TOMS, a shoe company that pioneered the one-for-one model – in which a business donates one item to someone in need for every one it sells – rode its socially-conscious approach to success after launching in 2006.
Although the brand never paid for endorsements, its shoes rapidly became popular among celebrities and millennials, who formed "TOMS clubs" on college campuses around the United States.
But Mondy Herndon, VP/Ecommerce, Digital Marketing and CRM for TOMS, told the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Shop.org Conference in Los Angeles that today's young consumers view the brand through a different lens.
"The world has changed. What has been happening at TOMS is that our loyal customers, who started with us ten years ago, have grown up with TOMS and they're still with us ... and they're still buying," Herndon said.
"But the problem is that because the context has changed, the new customers coming of age – the younger millenials and Gen Z – are not really yet fans of the TOMS movement."