When Patagonia announced this week it would axe adding logos to products, particularly garments, I was surprised-not-surprised.
I was surprised because they are the first company in the outdoor/adventure/performance sector to make this move.
I was not surprised because Patagonia’s narrative is deeply rooted in their founder’s 100-year philosophy of environmental sustainability.
Dropping additional logos from garments in the hyper-branded fashion world is a powerful statement of commitment to sustainability over profit. Few companies, or people for that matter, are willing to make decisions like Patagonia. In doing so, Patagonia strengthened their strategic narrative concerning the earth and linked that narrative to the communities that live on it.
What strategic narrative are the stories about your company strengthening? And does your website reflect that narrative?
I love this quote by Guillaume Waitr in his recent enewsletter (recommend!) discussing stories and narratives:
The common belief about business narratives is that they should primarily be about you…A true and strong narrative is about the entire community.
That’s what Patagonia did so well in their announcement to stop placing additional logos on clothing:
But we hope you’ll see this shift for what it is: another of our ongoing efforts to support a healthy planet—and a call to action. By joining us in extending the life of the gear you wear and use, you’re making a statement about your own commitment to sustainability.
If you are like me, you’ve probably communicated inadvertently (if at all) your organization’s strategic narrative on your website with a couple of pithy lines of text on the Home page, boring staff bios and dry company history on your About page, and irrelevant to your reader Press/News releases about company goings on.
Let me clarify, staff bios, company history, and news stories are all essential components of communication on your website. You need them. But they should support your organization’s strategic narrative. And that narrative should be clarified and connected to the community your organization is serving.
Shrink your website’s homepage brag zone. Increase your About page’s connections to your strategic narrative and connect it all to community you serve.