Lots of brands made lots of noise this year, for reasons good and bad. Some stepped fearlessly into controversy and were roundly praised; others found themselves reluctantly embroiled in it. Yet others sparked our imagination and ignited our minds. Here are five brands that captured our attention in 2017.
Over the years, outdoor retailer Patagonia has been a vocal advocate of outdoor conservation, and 2017 was no exception. When President Trump announced his plan to roll back protections on two Utah national monuments—Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante—the retailer hit back with a powerful landing page reading The President Stole Your Land. They then followed up on the statement by filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration. This wonderfully on-brand move was met with overwhelming praise and goodwill; the following day, sales were up six-fold. It’s evidence that when brands act in accordance with their values (even if that means wading into potentially controversial waters), their audience will follow. –Rob Troller