2.22.2009

Change the World One Pair at a Time


Inspired by Todd Blog’s Weekend World Change where he highlights an easy way to make a difference in somebody’s life, and then encourages his readers to do the same, I thought I would post about my shoes. Makes sense, right?

Let me clear this up.
I wanted to share my passion for the company TOMS. TOMS sells shoes and for every pair purchased, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need. Their mantra is One for One. It is a very clear and compelling story and cause. The fact that there are people in the world that are living without something as basic as shoes seems very tragic to me. It’s really something that is very hard to comprehend when, for your whole life, shoes have just always been there.


As this is a marketing blog (and an infrequently updated one at that), I cannot help but point out one of the many things that TOMS is doing right here. They are essentially engaging not just in cause marketing but in a cause business model. Where many of these types of ventures or projects go wrong is in showing the final impact of the contribution.


For example, after I bought my pair and told a few friends about them, more than once my excited ramblings about a little shoe company giving away free shoes was met with, “But how do you know they are really doing that?” Seemed a bit callous of a question to me, but they have a point. Many times we are asked to give to organization with no real knowledge of how the money will be spent. I kind of understand why people need proof.


TOMS has done a good job showing the impact. On their Web site and YouTube channel, you can view videos and look at pictures from their Shoe Drops, where they have delivered the shoes to places like Argentina, South America and here in the U.S.A. In fact, if you are so moved, you can go on a Shoe Drop. See some of the results:


Pictures of a South Africa Shoe Drop

Video of an Argentina Shoe Drop

Video of an American Shoe Drop


So help change the world while buying a pair of fleece-lined cords. And remember, in cause marketing you have to show the follow through to really inspire people.

2 comments:

Eric said...

What a great story. Can you imagine if every company in the world had a 'one for one' mantra?

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