Patagonia pretends to market clothing for classic outdoors lovers, but it’s really in the virtue signaling business and targets trendy elitists for profits.
Ray Kroc, the man responsible for so much of McDonalds’ success once gave a speech to Harvard MBA students. He asked the room full of what is thought to be the brightest business students in the Nation, “What business is McDonald’s in?” After rejecting restaurants, hospitality, and a few others, Kroc said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not in the hamburger business. My business is real estate.”
Patagonia operates similarly, pretending to sell clothes, as it it serves as a virtue signaling service for those who imagine it’s trendy to oppose oil and gas.
This is a perfect example of Ray Kroc’s point. The brand is just cover for what the company really does to make money. It all seems so straightforward until you look at who the target market is, compare value to price and realize something other than clothing must be involved. Patagonia’s typical customers seek the kind of status achieved by paying more than they should to send signals they agree with the company’s supposedly high-minded environmental agenda and desire to conform with politically correctness among their fellow elites.