That old saying, “a picture speaks 1000 words?” Instagram proves that to be very true. Just the other day, I posted a picture of my mom and I together. Did I need to explain that I miss my mom? Or that the picture had reminded me of a happy memory? No, those things spoke for themselves. This is the power of a picture. Many brands have begun to catch on to this powerful entity.
One such company is Patagonia, a clothing company that outfits hikers, climbers, backpackers, and generally outdoorsy people. In their short bio on Instagram, it says, “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” If I had never heard of Patagonia, I wouldn’t even know what their product was! Rather than using Instagram as a platform to sell their products, they chose to advance their core values.
Similar to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream or Starbucks Coffee, social responsibility is intertwined with their corporate mission. If one takes a few minutes to scroll through the Patagonia Instagram account, there are few pictures of their products. It is mostly pictures of outdoor activities and posts encouraging social change. Patagoina clearly knows that they have extensive reach in many communities across the world. They are using this influence to brand themselves as a company that cares about the environmental crisis (and one that just so happens to make awesome, high quality clothes).
To many consumers like myself, Patagonia and The North Face are very similar companies. The two companies make almost all of the same products: winter jackets, sleeping bags, tents, thermal gear, the list goes on. But on The North Face’s Instagram their bio simply states, “The official Instagram account of The North Face brand. #NeverStopExploring.” As much as I love exploring, I’m not very inspired to go do so. Patagonia on the other hand makes me want to get up and go create change.
Social media is an important outlet for companies to reach out to consumers. Patagonia speaks volumes with their pictures. To me, they say: Go explore! See new places! Challenge yourself! Follow your dreams! Change the world! And maybe, just maybe, if you can squeeze it into your adventurous lifestyle, buy a product from Patagonia.