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What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest by Denise Lee Yohn

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Chapter 7

Great Brands Never Have to “Give Back”

On November 25, 2012, the outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia ran one of the most unusual Black Friday ads in the history of the New York Times. Above an image of one of the company’s most popular products, the full-page ad declared in large, bold lettering: “DON’T BUY THIS JACKET.” The text below explained that the holiday season was a good time to consider the environmental impact of modern consumerism. “Because Patagonia wants to be in business for a good long time,” the ad read, “and leave a world inhabitable for our kids—we want to do the opposite of every other business today. We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else.”1

At the same time, ...

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