazingly, Patagonia went a step further and invested in a partnership with eBay to facilitate the sale of their used apparel by independent sellers.

According to the Washington Post this month, “Only eBay captured commission fees from the used-clothing transactions – Patagonia did not. Over the first several years, about 5 percent of visitors to the Patagonia Web site clicked into Common Threads, and 250,000 signed the pledge. Brand awareness and engagement soared.”

These initiatives also give the company powerful customer insights. Based on order and repair history, Patagonia can identify the skiers from surfers and then personalize the messaging.

According to a recent presentation by Steve Wages, email marketing manager at Patagonia, by customizing these offers vs. emails to the overall customer list, revenue increases by 79% per email. Now that’s ROI.

We see the same thing with our clients. When customizing the offer vs. including it as part of the station email newsletter, response and engagement rates soar.

Lifelong Listeners

When a station’s target audience spans 20-25 years such as 35-54 or 25-49, that’s a couple of decades to build relationships. Instead however, stations often live for the moment without planning for the future. Tapping into the power of your Super Fans does both, it provides immediate impact, while also positioning your brand for sustained and ongoing success.

Think about how different your life is compared to just 10 years ago. Same is true for your audience. Your long running morning show or 5pm feature on the way home are elements of their lives that your P1s count on, just like their favorite morning cup of coffee.

For Patagonia, your clothes are the “stories that you wear.” In radio, we’re the “soundtrack of your life.” Yet, does your brand help them listen to, cultivate and share their favorite songs or do they have to rely on YouTube or Spotify to accomplish that?

As I was heading home from a daddy/daughter Valentine’s Day dance this weekend, my daughters wanted to turn on the radio and hear “Shake It Off” and some of the songs we had just been dancing to. That’s when my 6 year old told her little sister, “that’s not how radio works, you have to listen to whatever they play.”

The moral of the story isn’t what radio can’t do. It’s that two little girls thought about radio FIRST to hear their favorite songs (not Pandora, YouTube or anything else). The same is true each day for millions of hardworking Americans … they pick radio first and seek it out.

Just as Patagonia knows the value of super serving their core customer, your station has the same opportunity with your best listeners.

For more information on how to connect and engage with those who matter most to your ratings and revenue, contact Andrew Curran with DMR/Interactive to schedule a meeting.


One Response to Transcend the Transaction: Just Don’t Buy This Jacket

  1. […] Patagonia highlighted the power of customized email messages. […]

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