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Brand Comparison For Competitive Intelligence - Patagonia vs NorthFace

Brand comparison insights for competitive intelligence have the ability to transform your marketing efforts and be a game changer in your advertising campaigns. With a powerful tool that can accurately and efficiently analyze multiple data sources like social listening on Instagram or reviews on customer forums, you can build a truly remarkable 360 marketing plan.

To help you understand how you can achieve this, here is a brand comparison analysis of two famous brands, Patagonia and The North Face. You will see how you can get in-depth, unbiased insights about competing brands through artificial intelligence, and how you can leverage them in your business strategy.

What Is Brand Comparison?

Before we dive into customer-driven brand insights for Patagonia and The North Face, let’s first get to the basics of what exactly brand comparison involves. Brand comparison in marketing and advertising means the comparison of two similar brands based on parameters related to their products and services, as well as their production and distribution. This is done in a bid to prove the superiority of one brand over another.

Brand comparison covers many areas such as the durability of products, their designs, sustainability and ethics, corporate social responsibility, and so on. The important thing to note is that to get effective brand comparison analysis results for business strategies, there needs to be an unbiased, automated system in place to analyze customer experience. This ensures that the insights are not skewed.

Patagonia And The North Face

Patagonia and The North Face are both popular retailers of cold-weather outdoor gear and clothing in North America, known for their quality and durability. While Patagonia is still perceived as premium due to its slightly more expensive products made with sustainable materials, The North Face has diversified its product line into a wide range of casual, and mid-range gear and clothing.

As to why we chose a brand comparison between Patagonia and the North Face specifically when there are many similar brands like Canada Goose or Columbia Sportswear around, the answer lies in the close connection between the two giants beyond just what they sell.

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and The North Face founder, the late Doug Tompkins, go a long way back, driven by their mutual love for mountain climbing. Both were close friends until Tompkins passed on in 2015. As the companies grew in stature and capital over the years, however, their business trajectory did change quite significantly.

True to its roots since conception, Patagonia remained driven by its passion for ecological conservation and innovation. The North Face, on the other hand, became synonymous with being cool. The brand associated itself with well-known rappers and grime MCs in the 90s and became known for its pop culture-driven “cool comfort”. They most recently collaborated with Hip Hop artists like Drake and skateboarding lifestyle brand Supreme. The company also had a successful collaboration with Gucci.

Patagonia has always been outspoken about its passion for philanthropy and environmentalism. In fact, Patagonia already has 7% more items made from recycled, sustainable materials than the North Face. On the other hand, The North Face has only recently begun its journey toward sustainability, mostly due to its intense competition with Patagonia.

With all these initiatives and efforts that make Patagonia a class apart, can machine learning-based brand comparison analysis with the North Face prove Patagonia’s superior market sentiment? Read on to find out.

What Are The Benefits Of Patagonia’s “Earth, our only shareholder” Initiative?

Perhaps the most astounding and inspiring of any corporate leadership initiative ever was Patagonia’s decision to donate its entire fortune, to the tune of US$2 Billion, for climate action and biodiversity initiatives.

Yvon Chouinard and his family, who are on the board of Patagonia, announced that the company will still run as a for-profit organization and all proceeds will, in their entirety, henceforth go to green solutions to fight environmental crisis. “ALL profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to save our home planet”, Chouinard said in the announcement. In effect, planet Earth is Patagonia’s only shareholder.

In fact, Patagonia was one of the earliest companies to become a B-Corp, submitting to certification as meeting certain environmental and social standards, long before the historic move. Patagonia’s mission states “We’re in business to save our home planet.”

Patagonia’s passion for environmental sustainability began long before the company came into existence. It began with Chouinard’s love for mountain climbing. His first company, and the predecessor to Patagonia, was Chouinard Equipment, which became the largest supplier of rock-climbing gear in the US by the early 1970s.

It was during this time that Chouinard discovered how his iron pitons were damaging the mountains he climbed. He redesigned his entire product line to replace iron pitons with aluminum chocks.

As the company flourished as a climbing and sports clothing and equipment provider, it also diversified into a wider range of gear and some sports clothing, and thus was born Patagonia, established in California in 1973.

What Insights Did We Find On Comparing Patagonia With The North Face?

For brand comparison, generally speaking, it’s known that Patagonia has grown to be a more iconic brand than The North Face. This has as much to do with their green initiatives as with the superior quality of their products.

In fact, Redditors wonder why the quality of The North Face products is on a decline for the last few years. Trustpilot reviews, too, show that customers are generally unhappy with how susceptible The North Face’s clothes are to wear and tear.

Given this history, we analyzed 25 videos from each company to see if Repustate IQ would provide us with parallel insights. We pulled social media videos using their respective hashtags #thenorthface and #patagonia, and used Repustate IQ to a comparative analysis.

We saw stark contrasts in many different areas immediately. Here are a few of the insights.

  • Patagonia had a very number of high positive comments compared to The North Face. Compared to Patagonia, The North Face videos mostly had neutral comments
  • The overall sentiment score was higher for Patagonia, which was reflective of its successful ‘Earth is now our only shareholder’ announcement
  • An interesting factor was that most of the major aspects were 80% common to both brands

Brand comparison of aspects showed many differences in the sentiment towards the two companies as well. While the product impression regarding the two brands was generally positive, sentiment for Patagonia’s clothing and style aspects was more positive than that for The North Face.

Reviews on The North Face clothing were low and showed dissatisfaction with product quality just as mentioned on several customer forums.

Yet, despite the issues that The North Face has started facing, the positive product impression, as seen above, is more than 80%, similar to Patagonia. This reflects the general sentiment towards The North Face, a brand iconic to New York in the 90s.

How Do You Use Social Media Listening Data For Brand Comparison?

Social media listening data like the ones we got for Patagonia and The North Face are the closest to true consumer sentiment because it is free-flowing, impromptu, and honest. This makes it great for brand comparison.

To analyze the data you need a machine learning platform or API that is built for the industry you are using it for. Below are the inner workings of the model through which you can get and use the insights.

Step 1: Gather your data

You should collect data from all the sources you think are important based on your business and audience. The best emotion mining tools in the market can analyze any kind of data for review sentiment analysis. This means you can collect video-centric data such as TikTok social listening or text-based resources such as from review websites, Twitter, and so on.

You can download the data for analysis in an excel file. Or you can directly input the URL of the web page you want to analyze directly onto the dashboard of the tool you are using.

Step 2: Text analytics & sentiment analysis

When the data is fed through the machine learning model for social media sentiment analysis, natural language processing (NLP) tasks process the data and categorize it into topics, aspects, important words and phrases, etc. Named Entity Recognition (NER) identifies and extracts important and relevant people, locations, currencies, and other entities, for context.

Finally, all this data is analyzed for sentiment so that you can fine-grained, aspect-based sentiment analysis as well as an overall sentiment score of the brand. You can see insights such as sentiment trends, aspects trends, insights based on authors, especially from TikTok insights, source-based insights, and more.

Step 3: Visualize the brand comparison insights

The insights are now available for your perusal in the form of charts, graphs, word clouds, and so on. If you’re using Repustate’s sentiment analysis solution, Repustate IQ, the insights will be showcased on its intelligent dashboard.

If you’re using the Repustate API or any other API for that matter, the brand comparison insights will show up on the visualization screen of the tool you are using such as Tableau or Power BI.

Step 4: Compare brand comparison analysis results

Now that you can see all the trends based on different parameters, you can analyze and compare the results. You can also create your own comparison grid. In order to get the most out of the insights, you must contrast the results to your business objectives and extract the most crucial insights based on them.

You can share these with the relevant teams and departments to further discuss and strategize the next steps for your marketing and advertising goals.

Why Do Companies Use Brand Comparison?

Companies leverage brand comparison insights to increase their return on investment (ROI) in product differentiation, product betterment, and marketing tactics, and ultimately grow their market share. Here are the top benefits of brand comparison.

1. Sharper marketing tactics

Brand comparison allows companies to build marketing tactics that are strategically data-driven and based on what customers want and expect from similar products. Market sentiment trends can tell companies when to inject more capital into a marketing campaign, what medium to choose for better results, or when to explore new market opportunities.

2. Comparative advertising

Brand comparison analysis insights shape advertising campaigns that are driven by brand awareness by comparing products, business ethics, values, and overall service with competitors. This also involves who they choose as their spokespersons and brand ambassadors. Brand comparison helps companies find TikTok influencers, choose the most trending brand of activism, or even select the right events and campaigns to sponsor.

3. Boost brand perception to inspire loyalty

Comparative insights show what really matters to customers, and how they perceive the brand in relation to their ideals. Brand experience encompasses the emotions that the brand inspires in an individual. If the brand perception elevates to the level matching what the audience considers to be influential and unique, it inspires a sense of pride to be associated with the brand. Brand comparison enables a company to do so.

4. Increase conversions

Ultimately, all these efforts are in order to increase sales conversions and to make said conversions easy. Companies use brand comparison analysis insights in order to boost all aspects of their business to increase brand reputation, recognition, and trust.

5. Raise brand equity

Brand equity relates to how powerful your brand is in the market and how much brand recall it evokes. The more inspiring a brand is, the more powerful it becomes, thus eventually becoming an icon through cultural branding. Audiences eventually consider the brand as a benchmark to which they compare other similar brands.

Companies use powerful business intelligence tools and invest a great deal of resources in order to achieve this status - all through brand comparison analysis. Eventually, it is this iconic status that enables brands to call the shots with regard to pricing, product placement, and demand.


Brand comparison can gives you numerous insights that are invaluable to your growth strategy as well as to the longevity of your brand. The insights in the above example of Patagonia and The North Face are just the tip of the iceberg. A multilingual sentiment analysis solution for customer feedback analysis can extract crucial insights from terabytes of data from numerous sources and provide you with business intelligence from historic data as well as in real-time.

A solution like Repustate IQ also comes with a comprehensive visualization dashboard that allows you to search for insights based on keywords, authors, languages, and data sources. You can set alerts and notifications, as well as alter sentiment rules for brand comparison analysis, all without coding or compromising the accuracy of insights. Multilingual text analysis allows you to scan data in 23 languages, all with native speech taggers that ensure that no nuance of the language you are analyzing is lost in translation.