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.
It might have gone something like this…
[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.)
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.
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.
- Official Bobs page. http://www.skechers.com/shoes-and-clothing/brands/bobs/list This link is labeled as the official Bobs – Sketchers site. There are no Bobs on the page at all.
- Official Women’s Bobs page. http://www.skechers.com/shoes-and-clothing/brands/bobs/product… This is the official Women’s Bobs page, and it doesn’t exist.
- Blog post, rip-off. http://blisstree.com/live/meet-skechers-blatent-toms-rip-off-bobs/
- Business philanthropy, don’t do it. http://businessthatcares.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-not-do-business-philanthropy-like.html
- Stuff Christians like. Yes, even John has something to say about this one. http://stuffchristianslike.net/2010/10/having-our-ideas-stolen-by-pop-culture-finally/
- Digital Mom. This is a very well written article on this topic. http://www.digitalmomblog.com/2010/09/13/toms-shoes-copied-by-skechers/
Read the latest info about TOMS and their new direction of becoming the ONE-for-ONE company.