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Book Report: People, then products

April 3, 2014

“We have three general guidelines for all promotional efforts by Patagonia, both within and beyond the pages of the catalog:
1. Our charter is to inspire and education rather than promote.
2. We would rather earn credibility than buy it. The best resources for us are the word-of-mouth recommendations from a friend or favorable comments in the press.
3. We advertise only as a last resort.”

—Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia founder, Let My People Go Surfing

Our take
Yvon has always been a corporate culture guidepost for me. He leads with a bold vision and ensures that vision is connected to the people. And for a company that sells physical products, he views the resulting transactions as a byproduct, a vehicle through which he can realize Patagonia’s vision. This is distinctly different from most companies that define a transaction and later layer on vision and people to make it happen.

His guidelines for approaching marketing have always rang true for me. They focus on building the movement before selling the product. And they align staff, customers and partners all towards the larger, mission driven goal.

About our book reports
You know how you often read a book but there are one or two powerful and critical lines that spin your head around? Us too. We read. A lot. In our book reports we’ll share those most powerful passages.
Have other favorites? Add them in the comments, we’d love to hear what strikes you.

Book Report: People, then products

Charlie Brown

CEO & Founder

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