Toms Shoes was a bold step in the right direction as far as for-profit companies coupling with a philanthropic alter-ego. The adoption of the buy one, donate one business plan has sparked a movement in consumers fashion choices as of late. It also provides a piece of mind that the purchase a person is making is going to a cause greater than themselves. Its a liberating feeling to be able to know someone can benefit from something as little as buying shoes.
For those who do not know, Toms offers unique looking, canvas material, shoes that are produced at a low cost. When purchased by a consumer, they inform that end-user that there will be a pair of the same shoes donated to someone less fortunate who possibly has no possibility of being able to buy shoes on their own. It is from this “cause-driven” marketing that launched Toms Shoes into a well known, humanitarian, brand.
Humans want to help each other, its a natural yearning to be able to assist those in need. This allows the average person to do so at their convenience, and wear the proof of their donation on their feet everyday. Being able to market a business as a cause related entity allows for them to be viewed in a different light than their competitors. Fundraising becomes easier, even early sales may be directly affected from this charitable label.
In recent years since Toms launched, many business owners and entrepreneurs have followed this role model and used it to implement this strategy in their own firms. Being able to stand back and use Toms business model as a benchmark other companies have boosted themselves and provided great services or products for less fortunate individuals.
To see the original article concerning the combination of business and philanthropy see here.