The TOMS Shoe Model: Meaning or Marketing? – Diary of a Social Venture Start-up – GOOD
Please don’t get me wrong: I applaud the efforts of these companies in adding a humanitarian component to their business. I, myself, am the proud owner of a pair of TOMS. I’m just saying that as with most things, the buy-one, give-one phenomenon isn’t quite as simple as it seems on the surface.
Nice editorial on the buy-one-give-one phenomenon, not only Tom’s. The struggle to do good and make the world a better place takes a bit more thinking than we have been trained to do by corporate marketing. Such actions and choices require research and deeper thought to the ripple of ramifications. For instance:
I’m not saying that shoes or glasses aren’t of value to any particular group of people. But are they more valuable than a new school, or clean water, or livestock, or pharmaceuticals? The truth is, I don’t know. And while I think that TOMS’s Blake Mycoskie and those like him are doing fantastic things, I worry that someone who buys a pair of TOMS will consider their job done. They’ll feel good about their $50 shoe purchase, knowing they’ve just given a pair to a child in need when a donation of half that amount could have possibly helped that child in substantially more impactful ways.
Really smart and important essay. Also, if you have not already done so, subscribe to Good Magazine. It is wonderfully designed and passionate about the things that matter.