You may have heard about the latest knockoff. No, it’s not luxury brand; it’s a shoe brand founded on the idea of giving away shoes for children in need around the world. Sketcher’s release of BOBS shoes elicited a lot of strong opinions, many of which were focused on the company’s complete lack of creativity. The shoes, the name, the giving program are all blatantly similar to the model TOMS Shoes has used to give away over a million shoes in 23 countries (sidenote: props for their interactive Giving Report on Facebook).
The other side of the argument is that, at the end of the day, more kids are getting shoes, right? Although at times it can be subtle, it turns out that consumers actually need to believe a company cares about a cause to go along with their cause marketing. Sketchers appears to have pulled the giving campaign and the fate of their BOBS brand is unknown. The lesson to be learned here is that you can never underestimate the value of authenticity.