A great giving proposition. How 'made to stick' meets social gifting.

How do you get a product to appeal to a certain market, get your brand to stick at once, and then make people proud to wear it? One of the better reads I had this year was the book Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath, who also write in Fastcompany monthly. The book focuses on how to make ideas ‘sticky’ and memorable. The authors would love the business model being followed by the company, TOMS Shoes.

The company sells great looking shoes, but then again, so do many cobblers. The key ingredient in the success of the TOMS Shoes brand, is the great social affirmation that comes from buying a pair. For every pair of shoes purchased, the company’s owner, Blake Mycoskie, delivers a pair to a needy child.

Simple. Emotional. Concrete. Winner.

Buy these shoes, and a poor child no longer walks barefoot. It is incredibly sticky, and a great badge of honour for those walking around in the Western world sporting a pair of TOMS.

We deal a lot with the idea of ‘badges of honour’ at World Vision – trying to find a way to give people a feeling that they belong to a tribe when they support one of our causes. The white armband is a good example of this, as ripped from the Lance Armstrong ‘Livestrong’ from years ago. (Do you know they sold 52 Million of those LIVESTRONGS!!!! amazing!). The TOMS messaging will re-appear I’m sure in a world where social conscience is a key pillar of a persons image. By social gifting, in return for purchase of a product, companies can allay their customers world guilt whilst at the same time, create a tribal community feel to their brand. ‘I’m a TOMS wearer…therefore I am.’

Livestong…52 million times!

One thought on “A great giving proposition. How 'made to stick' meets social gifting.

  1. Buddy you can join the new NGO i’m forming it’s called MSF: Marketing Sans Frontiers.

    we go in and fix small businesses’ feeble attempts at marketing up. Give me that 1 colour photocopied brochure and i’ll replace it with wizz-bang flash animated website – booya!

    So far it’s me a copy writer and maybe a lawyer/lobbyist – what do you think? it involves going on adventures in developing economies. are you savvy squiggly?

    you can start by “brainstorming” ideas to cleverly tap funds from the real MSF and at the same time differentiate ourselves from them “in the field”. Where’s the lime?

    so far the suggestions are khaki shorts and pet pigeons… so not hot..

    MSF Brainstrust

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