TOMS does more than make really comfortable shoes. Blake Mycoskie, founder of the shoe brand and also known as the “Chief Shoe Giver”, has been giving shoes regularly to children in need in more than 50 countries including Argentina, India and Uganda.
Many children don’t have shoes to go about their daily activities. When Blake realized this, he had to do something. His plan was to ship one pair of TOMS shoes for every pair sold in North America; a plan he has stuck to as well as a big gesture that is making quite a difference.
For TOMS, this initiative isn’t a way to gain positive media coverage; instead, helping others has been a core value from the start. In Mycoskie’s own words, it’s all about “using capitalism to make the world a better place.”
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming more and more important because of the overwhelming voice of social media. Companies now realize that it’s important to humanize their brand by engaging with their target market rather than talking at them like in the past. Social media has made it clear that companies and their customers need to engag e and keep their relationship transparent and real.
TOMS is a great example of how business is shifting from a sale-focused approach to a socially conscious approach. Will this type of giving back or “corporate social responsibility” last? We think it probably will…or, at least, we hope so.
Can you think of another brand that is making it a point to give back?