How To Win 4 Million Customers – A Remarkable – All Canadian – Brand Story.
It was a dark and stormy night…(a fun line,huh)
But seriously folks in 1971 four Vancouver climbing friends were hunkered down in a tent waiting for a “dark skies storm” to pass. They were lamenting the lack of good climbing gear in Canada and before the rain let up they had hatched a plan to sell mountain gear. One year later they printed their first one page product list and attracted 250 member/customers. Ten years later they had adopted the name Mountain Equipment Co-op and were mailing catalogues to a respectable 57,000 members.
Skip ahead, skip ahead…
This is where our intrepid climbers start making some very smart moves.
In 1987 MEC establishes The Environment Fund and makes a donation to the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC to purchase property containing the Smoke Bluffs, a climbing area threatened by development.
Then in 1989 several staff members take leave to clean up an oil spill on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The following year customer membership reaches 250,000 or 1% of the population of Canada at the time.
Skip ahead again…
In 1993 MEC creates The Endowment Fund for the Environment a charitable public fund to support the creation of parks and protected areas. Just two years later the Environment Fund had supported 47 environmental projects.
Membership jumps to 1 million member/customers – do you see a pattern developing.
In 2007 MEC joins 1% for the Planet, a group of businesses who donate 1% of gross sales to environmental causes.
Also in 2007, MEC begins measuring their Carbon Footprint from all operations including their supply chain and begins building their stores and warehouses to the Canadian Green Building LEED Standard.
Today MEC’s membership is well over 4 million people, almost 12% of the Canadian population.
Proving once again that if your “brand” includes action to protect the environment A LOT of people will want to do business with you.
Small Move, Smart Move, Big Gain!
David Knowles – Originator of the Carbonleader Program
Primary Impact – Environmental Marketing Centre
A digital agency of creative GREEN advocates working with authentic GREEN enterprises to speed their growth and contribute sooner to a sustainable planet.
CSR: A Fair Trade Youth Employer – Profit With Integrity