Let My People Go Surfing

Topics: Environmentalism, Natural environment, Yvon Chouinard Pages: 5 (1814 words) Published: September 28, 2010
Andrew McNeil
Mana 181-Spring
Dr. Rehbein
Book Report

Let My People Go Surfing

The corporate citizenship of Patagonia is one of long-standing and innovation. Since their products cater to individuals who not only enjoy, but love the wilderness, their commitment to decreasing the negative affects of their business practices and improving the world around them is a belief rather than a task or goal. Since this is the case they instinctively try and find new and better ways to fulfill this belief while other companies follow the “green” trend. They have been actively involved in helping the environment and those who share this ideal for over 20 years. This shows that they are not interested in temporary “fly-by” solutions to long-term environmental problems. While they are very profitable and make arguably the best product within their industry, they also suffer because of their lack of business savvy in certain aspects. Yet, they make up for it with their quest for improving every aspect of their organization. Due to their innovation and the quality of their products they are able to change and adapt quicker which keeps them ahead of competition. Yet, with that they lose that loss of specialization they enjoyed with Chouinard, and may in turn lose those individuals who seek that degree of specialization. They do however hold quite a bit of leverage over some of their dealers, especially those who rely on their products to drive sales. Their distribution mix, being split into: mail-order, internet, retail and wholesale, is extremely functional and provides them with the opportunity to reach a very wide customer base. However, because they do not specialize in one of these things and do not advertise they do miss out on part of the market, but this of their own will. They prefer to be able to have more control over what info is given to the public in terms of trying to persuade the consumer, they would instead prefer that the quality of the products and customer service they provide would sell the products themselves and establish long lasting consumer bonds. They also can be found guilty of alienating their less loyal customers in some of their practices as illustrated by this passage, “All our customers are not equal in our eyes. There are indeed some we favor more than others. These are our core customers, those for whom we actually design our clothes.”[1] According to Mirvis and Googins the company is at stage five of the corporate citizenship model. They are transforming the business world, not just their industry, but the business world as a whole as they are and have been leading initiatives that aim to promote and encourage advancing corporate citizenship. They do not have one specific partner; rather they support any smaller grassroots organization with a specific environmental cause, or oppose certain business practices of other companies that may not value their identity and corporate citizenship as highly, or at all. The environmental strategy of Patagonia is one that has stemmed from the overall understanding and appreciation for environmental sustainability, or the pursuit thereof, held undeniably close by Yvon Chouinard (Y.C.) and his wife, as well as their employees. It is divided, in the simplest terms, into five different categories including: lead an examined life, clean up our own act, do our penance, support civil democracy, and influence other companies.[2] In each of these sections lies a much more deeply-rooted philosophy dedicated to the pursuance of environmental excellence and leadership, without compromising their ideals of quality and customer service. This strategy, which basically consists of being a responsible human being in terms of everyday actions and decisions, evolved from their humble beginnings as a company of climbers turned entrepreneurs. Since, Y.C. was first an outdoorsman, along with his friends and colleagues, their interest in preserving...

Bibliography: Chouinard, Yvon, Let My People Go Surfing: the education of a reluctant businessman, (New York: The Penguin Press 2005), 72, 107, 200, 217.
[1] Chouinard, Yvon, Let My People Go Surfing: the education of a reluctant businessman, (New York: The Penguin Press 2005), 107.
[2] Chouinard, 200.
[3] Chouinard, 72.
[4] Chouinard, 217.
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