Tom Shoes is a company with a for-profit component as well as a philanthropic component. The company was established after Blake Mycoskie the C.E.O witnessed poverty so extreme in Argentina that villagers could not afford a pair of shoes. On returning to the United States, Mycoskie had a mission. He wanted to start an organization that would donate a pair of shoes to a child for every pair purchased. Two years after starting the company, Tom Shoes, the business had a revenue of approximately 9.6 million dollars.
This form of business model is unusual, considering that many businesses that the cost of providing shoes to needy children is built into the brand’s sale price. For Tom Shoes, philanthropy is as important as their for-profit component. The customer is thus turned into a benefactor. He or she is able to contribute to charity through the purchase of an essential commodity, a pair of shoes. In the process, the company is able to make a profit and make the world a better place at the same time. Nevertheless, this does not come without challenges. To begin with, Tom Shoes have a premium price. Their prices are higher compared to prices of the same products offered by their competitors.
This paper will explore marketing strategies aimed at achieving a competitive advantage for Tom Shoes, whilst maintaining the philanthropic component. This will be achieved through a marketing plan. Through this plan, Tom Shoes will define a thriving market and move forward actively. Using far-reaching primary and secondary research, Tom Shoes will then define and target the challenges they currently face. With this information, market segmentation will be done a target market formulated, and various promotional and public relation strategies and tactics formulated to reach the target audience.