TOMS Shoes PR Campaign
IMC 618, Week 3
March 25, 2014
Table of Contents
Situation Analysis 2
Critical Issues 2
Core Problem 3
Campaign Goal 3
TOMS shoes was founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006 based on the simple line: One for One. With every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. The TOMS mission statement translates to utilizing the individual consumer’s buying power in order to benefit the greater good of the world. The TOMS mission statement transforms consumers into benefactors and allows TOMS to grow a sustainable business that’s a for-profit donation.
While TOMS is a widely distributed brand and is well known, the brand is situated in a business model that is easily copied and the product is easily mimicked. This allows other brands and businesses to earn a profit for the ideas that TOMS started. This also allows for consumers that hadn’t previously heard of TOMS to go to the competition thinking that TOMS was a “knock-off” rather than the original. This can be due to a lack of awareness and sales to consumers.
TOMS is facing a direct copycat in BOBS by Skechers and as a result potentially are losing sales and market share to the company. While TOMS has been around longer, BOBS was created and backed by a notorious brand that was already well established in the shoe market (Kuchle, 2012). TOMS also is lacking in advertisements and endorsements. Opponent brands advertise regularly and have celebrity pairings or endorsements but TOMS chooses to focus on word of mouth, social media, and sparingly use traditional media marketing.
Many consumers wonder if TOMS is really about the cause or if they are out to differentiate themselves in an over saturated marketing in order to improve sales. In a recent study, 83 percent of Americans stated that they wished brands would support a cause, and nearly 41 percent stated that they purchased a product due to the fact that it was associated with a cause (Carmichael, 2012). Currently BOBS are claiming to donate two pairs of shoes for every one purchased over that of TOMS (Austin, 2010).
TOMS currently has minimal advertising. Although they are growing as a company, they are very lackluster in terms of advertisement. TOMS does not use any traditional media or guerilla marketing aside from a television commercial done with AT&T in 2009 and a few commercial spots in 2012. TOMS does utilize print advertisements in magazines and new wave media of advertising on social media and the Internet. TOMS also faces the issue of consumers not feeling as though they are authentic in their message. Consumers wonder if the brand is actually in it for the cause, and a huge proponent of this argument is that they use local labor and also could be seen as stealing business from local suppliers and stores in the countries they are supplying the free shoes to. TOMS...