One of my all time favorite brand stories belongs to TOMS.
It’s the story of a man who had an altruistic vision born out of the need to contribute practical solutions to the severe poverty situations in developing countries around the world.
The man behind the brand is Blake Mycoskie, a 36 year old American entrepreneur and author. At TOMS, Blake’s known as Chief Shoe Giver.
Blake was inspired to launch the brand during one of his visits to Argentina where he witnessed kids running in the streets with no shoes.
He had to do something about it. TOMS was his response.
TOMS’ business model is based on a simple premise; for every pair purchased, one pair is donated to a child in need. TOMS stands for tomorrow (ie every shoe you buy today secures a shoe for a needy kid tomorrow). This altruistic story became the bedrock of the company and the story that catapulted the brand to glory.
Their shoes are based on the traditional Argentinian alpargata style, where the TOMS movement began.
TOMS took the campaign digital with their One for One campaign and sponsor effective awareness campaigns such as One Day Without Shoes. Watch:
TOMS also host donation stories on their YouTube channel, which has million of views.
Here’s one of these touching stories:
A Sustainable business model
The TOMS brand story is one of success. Their shoes are sold at more than 500 stores around the world.
Since its launch in 2006, they’ve donated more than two million pairs of shoes in 40 countries and have manufacturing facilities in three.
In addition to it being a sustainable business model, the TOMS story has helped shape the field of social entrepreneurship by providing inspiration to thousands of young entrepreneurs around the world and paving the way for a new disruptive start-up model that’s now been tried and tested.
Nicely done TOMS. You’ve got a fan in me.
Over to you…
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