Grant Son ’94BUS

Grant Son ’94BUS

CEO, Greater Good Ventures

Understanding the Buy-One-Give-One Model

The buy-one-give-one model (BOGO) is a viable way to create commercial and social value, and is a model of social entrepreneurship that has increased in prevalence and power. The BOGO model has helped companies such as TOMS and Warby Parker reshape an industry and its consumers in order to create system-level change and, in doing so, create a competitive advantage for itself.

The model works well if you remember the following:

  1. BOGO works with products such as accessories and jewelry because they provide a way for people to publicly express their unique style and personality, while also provoking conversations that allow people to share the BOGO story with other people.
  2. Most BOGO firms are in the fashion and apparel business, with product prices rarely exceeding $100.
  3. Marketing and economic benefits should be simple and tangible. For example, for every product purchased, one is given away to a person in need. The social impact is clearer, easier to understand, and more personal than donating a percentage of sales.

According to Nielsen, 46% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that have programs that give back to society. The millennial generation, which puts a high value on social issues, along with the BOGO model's simple yet effective marketing message, provide a way for firms to leverage core competencies for a social cause.