Patagonia ad shows a company taking a stand…

There’s lots of debates about corporate social responsibility, mission statements, and building a business around beliefs etc.

But this advert by Patagonia is pretty clear.

It’s increasingly clear that a company either has an obvious purpose beyond simply existing, or it will forever have to compete on attributes (price, convenience etc) that will be increasingly harder and less profitable due to competition.

The first supermarket had it relatively easy and profitable for a while. Now the margins are slim and there are rivals everywhere, from the low-end to the high.  But it’s much harder to compete with a company that has a clear and evident purpose. Is your outdoor clothing company going to go further in protecting the environment that Patagonia, for example? It’s possible, but it’ll be harder than cloning a jacket and charging 10% less.