Nancy J. Engelhardt, PhD
Bixbee Brings BOGO to Backpacks
by Amber Wiseburn (Guest Blogger)
Many companies have followed in the footsteps of Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms, by building awareness and concern about a cause using the buy-one give-one model. Apparel may be one of the more popular industries adopting this model, but others have also followed suit. Bixbee, a brand selling backpacks, lunch boxes, and duffles, adopted the buy-one give-one model in 2011. According to their website, Bixbee (2017) was created to help kids reach their potential and make a lasting impact through better educational opportunities. Their first campaign was called “Schoolbags for Kids” (Bixbee, 2017). The most fascinating fact about the founder, Luis Garcia, was that he spent “two decades designing products for luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and Sephora prior to wanting to do something with his life that would make a lasting impact” (Bixbee, 2017). Coming from luxury and well-known brands, for Luis to create a company that was the complete opposite, had to take a great deal of planning and marketing to rebrand himself. Bixbee (2017) describes today as “making unique bags and accessories for kids and their social impact continues to spread around the world.” With a new company like Bixbee, Luis can educate the world on the circumstances that he was subjected to while volunteering in orphanages and in schools in the world’s poorest countries. He can do this by telling a story through his brand, company, and products.
Blake Mycoskie developed a concept in which he could build awareness and support a cause simply by selling a durable product. As companies begin to follow this model, it is important to evolve the company and the vision to stay relevant and different. As Marquis and Park (2014) stated “the buy-one give-one model has become widely popular, but serious questions have been raised about its long-term viability.” Toms was one of the first brands to succeed with this model, and they were also one of the first brands to prove that they could develop a different product to support a different cause. “Having multiple companies in a market segment, such as shoes or eyeglasses, will make it more difficult for consumers to differentiate among competing buy-on give-one companies” (Marquis & Parker, 2014). To follow suit, Bixbee developed the business model, but thought outside of the apparel industry to educate the community. Bixbee has made a huge difference to children all over the world. But what can they do next to raise awareness about another cause? Partnering with a new cause or creating a new campaign will not only allow the brand to stay relevant, but they can evolve into something even greater, and raise an awareness that can reach a bigger group of consumers than they originally planned.
Bixbee. (2017). Bixbee: One Here One There. Retrieved May 14, 2017, from http://www.bixbee.com/our-story-1/
Marquis, C., & Park, A. (2014). Inside the Buy-One Give-One Model. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 28-33.