Skechers the athletic and leisure footwear company has unveiled a fresh type of shoes called BOBS, a TOMS canvas shoes look alike. Not only do BOBS shoes look a lot like TOMS with the little tag and everything, but Skechers is also donating a set of shoes to a needy child for each pair of shoes bought.
So, this website is supposed to be about “innovative ideas for business philanthropy” – with the purpose of uplifting other businesses to generate giving programs that can create public benefit. I cannot presume to know what Skechers was considering, but just looking at this scheduled program gives one a lot to learn about how exactly not do business philanthropy.
But first, to be reasonable, it is important to say a few good stuff about the Skechers program. They may be donating shoes to a high quality of income, Shoes4Soles, that provides donated used shoes to impoverished areas all over the world. I wrote about Soles4Souls following the Haiti disaster here. There is no reference to BOBS shoes with this page – which gives me a perfect opportunity to launch into the to begin several “What NEVER TO Do’s.” running a business philanthropy. Don’t tell your customers much about the charity or the cause you are partnering with. When buying BOBS, there is little chance of a customer to learn anything about Soles4Souls and what they do.
The transparency of the business enterprise giving is just as important as the transparency of the non-profit. Soles4Souls is a fabulous organization that provides shoes to disaster victims in impoverished countries and Skechers has lost an amazing opportunity to promote their mission better. To include problems for injustice when I last checked BOBS site, the hyperlink to Bottoms4Souls web page no exists longer. Don’t bother to evaluate your business’ core values.
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Toms shoes started with eyesight to be a philanthropic business caring about the plight of impoverished children in the world. Hard to learn how Skechers developed the idea that they cared about barefoot children. If that was part of their corporate values they might have unveiled a broader program donating other kinds of more useful shoes, like their sneakers.
Don’t take action that makes sense as a good business strategy. Portion of TOMS success is their utterly original and wonderful story that has captured the hearts and thoughts of the public and the press in a huge way. Good stories help inspire others, including your employees, your customers, your investors, and other businesses and brings focus on your cause and to your business. Do make everyone question whether it’s a marketing ploy.