toms shoes vs. bobs skechers. for real?! [day 141]

I would have loved to be in the brainstorming meeting when the Skechers people thought this was a good idea…

Exactly copying Toms Shoes, marketing program and compassion program?  Why?  The compassion part is understandable if they are wanting to make a difference.  Not if they’re just wanting to compete to make a profit.  Compassion marketing is the hot thing these days, as I blogged on a couple of weeks ago, and I’m not against it, nor am I against Skechers making money, but their motive seems shady to me.

Brainstorming meeting.

It might have gone something like this…

[marketing dude] “Toms has a great concept and they’re selling a lot of shoes.  We need a product line to compete with them.”

[design chick] “Why don’t we make some fun canvas type shoes.  We can make them in many styles and colors.”

[other marketing guru] “Yes, Toms is doing this great thing where they give a pair of shoes to someone in need for each pair someone buys.”

[everyone] Hours later…  no revolutionary ideas. 

[marketing dude] “So we will compete with Toms by doing exactly what they are doing.  Why change a good thing?  It’s working for them, let’s just do the same thing.  Why are we spending all this time brainstorming?”

[design chick] “I agree.  If we change the shoe design by 10%, it qualifies for a new design anyway.  Changing the Toms tag to Bobs or Skechers accounts for 3%.”

[annoying marketing girl that always speaks her mind] “Shouldn’t we try for something more original?  It feels like we’re copying them 100%.”

[quiet no-conflict designer guy] (slight nod of his head, although no one knows what he’s nodding at)

[everyone, except annoying marketing girl] “Then it’s decided.  Let’s do exactly what Toms is doing.”

[Bob the admin guy] “Let’s call them Bobs.”  (He was note-taking, and although no one heard him say that, it was added to the plan and nobody questioned it.)

Lucky me.

So the shoe image I found pictured here is called Lucky Me.  Would that be because the person wearing them is lucky enough to afford new shoes?  Or maybe it’s a company thing and they’re feeling lucky because Toms hasn’t sued them for copying them?

Toms Shoes are named from the word tomorrow.  Bobs?  Okay, so the admin guy probably didn’t name these, or did he?  One definition of the word bob is a short, jerky motion.  That kind of defines Skechers response to Toms shoes here.

My point?

We all know I can’t shop retail with my challenge going on, and I don’t own a pair of Toms.  If I wasn’t doing the challenge, Toms is one company I would monetarily support and feel good about my purchase.  Here’s my list of points:

  • Support good. If any company is doing good with their profits or doing compassion work, support them.  I’m glad Skechers is doing a great compassion program, my issue with them is that they are just copying Toms.  Be creative people!
  • Don’t support copycats. I like Skechers and I have had a few pairs of them.  When I broke my foot, I had a choice of Skechers or an orthopedic shoe.  If you’re going to spend the money on this concept, purchase from the original people, not the copycats.
  • Skechers are not evil. I don’t dislike this company, however I do think they made a really stupid decision to copy Toms.  Dumb, really, really, dumb.
  • Paradox of choice. If they stuck with their style and added a compassion line, then people might buy two pairs of compassion shoes, supporting both companies instead of having to choose which company to buy the exact same shoes from.

What’s your perspective?  You know, if you had to walk in their shoes?

Links & interesting facts.

I found a few blogs on this topic, and some were really good.  Also, some web links.  Just thought I would share.  :)

Read the latest info about TOMS and their new direction of becoming the ONE-for-ONE company.

41 thoughts on “toms shoes vs. bobs skechers. for real?! [day 141]

  1. Pingback: BOBS and TOMS – Skechers’ Big Plagiarism « Christ the Center

  2. No offense but…WHO CARES!?!

    I mean really, this is absolutly nothing new. Stuff like this has been going on since the beginning of buisness. Keds made the first “tennis shoe” so guess we should not purchase any other tennis shoe from any other company. Nike and Reebok have been “copying” each other for years. Go down a cereal isle at wal mart sometime. Honey nut cheerios or Honey “O’s”.

    Lets stop and think about this. Sketcher saw a product they liked….they saw a charity they could support. They thought it was a great idea and decided lets roll with it. Yes it’s a bit cheeky and lazy but nothing new. Now, lets think about it Toms….where are they sold? I have no clue. Sketchers…where are they sold? Damn near everywhere. Think of how many shoes are now going to be given away. Kuddos for Sketchers to use their MUCH more powerful merchendising machine for a good cause. Yes it’s already being done by a much smaller company but I’m fairly certain MS donations were happening before Jerry Lewis grabbed hold of it and no one complained about him taking the reins.

    So grats for Toms coming up with the idea and Sketchers for expanding it to many more people. Buy Toms or buy Bobs doesn’t matter (honestly they look like baggy Vans to me) just know your doing good either way.

    ~Ozz~

    • i most definitely agree. I mean the ugg boots? haha people. just please stop getting all BLEH about it because its actually doing good. The whole point is to help people and thats what it is doing. Stop getting on the bandwagon of what others are saying. Think of the big picture yes?

    • people like you are the reason companies like this get away with it. and it’s SKECHERS…there is no t. if you are going to support a bulls*** company for a reason that makes no sense…at least know how to spell it! it does make a difference because i work in the industry and here’s a little secret…Skechers will NOT give away 2 pairs for every pair sold. I know this for a fact bc I know people who work there. Why would people not choose TOMS? At least they are original…I guess you are what’s wrong with America. You don’t care about the “why” only the “what” for how much. Think twice please…

      • its not really the style. I’m a proud TOMS owner and I can tell you its not the style part of it. Its putting those shoes on and thinking “Wow thanks to me a kid somewhere gets a pair of shoes” I actually got to choose which country my pair went to (I sent it to Uganda). Does Sketchers do that? No. Its really the concept. Its alright to copy but then to point blank steal the concept too…wow.

        • I’ve heard the price point is about the same as well. I can’t buy a pair of TOMS unless I find them used due to my one year of no retail shopping. I hope to have a pair someday. :) I love what they’re doing. I’m at SXSW this week and the founder of TOMS is the keynote speaker on Tuesday. I can’t wait!

  3. Hey Jody,
    I loved your brainstorming script about how Skechers “might” have come up with the idea. The thing is, had Skechers followed the brainstorming and design principles of one of the best design firms in the world, Ideo, they could have truly come up with their own unique innovative idea for business philanthropy. Hey look, of course companies copy ideas all the time, but it’s the really successful ones that are the innovative.
    The only problem with BOBS is that it such a missed opportunity to do good by doing something smart.
    I love your blog, thanks for your comment on my post, and the mention of my blog.

  4. Haha! I know who Ozz izzzz.

    Yes, that is all I got from this post. I am operating on 12% brain capacity today due to lack of sleep.

    I can’t afford either pair of shoes….I gets my shoes at Wallyworld, usually on clearance…I know! I am an ICON of fashion….

    • Me too! My science teacher said it probably takes 2 dollars to make a pair and toms charges you 50.00 bucks. At least skechers cost less. I don’t know much about any of the companies but through friends and a lot of other girls at school don’t really obsess over the fact that they helped a less for fortunate child get a pair of shoes. I don’t own a pair of either but have to say i like bobs better! <3

  5. @tuggeyinfrisco shhhhhhhh or I shall have to keel you muahahaha

    I want a pic of you in a formal black dress. I think you should wear a tom and a bob *nod*

    ~Ozz~

  6. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes

  7. Pingback: Move over TOMS and BOBS | Mom With A Minivan

  8. Pingback: “jodys”, my new line of shoes | digitalfondue.org

  9. Overheard at an industry Footwear Party:
    Greenburg to Blake M. : ” Hi, I am the big cheese (aka BOB) at Skechers and I would like to buy TOMS”
    Blake M to Greenburg: “TOMS is not for sale, it is my passion and mission to make the world a better place”
    Greenburg to Blake M: “No, you don’t understand, if you won’t let me buy you, I will put you out of business”
    Blake M to Greenburg: “Why would you do that?”

    Serial rip off artists that build law suit costs into their business models really don’t deserve to stand in the same sentence with anyone from TOMS. Do you think that any of the staff at Skechers or the owners can be bothered to actually follow through on the donation part of their rip off model? The only thing that is getting donated here is their last shred of integrity. When will it end?

  10. I’ve looked on alot of websites and none of them seem to have this “BOBS”. On TOMS shoes they have a tag that says TOMS on the side but I have seen “BOBS” with both BOBS and SKETCHERS on the side and they both look different. I have to see it to beleive it. Please someone send a link or put how much they are. I DON’T THINK BOBS ARE REAL. :) If they are then I am disappointed in Sketchers in stealing money from kids! :(

  11. Frankly I see nothing wrong with the Bobs-(Lucky Me). I tried for over 9 months to get my daughter a pair of Toms and was not able too. I love the concept and owns a few pair myself but, Toms stay very limited in smaller sizes, therefore leaving very limited or no options for littler girls. I was very happy to see the Bobs and bought her both the black and silver and she absolutely loves them. Until someone over at Toms’ marketing department wakes up and notices that there is a market for littler girls, it will leave use no choice but continue to purchase the Bobs.

    • I haven’t tried to buy any, as I’m doing a year of no retail shopping. I had no idea that Toms were hard to get. Bob’s are going to good causes, so that part is good. Thanks for your feedback. :)

    • I think it’s the compassion part that makes this different. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s just how it is. Companies have been copying products since the beginning of mass production. I think it’s the fact that they’re trying to take business away from a company who’s doing a really great thing. Skecher’s could have done that without an exact copy of the shoes, using the same goodwill concept but with a non-competing line of shoes. Then everyone wins. Again, not judging right or wrong, but if I was in the market for shoes like these, I would buy the Toms. Thanks for your feedback. :)

      • And everyone is saying its so cool that both the companies want to help other kids have shoes. I guess you would buy them just so you can have the flag huh?

  12. People really surprise me sometimes. I am under the impression that Tom’s shoes was not created in order to be a brand name and everyone is now only concerned with brand names. Calling something like bob’s shoes a “knock-off” is sad because sketchers are only following the lead of a successful campaign such as Tom’s. More children are getting shoes that need them. People should be less concerned with a brand name and more concerned with charity, which is the reason Tom’s shoes began in the first place.

    • My problem with Bob’s is not that they are helping kids in need by copying TOMS, nor is my problem that they are copying the successful campaign. My problem is that the shoes look exactly like TOMS, which means they are try to compete in an unhealthy way. They could do the one for one model like TOMS, but with an original shoe style. They obviously can design original shoes, as they became well known for doing just that. Why did they need to copy TOMS? If they had designed something different, then people would probably buy a pair of TOMS and Bob’s and the goodwill mission would be doubled. Thanks for your feedback. :) Jody

  13. Pingback: top-ics [day 356] | Rethink Good

  14. I think that Sketchers needs to come up with a more original idea they copied Ugg boots and Toms. My personal opionion is that Toms look 100% better than Bobs as well as the Uggs! Sketcher should be sued and needs to stop being lazy. I will not put a pair of Sketchers on my feet they look cheap and not fashionable- if you pay $20 for some shoes your going to get $20 quality. Also, I do NOT belive they will give a pair away, they’re going to make a huge profit off of the Dollar General quality Bobs because people tend to lean toward the better deal so the customer will never know if good is coming out of their purchase because they DO NOT verify that they do. I myself will not be ripped off. These shoes will most likely become useless after so many week:) so bottom line is it matters that Sketchers is ripping off millions of people. I am a HUGE fan of Toms, Sperrys, and Uggs and I won’t settle for less some may call me a spoiled brat some may say I have good taste in fashion but I’m just me and no one can change my opinion

    • If you make a pair of 20 dollar shoes and sell them for the same amount you get no profit. They probably make them for less.

  15. I agree with fashionista. I love toms, sperry’s and uggs. I own them all. I refuse to put bobs on my feet. Sketchers are so cheap and unoriginal. I mean i have no problem with them using one for one but i don’t want to turn on the tv and see sketchers selling shoes the look exactly like toms with $20 quality. And haley, bobs are knock offs. And shannon umm where have you been? Go on the toms website and in big bright letters you will see the kids line which was always there. You should wake up. And ozzmodous umm no one wheres sketchers, execpt like 4 year olds. And nordstrom, saks, and toms.com sell them. I guess you aren’t that into fashion. I have not seen someone wearing sketchers since prek. People who said no one complained about the ugg copying (and by the way fuggs are so ugly) should shut up because fuggs dont look or feel like uggs. I haven’t seen anyone wearing bobs(that name is so unoriginal) and i have seen so many wearing toms including me. If you buy bobs must enjoy poor quality and aren’t use to luxary.

  16. Pingback: Communications FastTrack: BLOGGING | Jody Wissing

  17. This is just a comment about Skechers. I bought them when my kids were little. They quickly fell apart. I bought them again and they again fell apart — well before any other shoes they wore. Never again. Skechers were a waste of good money. The shoe industry is pretty well known for ripping each other off but it does seem pretty lame to purposefully choose to rip off someone that’s trying to do something worthy.

    • I’ve had a few pair over the years. When I broke my foot, the doctor actually suggested them in place of the orthotic shoe. It saddens me that they’re all about the money and trying to tap into every market possible, with no regard to ethics. TOMS is a for profit model, but they have a big heart!!!

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