When does a brand go blatantly wrong? Well, if you heard anything about the Skecher’s BOBs scandal, you will know exactely what I am talking about. This month, Skecher’s launched a new line of shoe that with every pair bought, they donated to a child in need. Skechies was partnered up with Soles for Souls for the project and the cute little espadrale shoe even had a cute, one syllable man’s first name. Well hello BOBs.
Really Skechers? I understand that you are synonmous with tweens, ugly looking footware and the epitonme of uncool, but completely copying an entire footware plan from another shoe is not going to save your quickly sinking ship. BOBs in fact might have just hit an iceberg and hopefully this copycat goes down with the ship. The whole plan was definitely taken from Blake Mycoskie’s philinthropic shoe company TOMs, where every shoe purchased, a pair goes to a child in need. Well at least BOBs follow suit completely down to the design because once you copy, you better copy 100%.
GOOD Magazine poses a great question to Skechers: Did they really think that people would just get the two brands confused and hopefully people would accidentally buy BOBS instead of TOMs? Due to the overwhelming online backlash, Skechers has not only pulled the link, but all also all of the BOBs from the online store. The online comments were mainly directed at BOBs and Skechers completely unoriginal marketing plan and product. Simon Mainwarnring described this situation perfectly as an example showing “a powerful distinction between those that do good because of the meaning behind it and those that do it simply for marketing purposes.”
Although, Mainwarnring does point out that Mycoskie’s himself has stated that other companies should follow his business model. Does that mean that Skechers should be allowed to ripe off TOMs so blatantly (as one blog posted)? But Mycoskie did encourage others to copy his business plan, but was he ever intending for a company to completely copy his product and name? Even if this was accepted by Mycoskie, obviously it wasn’t accepted by the general public, so when will such unoriginal marketing plans ever work in a world set on uniqueness?