Complete your assigned Week 1 reading (Chapters 1-4) and then read the article below which corresponds to this week’s discussion topics. Then answer the questions below the article. Use the concepts from the course textbook and the article to support the information in your initial post. It is required you support your initial posts and peer posts with cited information from all the sources you use and provide the all the sources in your reference list to meet the APA style requirements.
How Bombas Used A Mission-Based Model to Stand Out in a Saturated Market
When Randy Goldberg and David Heath heard that socks were the number one requested item in homeless shelters, they had an idea: What if they could start a company that brought awareness to this issue and elevated socks from a fashion commodity to a fashion statement with a mission?
To meet their ambition, Goldberg and Heath founded Bombas, an eCommerce apparel company that uses the One-for-One Giving model. Buy a pair of socks for yourself, and Bombas donates a pair to someone in need via their community partners. They recognized that their cause could have a real impact on issue of homelessness by creating a product that met one of the most basic and important needs of that community. As Heath explains, “When we first started, I stopped to hand a man on the street a pair of socks, and he proceeded to take off his shoes and show me the make-shift socks he was wearing made out of plastic shopping bags and to tell me how crucial a fresh pair of socks were to him. It never ceases to amaze me the big difference we can make, with just a pair of socks.” Once they found their cause, Goldberg and Heath began working to create a product that people felt good about buying. They fostered a company culture of shared values and found ways to build the mission of giving back into everything they did. Since 2013, Bombas has donated more than 9 million pairs of socks and worked with 1200 partners to spread awareness of their cause. This focus on social issues helped Bombas connect with their customers and solidified their place as a mission-based eCommerce brand. They’ve taken these values and transformed them into a $50 million business.
Find a Cause That Helps People Impact Their Community
Mission-based marketing is dependent on a cause that helps customers feel like they’re making a real impact. For Goldberg and Heath that cause was homelessness. After hearing that socks were the number one most requested item in homeless shelters, the pair decided to do something neither had considered before: start a sock company that helps donate to homeless shelters around the U.S. In order to make an impact, Goldberg and Heath knew they’d have to donate a lot of socks. And to do that, they had to make a product that people would keep coming back to. The mission, they figured, won’t matter if the product is crap.
The sock market hadn’t really seen innovation in decades, so it offered a perfect opportunity for Bombas to stand out by creating a better product. Heath explained, “We spent over two years on research and development, to improve upon everything about the commoditized product – from the toe seam and the materials used, to arch support and the way the sock wore and washed.” Interestingly, the socks Bombas sells to the general public, are not the same ones they donate. Their R&D efforts led them to create an entirely different sock for donation, one that specifically meets the needs of people who don’t have the privilege of washing their socks every day. The Bombas donation sock has features like an anti-microbial treatment and reinforced seams, designed in partnership with their giving partners. Bombas used their One-For-One Giving model to donate more than 25,000 pairs of socks to homeless shelters around the United States.
Create an Experience Where Customers Feel Good About Their Purchase
After confirming that they had the community to support their cause, Bombas doubled down on their efforts. There are over half a million homeless people in the United States, with most states reporting that their shelters are at capacity for the majority of the year. Bombas works with over 1200 partners in every state through their donation programs. Partnerships help Bombas reach a wider audience and amplify their message their image as a socially conscious company. They’re passionate about providing not only the best experience for their customers, and the homeless community they support, but also supporting larger network of social causes. Research indicates that 80 percent of consumers are willing to buy a product from an unknown brand if it has strong social and environmental commitments, conscious consumerism is on the rise – and this mean’s that Bombas’ marketing strategy is likely to pay off.
Bombas promotes their network of 1200 giving partners through their website, as well as on social media. They use these posts to engage with customers who share in their dedication to a social cause, as well as reinforce the feeling of charity that is tied to making a purchase through their service. Where homelessness might not affect a customer directly, supporting LGBTQ+ rights or donating to underfunded schools or a local women’s shelter might. It’s important to Bombas that they’re helping their community regardless of its direct involvement with their brand mission. Customers and partners are encouraged to share their purchases or donations using the hashtag #BeeBetter (a reference to their name, which is derived from the Latin word for “bumblebee”).
This grows the network of like-minded people who share in the passion for social change and helps remind customers why they’ve purchased from Bombas in the first place. The act of sharing these accomplishments also reinforces the sense of happiness and achievement that purchasing a pair of Bombas socks provides. Their One-for-One Giving model is only as successful as it has been for Bombas because their customers continue to spread the message to their networks. These social media posts, shares, and conversations all act as social proof of the values the brand promotes.
Bombas built their community by first finding a cause that they were passionate about. From there they were able to create a product that met the needs of the homeless community and turn it into a viable business plan. A successful crowdfunding campaign and media coverage from Shark Tank helped amplify their message of social impact through One-for-One donation.
Hollis, S. & Rice, M. (2019, June 13). How Bombas used a mission-based model to stand out in a saturated market. Jilt. https://jilt.com/blog/bombas-mission-based-marketing/
The Role of Social Responsibility at Bombas
Answer the following questions:
1. Explain social responsibility and how a company’s ethics determine its stance on social responsibility.
2. Discuss how this company implements the One-for-One Giving model as a socially responsible act.
3. Distinguish among the four main approaches toward social responsibility (obstructionist, defensive, accommodative, or proactive) that Bombas takes its stance. Explain why you think so and include examples.
4. How has social media contributed to this company’s success?
To post to the discussion, click on Week 1 Discussion above, then Create Thread. It is required to submit your initial response post to enter the Discussion Forum. If you enter the Discussion Forum prior to submitting your initial response post, you will not earn credit for your post.
Please read each question thoroughly and answer all questions in their entirety in your initial post. It is important to answer all components of the questions in a comprehensive discussion post. One or two sentence responses are not acceptable. If the question states ‘Please explain’ it is required to include this information. Please note it is required to support your responses with cited information from the sources you used.
It is required to respond to two of your peers’ posts. Your peer responses are required to be addressed to the student you are responding to by name. Your peer post responses should include the course concepts. Providing comments or a one or two sentence response is not acceptable. Simply agreeing with your peers or reiterating the information they provided is not acceptable. Your peer posts should include a response that reflects your understanding of the course concepts and provide additional information to add to and further the discussion. You should cite your sources and provide the references for your sources at the end of your posts.
Discussion Posts (APA Guidelines)
It is required you support your initial posts and peer posts with cited information from the Jones & George (2022) course textbook, the Case Study article, and professional sources such as peer-reviewed journal articles found in the Online Keiser Library. You may also use other professional business sources. It is required you provide the sources you used in your reference list to meet APA style guidelines.
It is required to use correct APA 7th ed. format for citing your sources when writing your discussion posts. Please do not provide any direct quotes from your sources. All information used from sources is required to be paraphrased in your own words and cited appropriately. Please include all sources used in the reference list at the end of your posts. In-text citations including narrative and parenthetical citations are required to meet APA style guidelines.
When citing information from the Case Study article cite the reference listed at the end of the article, not the textbook. You should cite the textbook only for the managerial concepts related to the Case Study.
All sources are required to be published from 2012 to present.
Remember, sources should include the course textbook, the article in the above Case Study, peer-reviewed journal articles, and professional sources.
The following sources are NOT accepted: Wikipedia, Wiki websites, blogs, encyclopedias, bibliography.com, online books or textbooks, other books or textbooks, dictionaries, other students’ papers found in online websites, online essays, job search websites, student dissertations, White Pages, videos, and non-professional online websites..’