Tag Archives: Outdoor

Wilderness Chic: Patagonia vs. The North Face





Patagonia and The North Face:  Competing high-end outdoor apparel companies with retail presence across North America.

Both companies are based in California, were founded within five years of one another (Patagonia in 1973 and The North Face in 1968), and each has a certain cult following.  The North Face maintains a brand that reflects a general affinity for the outdoors.  In contrast, Patagonia’s brand is more representative of environmentalism and conscientious living.  Each has retail presence in Seattle.

Here is a comparative breakdown of each company’s social overall social media metrics:



Tweets: 6,169
Photos/Videos: 618
Following: 2,139
Followers: 160K
370k FB likes
# of US retail locations: 30


Tweets: 6,916
Photos/Videos: 531
Following: 1,237
Followers: 197K
3.9m FB likes / 29k visits
# of US retail locations: 40


Using Topsy to run a deeper comparison over the past month, the explicit Twitter mentions follow similar patterns (and aptly appear similar to a mountain range).


The ebbs and flows of the chart may simply reflect a greater propensity to interact during weekdays than over weekends.  Perhaps Social Media Management does not work weekends, and perhaps just as well twitter users understand this fact.


In order to measure the overall impact of each campaign, we’ll turn to Klout.

Though each score is relatively high, Patagonia’s presence (89) is slightly greater than that of North Face (84).

Image  Image

With similar engagement stats for both Twitter and Facebook, it’s worth diving into a few of the other networks to see where this discrepancy may be rooted.  Each being Outdoor apparel companies, and the outdoors at times projecting brilliant aesthetics, I chose to examine Instagram:



It’s quite clear now: despite a similar number of posts, and despite following half as many accounts, Patagonia has more than 2x the number of followers as The North Face.  To me, this clearly represents a brand much more in tune with the millennial generation.  Perhaps they also feature more beautiful photography.  Regardless, this is undoubtedly an issue for The North Face, and they need to figure out how to match Patagonia’s numbers.









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REI Store – An urban jungle in Seattle



I am impressed by how well the REI store in Yale Ave, Seattle reflects the interests of their target customer. They have created an urban jungle as part of the store. The moment you step out of your car from their garage, you enter a jungle with tall evergreen trees and soothing sound of a waterfall. This immediately makes you shed the city-dweller in you and connect with yourself deeply. They make you realize who you are, what interests you and what you want to do etc. even before showing their products. They have seating areas and benches made of actual trees from popular hiking and trekking destinations. They’ve also built rough walking paths and bike paths that you can use to try their products. REI customers cannot afford to try the products in terrains that are far away. Hence, REI brings the mountain to the Muhammad.

                Another thing that impressed me was the store layout. A lot of shelves and racks have wheels and hence the store layout is redefined frequently to suit the seasonal products. They also have a kids play area that has a slide from a tree house. What better whey to entice future customers. The store also offer several classes to learn about  bike maintenance  climbing & snowshoeing. One thing that puzzles me is the low number (only in thousands) of likes and followers in their social media platforms like Facebook and twitter. Is it because the customers who enjoy solitary merriment in expansive natural fields do not like to be part of a crowd and social platforms? Anyways, visit the store if you are in Seattle. They only make you realize your calling and things you may need to fulfill the calling.




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