TOMS Shoes was founded on a philanthropic basis, after Blake Mycoskie (the founder) visited Argentina in 2006. Blake was moved by the level of poverty that he witnessed in the villages in Argentina (“TOMS.TOMS company overview” par. 1). He could not imagine that villagers could not afford a pair of shoes, when he saw children walking bear footed.
He went back to the United States and embarked on a mission of providing shoes to the poor Argentines who could not afford them. This report provides an analysis of the TOMS Shoes marketing project and how its marketing is unique from the competitors.
TOMS Shoes Marketing Project
The uniqueness of the TOMS Shoes marketing projects is its philanthropic component, as opposed to other cause-related marketing. This project stems out corporate social responsibility simple business plan ‘One-for-one’. This marketing concept is based on the premise that for every pair of shoe that is sold, one pair is given out to a needy child. The company manages to increase sales and distribution network of shoes worldwide, through this strategy.
According to Terence (120), product differentiation is an important strategy to increase volume and market penetration. The TOMS Shoes Company successfully achieves this through production of shoes using a simplistic combination of canvas with shoe-soles that are comfortable, and that accord a casual look. This makes the shoes stand out from the popular ked styling shoes (“TOMS.TOMS company overview” par. 6).
TOMS Shoes collaboration with recognizable and leading brands in the United States enables it to achieve voluminous sales in its target markets. TOMS Shoes worked with Ralph in producing a co-branded Rugby shoe. This collaboration still maintained the One-for-one’ business strategy. In addition, the TOMS Shoes Company has worked with companies such as Lauren and Element Skateboard in promotions of one-for-one campaigns, thus increasing its sales volume.
The marketing structure of the TOMS Shoes Company is not dependent on the traditional approaches of marketing such as advertising and billboards. Instead, the company heavily relies on promotional campaigns in marketing its products. The company consistently asks its customers to take their photos, while putting on the shoes from the Toms Shoes Company, and share them with friends and relatives using the social media websites.
This move enables the company to create awareness of its brands and social cause to a wider audience. TOMS Shoes also relies on word-of-mouth in supporting its marketing efforts. Word-of-mouth turns out to be more effective in creating its brands awareness, and making customers believe in the company (Terence 59).
Through the word-of-mouth campaigns, customers usually get excited and eager to participate in events that contribute to increased sales. The customers of the TOMS Shoes Company promote its brand by discussing it with their friends. Finally, the company’s participation in public awareness of the impacts of putting on shoes is a powerful marketing tool for the company. Through these campaigns, it markets its brands efficiently.
The philanthropic approach to marketing by TOMS Shoes enables it to distinguish its marketing project from its competitors. Its’ contribution towards a social cause is a driving force in its marketing strategy. In addition, the company does not market its products through mainstream marketing platforms. It instead uses social media marketing, as well as word-of-mouth to market its product and create brands.
Terence A. Shimp. Advertising, Promotion, and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications, 7th Edition, Thomson/South-Western Publishing, 2007. Print.
TOMS.TOMS company overview. 2013. Web.