Do good faster series: Four top tips that enabled TOMS shoes to become the sweetheart of philanthropy

TOMS Shoes is the sweetheart of the corporate philanthropy world. The business is the brainchild of Blake Mycoskie, a young entrepreneur that has successfully married his vision for a business, with one for greater good. The concept is very simple:

Every time you buy a pair of TOMS shoes, they will give a pair away to a child in need.

The model provides a few good lessons for those wanting to combine business with doing good:

Give employees something to be more proud of: Mycoskie says that employee morale is phenomenal in his business; ‘how could you be down when you know that everything you do makes children happier?’ he says.

Ride a trend: The recession made a lot of people consider the importance of where their money was going. This led to a huge increase in cause-related marketing, from brands that openly promoted ‘goodness’ in their corporate image.

Sustainable goodness: If TOMS had taken £1m and donated shoes to children, it would have been very good, but a one-time impact fades. The TOMS cause is so intrinsically linked to their business’ purpose, that everything that they do has a bigger meaning and greater good.

Attach a story to your product: Stories spread. Give customers a story that they can tell again and again. People have bought into the TOMS story with their hearts, not just their purse strings.


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