May 19, 2014
City of Angels
Something about Northern Utah, particularly the Provo/Orem area and Salt Lake City, seems to be extremely conducive to the “International Development” field. BYU and the University of Utah pump out scores of graduates every year who are just itching to either start or join a project that is determined to end world hunger, provide clean water, or educate impoverished children.
Maybe it’s the fact that so many people from the area get international experience at a young age, or the fact that they grow up feeling like it’s their responsibility to make a difference. Either way, the area is full of these well-intended start ups. And some of them are making a pretty big splash.
A Win-Win-Win Strategy
Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company based out of Northern Utah, is determined to make a difference. The purchase of their Nepal backpacks, for example, provides 3 weeks of education for a child in Nepal. Buying an India water bottle, on the other hand, gives clean water to a person in India for 6 months.
Coming at this from a marketing standpoint, the strategy is ingenious. Every adventure seeking do-gooder is going to be interested! Using technology to cut out the middle-man and the retail markup, they are able to provide a good product at a reasonable price and use a portion of the profits to make a difference. Literally EVERYONE wins! It’s a deal that both sides can feel good about, transforming the buying experience completely.