Podcast

Vincent Stanley – Director of Philosophy for Patagonia

How to Be a Story Activist

How to Be a Story Activist

the-responsible-company_300As the bird calls behind his voice in this episode imply, Mr. Stanley has a keen eye to environmental sustainability, a unique approach to storytelling, and has been with Patagonia since its inception.

During his tenure with Patagonia, Stanley has seen a marked shift in human behavior toward the forces of nature. “What we’re now seeing is a moment of humility; [we realize] we have impoverished nature in our efforts to control it.”

This dynamic change has been a constant force behind Patagonia’s ideals and their activism. He acknowledges that all businesses have to begin with a good story—that is, your own authentic, personal experience—and that you mustn’t be afraid of it.

“Every business has it’s own DNA, just like every person has their own DNA, and their own story,” he says. “People are often afraid to tell their own story because they want to sound hip… but the more you discover your own story and uncover what’s different about your story than any other business, you create a discipline for your business and a marketing differentiation.”

Patagonia has a special knack for effective communication. By treating customers like friends, they have the confidence to invest in the company and to listen when the company shares messages of activism. This authentic approach leads to transparency, honesty, and vulnerability. As a result, consumers invest more in the company and products.

Have you ever wanted to engage with your community in a new way? Consider taking a page from Patagonia’s book. With creative investments in both animated shorts and feature length documentaries, the educational possibilities are limitless. “Attention spans are underrated,” he says. “If you can make a powerful film…people will pay attention.”

Check out some of Patagonia’s stories below:

The Footprint Chronicles

DamNation

Traceable Down

The New Localism

There is almost always a moment in each of our lives when we finally decide to confront an issue. Perhaps something that we have always found troubling finally passes our threshold of forbearance and we decide to take a stand. That moment, whether it be leaving a job or starting a business, is the initiation of our journey, our story. Identify this moment for yourself and you have arrived at the beginning of your unique story.

As Stanley says, don’t be afraid. You and your story have unique DNA and an important mission to accomplish here. Illuminate the conflict, find your moment, and begin your story of social activism today.

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