How I’m Using the TOMS Shoes Strategy

TOMS shoes are nice and stylish, but we all know their earthy flair isn’t what made them so colossally popular. The give away a pair of shoes for every pair a customer buys.  And to their customers, they give meaning.

How I’m Adding Meaning To My Leash

My original plan was to give 5% of profits to local animal shelters. This is good and I’m still planning to do this, however, that doesn’t seem to have the same one-to-one connection that TOMS shoes has.  One Pair Purchased = One Pair Donated.

My wife and I have been meaning to do some volunteering at local shelters, and one of the ways you can volunteer is by talking the shelter dogs for walks.  The dogs get much needed exercise and socialization to help them get adopted.  I decided that this would be a great way to give the customer more value and more meaning.

One Leash = One Walk

One Leash = One Walk

I’ve decided that for every leash sold, we will volunteer to give a walk. In the early days of the business, this should be easy to do between my wife and I. The problem with this idea is that it isn’t as scalable as the TOMS shoes model.

I’m thinking we could utilize our network and do our best to keep up with the dog walks in the beginning. I think publicity for the local shelters could get them more walks than we could do personally. So there are some options for trying to scale this idea, but I’ll worry about that problem when we get to that point.

For now, bring on the walks. :)


If you know anybody that might be interested in buying a scrunchie leash (and giving a shelter dog a little exercise) please direct them to


7 thoughts on “How I’m Using the TOMS Shoes Strategy

  1. I really like your approach, social businesses are really the best. As you know, it’s crucial to have resonance with your audience and capture the imagination.

    Rightly, scaling the one walk may be tough. How about donating a dog leash to a shelter? Make a big deal about how your leashes are so much better than what the shelter has to work with. Of course, the leash is more useful for the walker than the dog, but there you go.

    • Yeah, the walk is something I can do right now before I’m profitable. If I’m not able to scale it up, I could always donate something else to the shelters on a per leash basis. Like… One Leash = One Day of Dog Food

      I’ll have to get creative again when the time comes.

  2. Jacob – this is a really cool idea and the lovely dogs must be so grateful. Lovely to hear stories such as these, good luck! I have tweeted this out. You should try and connect with Paul O’Grady the UK chat show host as he absolutely loves dogs and does alot for Battersey dogs home …. he maybe on twitter :-)

  3. Pingback: Editing Photos in Powerpoint | Get Back On

  4. Great read and this strategy is awesome. You are truly helping the community and the dogs! Gonna tweet this out also for the ability to take a large scale idea and apply it to benefit the local community as well as the business. I think this is an important combination of a successful businessman.

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