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Mission Statements

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I am going to compare Patagonia Outdoor Clothing’s and Columbia Sportswear’s mission statements. Both of these companies’ focus provides clothing for the outdoorsman. A mission statement is an important message from the company to all of their stakeholders. (King D. C., 2012) Patagonia Outdoor Clothing’s mission statement is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Columbia Sportswear’s mission statement is to design and deliver authentic, outdoor, high-value products for active consumers of all ages. Both of these mission statements are different but do have some similarities.

The similarities of these mission statements are centered on quality of their products. Patagonia Outdoor Clothing states that they build the best product. Columbia Sportswear states that they provide high-value products. Both of these companies focus on the same thing but worded it differently. You can take away from their mission statements that selling top quality products to their customer’s is a top priority of their existence. At the same time, both of these mission statements do differ from one another.

There are differences between these two mission statements. Patagonia Outdoor Clothing’s mission statement is vague about the product that they sell. Their mission statement goes on to show concern for the safety of their consumers. It continues to address how they are concerned of how their products affect the environment. Columbia Sportswear’s mission statement only talks about what they sell and to whom it will sell it to.

The mission statements of both companies are of fair quality. Each mission statement provides a clear purpose of the company to both the employees and stakeholders. At the same time, they also provide building blocks to create strategies that will help them meet their mission statement. If you were to read just the mission statement, without knowing the company, of Patagonia Outdoor Clothing you would not know what product they are selling.

A clear mission statement is essential for a company to effectively establish goals and formulate long-term strategies. (King D. L., 2014) The Patagonia Outdoor Clothing mission statement clearly defines their organization and drives strategic decision. The strategic decision to create a process to manufacture environmentally friendly products can be derived from the mission statement. Furthermore, you will want to undertake methods within the company to produce the best products that will cause unnecessary harm. The Columbia Sportswear mission statement also clearly defines their organization and drives strategic decisions too. It is clear what they are striving for. They undoubtedly want a process from beginning to end that will provide the best product to all ages. This includes the initial research and development stage to the actual delivery of product to the end users.

Both of these mission statements have been around for years. A good mission statement makes strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation much easier. (Drucker, 1974) I feel that both of them could use some renovation. As stated earlier, the Patagonia Outdoor Clothing mission statement on its own would leave a reader questioning what the product they sell is. To build the best product could mean anything that is made. There should be more of a generic insinuation that would at least guide a reader to know what they are making. I feel the rest of their statement is absolutely great. The Columbia Sportswear mission statement needs just a little more meat in it. The way the mission statement stands, it only pinpoints what they want as a product they want to sell. It should also include something about leaving less of a footprint in the environment. Both of these companies are striving for the same thing.

Patagonia Outdoor Clothing and Columbia Sportswear share some of the same vision. Both of the companies want top quality products for their customers. This is clearly stated in both of their mission statements, the best product and high-value product. Aside from that, I do not feel that both companies are heading in the same direction. Patagonia Outdoor Clothing clearly positions itself to consider what effects on the environment they will have in the future. This is telling both the employees and stakeholders not only are they proving the best product, they care about the future of the planet and to ensure it will still be here for our family and friends. Columbia Sportswear does not mention or even elude caring about the environment in their mission statement.

A company’s social responsibility is now a focus not only by investors but to consumers as well. Social responsibility is for organizations to behave ethically and show consideration regarding social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. (What is Social Responsibility? Why is it Important, 2008) Patagonia Outdoor Clothing takes this head on. When the company opened its first store in Boston, Massachusetts all of the employees were experiencing headaches. Upon a thorough investigation, it was discovered that their inventory of cotton based clothing in the basement was generating toxic fumes. They used conventional cotton, which is the use of insecticides and other chemicals to grow the cotton. This incidence led Patagonia Outdoor Clothing switch to the use of only organic cotton.

Although this cotton is more expensive, this creates a healthier environment for the employees, farms and customers. Patagonia Outdoor Clothing also is focusing on leaving a smaller footprint in the environment. They have a program called the Common Threads Partnership. This consists of repair, reuse, recycle and reimagine. They will help repair items that have been purchased from them. They will buy back items that you no longer use but are in still good salable condition. They will also take back items that are not in good condition and recycle it into new fabric. They also want to everyone to think of only using things that the environment can replace. I feel that Patagonia Outdoor Clothing is a prime example of what all companies should be striving to be like. Their focus on social responsibility is a model of what to do.

Patagonia Outdoor Clothing is a successful company. All companies should perform a SWOT; strength, weakness, opportunity and threat, analysis to see where they stand. I performed one on Patagonia Outdoor Clothing and the strengths that I found are that they are environmentally friendly. In doing so, they also manufacture high quality goods. I did uncover some weaknesses by using the industry analysis. One weakness is the high cost of obtaining raw materials that are organic. Another weakness is the cost of their products may be too high for the new markets in India and China. Some opportunities that I found are the abilities to open more stores within the United States, allow customers to buy the items only on-line in their store and increase their marketing exposure. I used the PESTEL; political, economic, sociocultural, technological, environmental and legal environments; tool to provide me some threats to the company. An environmental threat that could severely damage the access to raw materials would be an illness that strikes the livestock in which they get their wool from. Additionally, a disease could strike their cotton crops.

Patagonia Outdoor Clothing has continually looked out for their employees and customers. Their mission statement does provide guidance for management to create goals and objectives. Their method of doing business has worked and I see it continuing to provide success to the company, its employees and to the environment.

Works Cited
Drucker, P. (1974). Management: Tasks, responsibilities, practices. New York: Harper and Row. King, D. C. (2012). 2012 Mission Statements: A Ten Country Global Analysis. Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings Of The Academy Of Strategic Management (ASM), 13. King, D. L. (2014). CURRENT MISSION STATEMENT EMPHASIS: BE ETHICAL AND GO GLOBAL. Academy Of Strategic Management Journal, 71-87. What is Social Responsibility? Why is it Important. (2008). Journal for Quality & Participation, 31(3), 11-12.

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