Written by Ariad Communications on January 28, 2013
in Customer Experience

I love research! I’m constantly researching products, musicians, authors, recipes, clothing, etc. When I’m interested in buying a specific product, I read customer reviews and dig deep into the company website to find out as much as possible about the product.

When I was looking to buy a new winter parka last month, it was important to me to find a coat that satisfied my wants: no real feathers or fur. To my surprise, a lot of clothing companies I checked out did not include details on their products. To me, this is a missed opportunity – the more transparent a company is on their website, the stronger the connection they can forge with their customers.

Patagonia, for example, launched its “Footprint Chronicles” in 2012. The series includes an interactive map that pinpoints every textile mill and factory in Patagonia’s supply chain, detailed profiles of key suppliers, and film and photo tours of how different products are made. It enables users to see exactly where Patagonia’s products are made, how they are made and what they are made of. When customers view a product online they are able to see “The Good” and “The Bad” features of that product’s environmental footprint. Now that’s transparency – the good and the bad!

The website also offers an open forum in which customers can ask questions, discuss solutions and provide feedback. Since launching the Footprint Chronicles and forum, Patagonia has not only seen a dramatic increase in sales*, but they are also creating a more loyal customer base and managing the conversations around their products.

While I didn’t end up purchasing a Patagonia parka, I was impressed by their product and environmental transparency. If more companies followed their transparent example, perhaps they could achieve similar success.

 

*Source: LA Times… http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/24/business/la-fi-patagonia-20120525 and edublogs… http://opsmgt.edublogs.org/2012/09/30/patagonia-the-footprint-chronicles/

 

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