Toms, Again


TOMS (as in the shoes) is a pioneer in the giving space. Sure, now it seems almost automatic, but when TOMS first hit the scenes twelve years ago their concept was breakthrough.

TOMS essentially turned the Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) promotional offer on its head ... Buy One Give One. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gave another pair to an under served person in the world ... a free pair of shoes to someone who can't afford it. They've now given 86 million people a pair of shoes. Wow!

And now, TOMS is doing it again with a new form of giving. The CEO, Blake Mycoskie, was so alarmed by the recent gun violence near his home in California that he went into immediate action. He's giving $5million dollars to organizations that promote gun control policies and procedures. It's yet again his way of having his brand give back.

Blake says that it's incumbent on businesses to act where lawmakers cannot. Here he is on Jimmy Fallon talking about it (where he also explains where the name TOMS came from!):

He faced backlash of course, which I am sure he was prepared for. But he also received great accolades from those who agree with his thinking, and whom I am sure will now think even more favorably about the brand. Perhaps they'll even purchase a pair of shoes, for whom another pair will be donated.

Circular giving. What's your experience?  JIM

Jim Joseph