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sustainability

New Patagonia microsite connects hyper local activists

Patagonia Action Works
Patagonia Action Works

As part of its continued focus on the environment, Patagonia has launched Patagonia Action Works, a microsite intended to facilitate interactions between like-minded activists.

In a video announcing the initiative, Yvon Chouinard, the company’s founder, compared the venture to a dating site, for the way in which it links customers with worthy organizations and events.

Users can select their location and the causes they care about, including biodiversity, climate, communities, land and water. The website then generates a list of relevant organizations divided by grantees that have received support from the brand, related events nearby and skilled-volunteering and petition opportunities. The platform also enables organizations themselves to apply for grants.

Patagonia Action Works
Patagonia Action Works

Adding to the sense of urgency to take charge of the planet, which is at the core of Patagonia’s communication strategy, Chouinard explains: “If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that things aren’t going very well for the planet. It’s pretty easy to get depressed about it.”

He adds a call to action: “I’ve always known the cure for depression is action. Patagonia’s reason for existence is to force government and corporations to take action in solving our environmental problems.”

Patagonia Action Works is part of the company’s 1% for the Planet program, which has donated almost $90 million to grassroots organizations over the past 35 years. To activate the launch, the company is hosting a series of events, including a panel discussion in Santa Monica, California on Friday, February 8.

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e-commerce social media Uncategorized

Social media isn’t a 9-to-5 job in retail, especially at Christmas

JohnLewis_advent

That title should be quite an obvious statement to most, but a number of stores seem to need reminding of it in the busy run up to the holidays this year.

At a time when capturing consumer attention is fraught with more noise than ever, any sort of social activity that has the ability to cut through should not be restricted to the standard Monday to Friday routine. Yet many of them are…

Not to pick on John Lewis, but in this instance it’s the most obvious example. The UK department store has been running an advent calendar competition via Twitter with the hashtag #JLChristmas.

A nice incentive-based initiative (and no doubt a traffic driver), it invites @johnlewisretail followers to guess what festive treat is behind the door of its advent house to be in with a chance of winning it.

Every day between 10am and 3pm, it tweets out clues. At 4pm it then reveals the answer as well as a winner. Every day except Saturday and Sunday that is.

As the press release reads: “We won’t be running our competition on Saturdays or Sundays, but that means we’ll be giving away three lovely prizes instead of just one each Monday so there are even more chances for you to win.”

You could argue it’s because Mondays are the strongest selling days for e-commerce over the holidays, which would be fair. But in this case, that’s thoroughly illogical. If the aim was to increase traffic on a Monday you could still up the content on those days while maintaining the usual over the weekend too. For the record, eBay UK expected Sunday, December 2 to be its busiest online shopping day of the year.

So the simple answer, of course, is resources. Retail marketing is not a 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday job. It hasn’t been for a very long time. It certainly isn’t now, yet with social it’s frequently still seen like it is.

Customer service departments are a lot better at working around the clock (M&S has doubled the number of those in its e-commerce call centre), but enormous marketing opportunities are being lost by brands who only focus on pushing out messages at the times they’re also sat in the office. How many of the individuals on such teams then go home and browse through Facebook, or better yet do a spot of online shopping themselves I wonder?

And that’s exactly the point.

As Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, famously said: “If you don’t come to work on Saturdays, don’t bother to come in on Sunday.” Not a bad takeaway for Christmas traders…