Brave Brands: Why We Care About Brands Who Care

Feb 24, 2018

In the first week of December 2017, Patagonia did something that few online retailers would have the guts to do. During the height of holiday shopping, they replaced their website homepage’s usual retail-related options with a simple black background with white text, creating a roadblock for any customer visiting…

The message referred to President Trump’s order to reduce the size of two national parks in the state of Utah by nearly 2 million acres. Whether you agree with the online retailer’s position on the protection of public lands or its political inclinations, you have to stop for a moment to respect the brand’s willingness to put its beliefs ahead of its own profitability. We live in a world where corporate dollars have an increasingly profound affect on our political climate. And, fortunately, a world where brands are starting to consider that they might use their own weight for the greater benefit of society.

Studies have long found that Millennials, one of the most brand-loyal generations, signal their personal identity via their brand preference. Point a finger at social media – and the way that individuals have learned to broadcast the version of their lives that they wish to show the world – if you like, but the fact remains that this massive group of consumers cares deeply about how they are publicly perceived.

Millennials are aging. With their years comes increased buying power as their collective income begins to grow. This is a generation that is wary of corporate greed, locally-minded, and heavily influenced by the impact that the financial crisis had on its early years in society. In fact, 75% of Millennials now say that it’s either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit. A 2015 Nielsen survey also found that three out of four Millennials — more than any other generation — are willing to pay extra for sustainable product offerings.

Stout Heart, from day one, has lived by the motto, “Be Brave”. When we call ourselves a marketing agency with heart, we really mean it. What does that mean?

We put good out into the universe.

We do work that we believe in.

We work with brands we believe in.

When evaluating a prospective client, we look for a majority of the following criteria:

Does their brand do good?

Is their team made up of good people?

Will we do good work together?

A great example of a client that passed this test with flying colors is Alnoba. Based on 400 acres of woodlands in Kensington, New Hampshire, Alnoba is meant to act as a place of transformation for individuals and organizations, through learning, leadership, and culture. Here are some reasons that we count Alnoba as one of our favorite Brave Brands:

  • Alnoba donates all proceeds to support leadership programming for nonprofits and Seacoast and Boston city youth.
  • Alnoba’s Farm at Eastman’s Corner supports 100 local farmers and artisans. 100% of its profits and 5% of every sale goes to support Sawyer Park, a clean, safe place for local families.
  • Alnoba’s main building is not just beautiful, it was the first building of its kind to achieve Passive House standard in the Northeast.
  • The Lewis Family Foundation, which started it all, has given over $164 million to 300 sustainability and conservation-focused projects since its inception.

Need we say more? Here are some great examples of Brave Brands that we think are making the world a better place:


Innovative outdoor products and experiences that fund sustainable poverty alleviation, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.

Flow Water

Uniquely packaged in an environmentally friendly box—meaning it is 100 percent recyclable and made from 70 percent renewable resources.

Pela Case

The ‘Pela‘ phone case is made with a flax-based material. It’s biodegradable and good for the environment.

The Citizenry

The Citizenry partners with master artisans from around the world. Through their commitment to providing fair wages, happy working environments, and sustaining grants, their artisan partners are able to take their crafts and their businesses to new places.

Have a list of favorite Brave Brands of your own? Give us a shout on social media and be sure to tag #BraveBrands. And look for more on this to come from our team at Stout Heart as we find ways to recognize brands doing good in the world and share them with you.