Toms Shoes: Profitable Business That Shares The Wealth

Last night I was doing some channel surfing and came across a documentary on a company called Toms Shoes. I was really moved while watching the CEO speak during this show, and was ultimately impressed by the way he built a profitable company by combining a kind-hearted idea with some very clever business growth strategies. What better way to help someone in need, than to get them shopping for themselves.

Toms Shoes is a Santa Monica, Calif.-based company that has a business model that is standout. It is a perfect example of marketing your business or product in a way that will draw in customers, if not for the product itself, but to support the cause linked to it. What is it? For every pair of shoes that is sold, another pair is given to a child in need. Imagine spending every day of your childhood without a pair of shoes to protect your feet. Not only are you getting a new pair of cool looking shoes with your purchase, you are buying a new pair of shoes for a child who’s never owned a pair. That feeling is priceless. CEO Blake Mycoskie had some thoughts to share in an article I stumbled across today while looking into this further. During a trip to Buenos Aires, Mycoskie learned that many children can’t go to school because they don’t have a pair of shoes. “It just hit me,” he says. “Instead of a charity with handouts, why not create a company where that’s the whole purpose? I thought, you buy one pair of shoes today so we can give one tomorrow. We’ll call them Tomorrow Shoes. No, we’ll call them Toms Shoes for tomorrow.”

This type of idea could be helpful to integrate into any business. If you are an expansion stage company looking for your competitive advantage, well, you’ve just found it in this example. Sometimes the brightest ideas come without warning. Follow your instincts, search for new ways to help your company help others, and you may become more profitable than ever before.

Glenn Michael
Glenn Michael

Former Research Associate at OpenView Venture Partners, Glenn Michael is now the Founder of Key of G Clothing and the Director of Operations of Studio 52.
You might also like ...
Startup News
From Bootstrapped to Category Leader: Lessons from Zapier's Founders

Zapier has come a long way since its founding in 2011. Learn how some of their earliest decisions as founders still hold up, even after years of growth and evolution.

by Wade Foster
Standing Out in a Sea of Enterprise Blue: How Asana Made Work Fun Again
Amanda Linden has been working on solving complex design problems for more than a decade. Over the course of her...
by OpenView
Startup News
Billion-Dollar Bet: The Real Reason Amazon and Google Wanted Twitch

To get the full story behind what made Twitch such a hot acquisition target, you have to go back to the launch of in 2007, the same year Netflix released its streaming video service to the world.

by Mackey Craven