MEJO 379 – AD/PR Research | Patagonia Research

Currently, I am working on a semester long research project diving into the effects of cause marketing and the reality versus expectations of the young Patagonia consumer.

The project was inspired by the idea of Patagonia vs. “Fratagonia.” Fratagonia refers to the phenomenon of traditionally preppy groups adopting the luxury, outdoor apparel as a staple despite not fitting the profile of Patagonia’s prototypical key customer. Because this is such a common phenomenon amongst college students, this lead my group to wonder whether Patagonia’s cause marketing effects actually make an impact on Gen Z’s propensity to buy from Patagonia. Furthermore, despite the fact that Gen Z is extremely concerned with environmental issues, according to research, only 1% of upper-income teenagers in the United States in 2018 identified Patagonia as their preferred athletic apparel brand.

Although this research is not entirely finished, we have completed various research methods, such as surveys, focus groups, and interviews to get more data on the implications of cause marketing on young consumers.

Patagonia Background/Primary Research

Before any additional step, we performed primary research on Patagonia and completed a SWOT analysis on their place in the market and current marketing strategies.


Focus Group Research

Next, we performed a focus group to get an overall idea of average college students’ feel relationships is with the brand. These questions revolved around Patagonia consumption habits, all around sustainable habits, and values when purchasing clothing and accessories.


Interview Assignment

After the focus group, we completed in-depth interviews that did not center around Patagonia but focused more on cause marketing and information about corporate social responsibility as a whole.