How listening can transform any company

More than ever, consumers are empowered to make their own decisions when it comes to whether or not they chose to support a company. Social media has brought massive changes in the way people buy products. If companies want to compete in this new social landscape, they need to transform the way they do business. 

How can this be done?

In today’s world most consumers have preconceived feelings about a brand, regardless of whether or not they’ve actually purchased anything from that company. This is because social media is like a wild fire. It’s very hard to stop a post from blowing up once people start to like and interact with it. This just means that listening is now more important than ever. Companies who are looking to make a comeback must understand that listening, collaborating, and innovating with their consumers is the key to success.

One company who demonstrates how listening can transform a brand is Patagonia.

Patagonia is known for their active voice in the global climate crisis. Recently their customers have been taking to social media to report their agreement with the message – hidden on the underside of Patagonia’s clothing tags. It says, simply, “VOTE THE ASSHOLES OUT.” This symbolizes Patagonia’s strong political stance against climate deniers who hold positions of power in government.

“It refers to politicians from any part who deny or disregard the climate crises and ignore science, not because they aren’t aware of it, but because their pockets are lined with money from oil and gas interests” – Patagonia

Although Patagonia went with quite an an extreme statement about the globate climate crisis, this is still an effective use of listening to their audience. The majority of Patagonia’s audience is made up of people who care about the environment and the current climate crisis.

In using the phrase, “VOTE THE ASSHOLES OUT,” Patagonia is appealing to the current democratic ideal of voting people out of office that refuse to take action to prevent further damage to the environment.

Such an assertive phrase will resonate with an audience that is most passionate about the state of the environment. The brand is making it clear that purchasing their products aligns the consumer with a certain message. In doing this, Patagonia is marketing towards a trending political topic that will encourage more consumers to buy their products.

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