Toms - One-for-one
This week TOMS announced a significant repositioning of their brand – from TOMS shoes to TOMS 'one for one'. With this shift, they have moved from being merely a shoe company, or even a fashion-ware brand, to an initiative based business built around the one-for-one model.
Each sale of TOMS sunglasses will directly help the visual health of a person in a developing country. There are 284 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired, making it the seventh largest health disability in the world. But in most cases it can be prevented or treated, and with 90% of sufferers living in developing countries, TOMS could really make a major difference to their lives – helping people move beyond poverty and giving them a chance to achieve a productive and successful life.
However, it's much more complicated than shoes. Consumers bought into TOMS due to the simplicity of the cause – buying one pair of shoes for yourself will donate a pair of shoes to someone in need. Now, when consumers buy TOMS sunglasses they are not donating a pair of sunglasses, but donating medical treatment, prescription glasses, or sight-saving surgery. As each one of these treatments costs a different amount, TOMS is not as transparent as they were.
Through this development TOMS has the chance to have a larger impact on those in need, but will they manage to maintain their unique position in the eye's of their consumers?