Tome Shoe will use both demographic and psychographic segmentation to define its target market. Demographically, age will be used as the element of segmentation. In this case, young men and women aged 14 to 25 will be chosen. This is because this group is more likely to buy the trendy, fashionable and rather highly priced Tom Shoes since they have lesser economic obligations compared to older married people. Psychographic segmentation will be used to supplement demographics. This will provide a better understanding of the target market’s personality and lifestyle profiles. It will divide this group of young people further according to their attitudes, interests and opinions. The primary target market will constitute young men and women aged 18 to 25 years. This group will in turn influence the secondary target market constituting their younger siblings aged 14 to 18 years.
Tom Shoes will be positioned as a brand that has an impact on one’s lifestyle to both existing and new customers. The company will strive to build an emotional attachment with the brand, especially among young people who are usually involved in an array of activities including charity work. Research shows that volunteerism among the youth aged 25 and below went up by 25 percent from 2002 to 2005. Tom’s customers will know that they are not just purchasing a pair of shoes, but also striving to help another child in need. Tom Shoes’ will thus be positioned, not as shoe, but as a lifestyle of helping others. Therefore, Tom Shoes should come up with two main target markets, primary and secondary.
Primary target market: this will include men and women aged 18-25 years. This is because Tom Shoes are popular among this age group and creating brand loyalty among this group will ensure that they will continue purchasing Tom Shoes. This group consists of men and women with a high school degree, who are either enrolled to college or currently employed. These are people who are creative trend setters and are usually up to date with electronic and online trends. Mostly they are self-expressive and have a sense of individuality. They are mostly involved in activities like sports, music, dance, and charity work. These young people are always on the go. They have a fast-paced lifestyle hence the need for an everyday shoe that defines who they are.
Secondary target market: this will include young men and women aged 14 to 18 years. This group is expected to be influenced by the primary target market. They represent the younger siblings to the primary target audience. The most important reason why Tom’s shoes should target them, however, is because they are the future or the next generation of Tom Shoes brand. In addition, they share similar life attitudes and values with their older brothers in the primary target market, and have the ability to influence others.
Tom Shoe will target to send the message to its customers that Tom shoes represent more than just a shoe; it represents a lifestyle of helping others, in addition to the shoe’s, design and style. Market research shows that, when people are given a choice between two similar brands, 90 percent will choose the brand that supports a cause.
Product description and branding
New Shoe lines will be introduced, with no changes to the existing Tom product line. This will include seasonal lines and lines in partnership with other brands. Meeting the need of being comfortable and durable, and yet fashionable, will be Tom Shoes’ strategic vision. Consequently, product packaging and presentation will be important for the strategic success of Tom Shoes. To achieve this, for instance, when one purchases a pair of Shoes they will receive a Tom’s flag or sticker, in addition to receiving the pair, of Shoes in a nice box.
The price of Tom Shoes will remain unchanged. The current price ranges from as low as 44 dollars for the classic Alpargata to 98 dollars for a wrap boot or vegan Shoe. These prices send the message to the consumer that Tom Shoes are affordable and offer value for the consumer’s money. Nevertheless, Tom’s Shoes will be more expensive in comparison to similar Shoe products in the market by competitors such as Sketchers. However, the price will contribute to the overall company strategy. By purchasing one pair of Tom Shoe for as low as 44 dollars, the customer will essentially be buying one pair and donating one pair to charity. The customer also establishes a relationship with the brand on purchase because of its uniqueness.
Place or Distribution
Tom Shoes will be distributed to main retail stores around the country and abroad such as Neiman Marcus, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and others. In addition, TOMS.com will offer a web-based store. In addition, other retail websites like Zappos.com, Karmaloop.com and Amazon.com also will sell Tom Shoes.
The main promotional tool that will be employed is guerilla marketing. This will involve low-cost unconventional methods like graffiti, flash mobs and sticker bombing. This concept will create a thought-provoking, engaging and unique concept, which will in, turn create a buzz and turn viral especially among the young people. Another promotional tool to be used is mobile advertising. Tom Shoes has launched an iPhone and Android application. This will also target social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
This will incorporate new tactics that will get the consumer more involved in the brand, for example, “campus clubs”. Campus clubs already exist on campuses like the University of Michigan and New York University. Since the target market mostly consists of young people in colleges, Tom Shoes will reach out to various colleges asking them to start campus clubs instead of having students apply to start one.
Tom Shoes is a company with a for-profit component as well as a philanthropic component. The company was established after Blake Mycoskie the C.E.O witnessed poverty so extreme in Argentina that villagers could not afford a pair of shoes. On returning to the United States, Mycoskie had a mission. He wanted to start an organization that would donate a pair of shoes to a child for every pair purchased. Two years after starting the company, Tom Shoes, the business had a revenue of approximately 9.6 million dollars.
This form of business model is unusual, considering that many businesses that the cost of providing shoes to needy children is built into the brand’s sale price. For Tom Shoes, philanthropy is as important as their for-profit component. The customer is thus turned into a benefactor. He or she is able to contribute to charity through the purchase of an essential commodity, a pair of shoes. In the process, the company is able to make a profit and make the world a better place at the same time. Nevertheless, this does not come without challenges. To begin with, Tom Shoes have a premium price. Their prices are higher compared to prices of the same products offered by their competitors.
This paper will explore marketing strategies aimed at achieving a competitive advantage for Tom Shoes, whilst maintaining the philanthropic component. This will be achieved through a marketing plan. Through this plan, Tom Shoes will define a thriving market and move forward actively. Using far-reaching primary and secondary research, Tom Shoes will then define and target the challenges they currently face. With this information, market segmentation will be done a target market formulated, and various promotional and public relation strategies and tactics formulated to reach the target audience.