Toms: One for One

When a consumer purchases a product intended for personal use, there is always a sense of satisfaction and contentment. We all have felt it and on numerous occasion, are in need of this repeated feeling, which is why shopping therapy exists. Most of the time we never question the product which we purchase and logically assume that the end user is us, but what if that’s not the case? What if cohesively we are giving the  same emotional feeling/experience to another human being during our transaction. Would that entice the consumers in repeatedly purchasing products which benefits others equality as themselves in comparison to standard products?

If your answer is NO then you have no heart!

Unlike the minority, most people feel a different level of contentment that goes beyond the cause of shopping therapy. The need to give and help, spikes personal self-esteam and fills the heart with positive endorphins. This existing humanitarian emotion living in most of us is the cause of succession for companies such as TOMS.

Started in 2006, Blake Mycoskie’s goal was to help kids who were suffering from soil to feet transmitted deceases or denied education because they lacked shoes. He initiated the rise of a profit-organization called TOMS, committing a pair of shoes for every sold. Currently TOMS has marketed its brand internationally with an extended line of shoes amongst other products maintaining their “One for One”  philosophy, and conquering many different aspects of world health.

The brand chooses to deny traditional marketing strategies and uses the budgeted money in supporting product drops as well as employing locals through the entire process. With lack of typical advertisement, TOMS heavily relies on “word of mouth” and its loyal supporters to spread the word. Social media has become the main source of its branding but most importantly, it gives consumers the ability to participate through the entire process, from the point of sale to the visual effect on the second receiver.

With over 2 million likes on Facebook, 2 million followers on Twitter, 51 thousand subscribers on YouTube, and many more supporters through other social media channels, TOMS is able to internationally brand out and effectively communicate its message. Having an active social media community, there is always an activity which TOMS lovers can participate and share their experiences/thoughts. Integrating and promoting communication outside cyber space, is what makes the social media approach so successful for TOMS.

“92% of respondents reported that a positive recommendation from a friend,
family member, or someone they trust is the biggest influence on whether they buy a product or service.” (Paul M. Rand)

Take this blog for an example as a source of social media advertisement. The readers who are aware of the brand, will be reminded of TOMS humanitarian contributions and I’m positive that at least one of you will reminisce on the subject. The rest of you who are unaware of TOMS existence, will become acquainted with its product and philosophy. Depending on your interest towards this subject, further discussions may occur and potentially your first purchase of TOMS.

We are all contributors to branding products we love via social media and TOMS is a great example of how a company with a strong brand awareness, image and values can utilize only social media  in establishing a strong brand position in its market niche and succeed.

You have all just experienced the power of social media by reading this blog!



About Valentina

Interior Designer working towards creating environments that significantly increases social interaction between strangers.
This entry was posted in Branding in social media. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Toms: One for One

  1. florachgn says:

    Great example ! I think we need more brands involve in humanitarian, the social responsibility of TOM’s is very good. And as far as I am concerned, if I buy one pair of shoe and i know that someone in need will receive one, i feel like did something good. Moreover, Tom’s shoes are very good (I already had one pair) , so dont hesitate and go buy some 🙂 !

  2. 04val says:

    The humanitarian aspect of TOMS is the reason why they’ve been so successful through the use of only social media for advertisement. Every purchase gives the buyer a sentimental story to share with others and like you said,”feel like (they) did something good.”

    Also, when you are aware that your purchase is contributing to a good cause, most of us would like to see the end result therefore become submissive to social media and become followers. Subconsciously we join a cycle where we are heavily influence into building brand loyalty and perhaps, “go buy more!”

  3. sophiscam says:

    Thanks for the read! TOM’s seems to have a different approach to marketing, as you mentioned, to many others – setting them apart from the mass (in my opinion a great idea!).

    Do you think that TOM’s by not using the traditional marketing strategies and rather using this money on ‘supporting product drops as well as employing locals through the entire process’ , could be seen as a type of branding? They are making they’re values more apparent with this approach.

    All in all this is a really good read and a good demonstration of what other ways there are of marketing (if you can call it that). I’ve only encountered a couple of other companies ‘marketing’ in a similar way, so TOM’s does have something good in their hands. 🙂

  4. 04val says:

    It’s most definitely a type of branding. I think that taking this approach brands them in two categories; Retail and Humanitarian. This gives them a broader spectrum of consumers to work with since there will always be a functional and/or sentimental purpose for consumer purchases. Also, TOMS has cohesively started an non profit organization called “Friends of TOMS,” where people donate money in support of humanitarian aid TOMS does. It’s clear that the brand exists in both categories and has become very strong because of its interaction between the two.

  5. miausm says:

    What an interesting story and a new one for me! Social advertaisment has done its job; I did click your link and visited the company page. Very nice idea, but I don’t think it’s really a new one, there are many companies giving something to charity or humanitarian work. Maybe here the compination of not using money for marketing rather than giving it to the real business and the very good slogan One for One and the story behind it are the new combination.

    I do hope that the company fullfills its promise and the people running the compnay will have it done the way that they are able to live up to the slogan! Unfortunatelly many times, when there is growth in business, the negative sides (eg. greed) of human beings emerge and take over the humanitary side.

    Nevertheless, I do hope that this company remains true to its origin and it looks like I’ll be doing some TOMS shopping therapy in near future and with this purchase gain these important positive endorphins! Thanks for that.

  6. yngchern says:

    Hey! Thanks for your post Valentina!
    I find your post particularly interesting because I used to work in a retail store that sold toms. I am unsure if they were active on instagram at the time but I’ve been witness to numerous customers who actively took pictures and wrote posts while they were still trying them on in-store. Their posts usually went to instagram or facebook. It was astounding the number of customers who were engaged in their word of mouth advertising, before they had even purchased the shoes. It makes me wonder whether people wanted to share their story, or Toms’? The shoes went on to be so popular that we had a waiting/call list in store especially for Toms. Their power in social media definitely prevailed. Although, the word of mouth advertising may have strayed a bit from their original message, I hope the company hasn’t strayed from its roots.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s