Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Art of Corporate Social Narrative: Promoting Social Change While Building Markets for Products and Services
by McGhee, Lydia M., M.A., Gonzaga University, 2013, 104; 1540897
Abstract (Summary)

For over four decades, the outdoor clothing company Patagonia has promoted environmentalist ideologies though essays and photographs published in their print media. This strategy offers an eco-friendly narrative that resonates with many brand consumers, but the art of constructing and publicizing a corporate narrative with social purpose (i.e. corporate social narrative) has yet to be explored. In this thesis, Patagonia's corporate social narrative is reviewed in light of Fisher's narrative paradigm theory, the principals of corporate social marketing, social exchange theories, and the idea that visual imagery holds significant power in consumer markets. Major themes in Patagonia's environmental narrative are identified and explored via narrative analysis of promotional material published by the company between the years of 1972-2013, with a focus on product catalogs published after 1991. The narrative research delves into how the themes of journey, calculated risk, minimalist struggle, and a connectedness to nature help Patagonia create a self-proclaimed uncommon culture and explores how this culture is used to promote behavioral change in outdoor enthusiasts who purchase from the company. Lastly, lessons from Patagonia's social narrative are detailed along with recommendations on how corporate social narrative can be used effectively in other consumer markets.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Crandall, Heather M., Givens, David B.
School: Gonzaga University
Department: Communication and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing, Communication
Keywords: Corporate social marketing, Corporate social narrative, Corporative narrative, Narrative analysis, Narrative paradigm theory, Patagonia
Publication Number: 1540897
ISBN: 9781303216749
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