Tom’s Walks the WOM

Tom’s Walks the WOM

Ben at Church of the Customer and John at Brand Autopsy have kindly shared the remarkable story of Tom’s Shoes. In a nutshell:

Strategy: Passion + a Simple Mission

For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One

Ton Shoe’ing a Baby

Advertising Budget: $0. To quote the founder, “It’s hard to do advertising in a personal way” Marketing dollars are spent on getting involving customers in the mission – truly cutting the marketing clutter. In an MSNBC interview, a retailer explains that the shoes started selling after posting a picture of the shoes being handed out and the mission over the display.


  • 60,000 pairs donated and a goal of 200,000 by the end of 2008.
  • People who think the shoes are ugly on first glance (including me) purchasing them and breathlessly waiting for them to arrive.
  • A growing army of volunteer marketers who want to be asked about their ugly shoes so they can tell the story.

I am equally excited about the shoes, mission and conversational capital that I just bought!

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