The success of TOMS Shoes
TOMS Shoes is a company that was started in 2006. The founder, Tom Mycoskie, aimed at a charitable organization after an expedition in Argentina. One of the market environment trends that have led to the success of TOMS Shoes is the idea of buy one give one aspect. Most people, according to research, love to support a charitable cause and the mere fact that buying a shoe would also be of social benefit makes consumers buy more, which interprets to the success of a business.
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Mycoskie, having started and successfully run several enterprises, knew the power that lies in the hands of below the line marketing strategy. Below the line marketing works, simply by word of mouth, one consumer buys a product, views its benefits, he/she will, without doubt, passes the information to another consumer. This strategy worked for TOMS Shoes considering that the shoes were cheap and to top it all, the consumer gained the bragging rights of saying that he/she had contributed to the charity initiative and also belonged to a certain social status. The cause-related initiative has further boosted the company.
According to anonymous research, most people in America would offer to buy a product more expensive than usual if some of the proceedings were for a charity cause. Another factor that may have had an influence on the success of Mycoskie shoes was that the company came in a time that social eco-consciousness was rising. Simultaneously, the economy was at its downturn and more and more people were looking for cheaper ways to make life in the globe better. TOMS Shoes was just the right solution, made of cheap fabric, sold cheaply, and was just ideal for each consumer. Mycoskie had just come up with a brilliant profitable, charitable idea just when the market needed one, and these factors joined together leading to the excellence of the enterprise (Kotler & Armstrong, 2011).
Problems that the TOMS Shoes company faced during their initial start of the company
TOMS Shoes first created its strategy and then fit it to the market. With some little inspiration from Argentina, Mycoskie was able to visualize a perfect plan. According to Mycoskie, he had always wanted to help and with his experience with barefoot children in Argentina, he had a perfect plan. He did not scan the market since as soon as he was back to America the first thing he did was to bring TOMS Shoes into a reality.
For TOMS Shoes, everything was in place; a deteriorating economy, a rising eco-conscious society, and the human urge to do right the market were all set for TOMS Shoes. TOMS Shoes was intermingling first world consumption with third world aid, and this would obviously work given that many first-world people like to donate in order to cub their guiltiness of not assisting the third world.
Scanning the market environment is a very important aspect before venturing into business. Without details about the market environment, wrong steps are bound to be undertaken but for TOMS Shoes company, it was not all that necessary since Mycoskie, the founder, was not all that after profit but rather to assist as his heart always told him. Mycoskie just fit the strategy into the market since there was even no prior advertisement of the company and its motive; it was all done by simple word of mouth.
Directly catapulting its strategy to the market was only promoted by the fact that the company was using its charity initiative to market its products. This is the same trend that the company still uses to date since it only spends a mere 20% of its profits on advertising and considering the companies income, 20% is a very minimal amount (TOMS Shoes, 2011).
Ways in which the Toms Shoes company sought to improve their services
TOMS shoe strategy, according to my opinion, is about both helping the poor children and also making profits. First, it is about helping the children because initially, this was what influenced Mycoskie to open up the firm. The Shoes also donated although they do not cover the whole issue since they help to some extent. Each kid that gets a pair of the TOMS Shoes gets to evade sickness (in the case of Ethiopia where the soil contains high percentages of silicon which causes elephantiasis) and is able to attend school for a couple of days/months. These categories TOMS Shoes as an organization aimed at helping needy children.
TOMS Shoes has led to the awareness of the effect of simply not having a shoe on and has put a shoe on close to one million children from third world countries hence supporting its strategy as aimed at assisting children. TOMS make the consumer the winner, it makes the consumer a self-made hero inspiring the customer to buy more and more times just to get that hero feeling resulting in more children receiving aid. TOMS also runs a subsidiary Non-profit branch called TOMS friends which mainly consists of volunteers at TOMS “drop”. The friends of TOMS assist the company in sighting the needy area.
On the other hand, the TOMS Shoes strategy is viewed as creating value for the customer since the ‘whole buy one give one strategy’ has become most companies’ marketing style. The company exploits the public in that: it is evident that most people like to support a charitable cause so if a company comes forward to support a certain charity organization, then many people will pass the information around.
The perfect marketing strategy is on, and this is no different from TOMS, considering it is a profitable company. Placing a shoe on a child’s feet is a good thing but the child would not be able to put on the shoe when the poor thing is lying in bed hungry. If TOMS was really after helping children then, it would donate half or even three-quarters of its sale to charitable organizations that offer basic amenities to children (Pearson, n.d).
Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2011). Principles of Marketing (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Pearson. (n.d). Chapter 3 TOMS Shoes. Web.
TOMS Shoes. (2011). Corporate Information. Web.