“To me, marketing is about values.”

Steve Jobs


“64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.”

Harvard Business Review

Decoding Modern Marketing


To continue the Steve Jobs quote on the left “….This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.” This sums up the idea that values have become the new marketing. Values are the way you live and the way companies conduct themselves. They become important, not in the definition of your purpose or the setting of your mission, but in the day-to-day execution that determines success or failure. As I discussed at the beginning of this chapter, so much of the success of a brand is in how well it aligns its promise and its delivery. Delivery is the daily grind of making sure everything is right. It takes determination and character and that’s where values come in. Values tell your employees and partners what’s important in every situation. They provide the guidance your team needs solving problems and confronting new challenges. They become the scales that weigh the character of a company and by extension its brands. If your mission tells you where you are going and your purpose tells you why, your values tell you how to behave along the way. And as we all know “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”


Patagonia’s values are “Quality”, “Integrity”, “Environmentalism”, and what they call “Not bound by Convention”. This translates into their integrated purpose and mission statement:

“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Their values, “Quality” and “Not bound by Convention,” speak to their mission of building great products. The rest of the statement, however, is about their higher purpose and reflects their values of “Integrity” and “Environmentalism.” But unlike so many of these exercises, these are not just words on paper. They are a living reality for the company and its consumers, proven with initiatives like their “Footprint Chronicles.” This area of their website examines “Patagonia’s life and habits as a company.” At the top of the page it reads:

“The shells we make are contributing to climate change. Despite our best efforts to minimize this contribution, we are still part of the problem.”

This kind of honesty and integrity takes courage. Consumers see it and value it.