Branding

More Than Just (TOMS) Shoes

TOMS shoes are great. They’re comfortable, affordable, stylish, and above all, support a great cause.

For years, that’s what they’ve been about. Shoes. And for every pair of shoes purchased, they donate a pair to a child in need. It’s a simple formula often imitated but never duplicated. TOMS is and was one of the first retailers to show community commitment and enrichment – proving that there is profitability in philanthropy.

Nowadays, anyone and everyone’s on board. Swing by Wendy’s this weekend for their Father’s Day promotion and $.50 of your Frosty purchase will go toward supporting foster care adoption.

Last week, TOMS finally took the next step and expanded their product line beyond the comfy kicks to a “One for One” brand – now offering (some pretty sweet) sunglasses, just in time for summer.

As quoted on the blog of TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, it’s something that’s been in the works for a while, and is no doubt only the beginning:

Four years ago, when I realized that our One for One model could serve more needs than shoes, it struck me that it was our responsibility to do so, and a real urgency set in. I started gathering a TOMS team together to find out more about sight and how to give more in a new way, responsibly. I went straight to Godaddy.com and registered the eyewear domain. It was like starting all over again. And we have been working on preparing for this day ever since.

It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for TOMS and their brand. The potential is limitless, the possibilities endless. Last week, sunglasses were introduced, next year, who knows?

Because they’ve established the “One for One” identity of the brand, the potential extensions have no limit, and of course, as long as their products look cool, feel great, and fulfill that part of us that craves “giving back”, we’ll continue to buy things up in droves.

The takeaway? Don’t feel restricted by your current businesses offerings. Don’t be afraid to reinvent your identity. And start thinking (right now) about the possible future extensions of your brand and the opportunities you have to experiment in new markets.

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