The Broken “Buy-One, Give-One” Model: 3 Ways To Save Toms Shoes


(Illustration via GOOD)

Toms has built a popular brand around the buy-one, give-one model. But two critical flaws in that model threaten to undo its social impact and business successes.

The second flaw: From a business perspective, Toms is at risk. Our research with leading consumer-facing companies has shown that there is a finite and unpredictable market for the feel good value proposition—consumers are fickle when it comes to committing to brands based on nonfunctional attributes. Toms’s core value to its customers is being replicated by an increasing number of companies who can promise the exact same return: feeling good about your purchase. Without a stronger, more differentiated and less replicable product offering, Toms will likely fall out of fashion in the coming years.

Continue to full story at – I’d also encourage everyone to read the comments and participate in the discussion directly below the original piece at There’s some excellent points being articulated on both sides of the One for One debate.