Backcountry dot com Has a Problem

First, as a small business owner, outdoor enthusiast, and gearhead, I believe what BCDC did was despicable; their initial silence telling; their apology condescending and disingenuous.

Although they claim to “get people who get outside,” it’s very clear they do not. In my opinion, BCDC has insulted the integrity and intelligence of the outdoor community/industry that brought them so much success.

Defending Their Trademark?

Sure, a brand has to defend their trademark(s) against infringement, otherwise what is the point of obtaining them, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue that a tiny coffee company in Colorado, a used gear shop in Idaho, or a Women’s avalanche education group “infringed” on it. Their lawsuit so gracefully stated these companies had a “conscious disregard of Backcountry’s rights, and were malicious, oppressive, and/or fraudulent,” and went on to seek damages ”in an amount sufficient to punish and deter defendants and to make an example of them.”

Making Amends Too late?

Now they have begun to make amends publicly and financially (although only after a backlash and boycott) with a few of the businesses they sought to embarrass and destroy, and these are steps in the right direction, but they have not made amends with the community. That said, we should not judge, nor impugn the motives, of the businesses and individuals they have hurt. They are doing the human thing, and giving their oppressor a chance to make right their wrongs, and elevate their businesses, and families...the track they were on before BCDC got in the way of that.

However, their actions demonstrated they truly believe our reaction is somehow unfair, and that the average consumer does not understand that this is just how “business works.” In the opinions of many, BCDC has forever tainted the brand they sought to protect and soiled the legacy of a once great company with a solid gearhead following.

Now all funny business aside (we crafted a satire story poking fun at the ridiculous actions BCDC took, here) we can show them we absolutely understand “the role competition and capitalism” play in business. This can be achieved without insult or harassment, and after all, their actions have already put their employees through hell, and we shouldn’t contribute to that. All we have to do is spend our money elsewhere, BCDC offers nothing proprietary, only reselling products you can purchase many other places. Continue to emphatically and respectfully tell this story to everyone that will listen, leave honest reviews on their sites about how they conduct business, and unfollow & ignore their social media & PR.

The real backcountry!

Should we take these actions and keep this campaign respectful, we have an opportunity to not only “make an example” out of a bully company, but to effect real change in the way all companies conduct business. By we, I’m not just talking about the 22K strong in the Boycottbackcountrydotcom FB group, but the millions of us who represent the outdoor industry and community...the real backcountry!
Again, just my opinion, but remember that we the consumers hold more power to make change than we think...
“There is only one boss; the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” ~ Sam Walton
-Patrick Webber
Co-Founder Fourpoints Bar
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