Ecommerce Innovators Podcast – Walking Many Paths

Rebekah Koster

September 1, 2022

ecommerce innovators podcast toms

Episode: 8
Guest: Ian Stewart, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at TOMS Shoes

Join us for Ecommerce Innovators, a podcast that brings together the brightest minds in the industry to explore innovative strategies and trends in global ecommerce. We’ll analyze what top brands are doing to accelerate their online success and you’ll hear from top executives who are changing the game for their organizations. Our host is John LeBaron, Chief Revenue Officer at Pattern—the premier partner for global ecommerce acceleration.


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In this conversation, Ian Stewart, CMO at TOMS Shoes, talks about professional innovation and the evolution of TOMS Shoes. Hear about his early career living on the move, working at iconic brands, the CMO puzzle, implementing change at TOMS, and staying ahead in a dynamic environment. Ian is a marketing leader with global and regional experience at TOMS, UGG, Converse, MTV and Coca-Cola. He’s a Board member of Surfrider Foundation, and supporter of the Food Bank of Santa Barbara.

Ecommerce Innovators Episode Synopsis

00:48 About Ian
01:52 Living on the move, problem solving, and career development
04:51 The culture of innovation at iconic brands
07:14 When companies lose the discipline to say, “No”
09:59 Ian Stewart DNA
13:10 CMO puzzle
19:56 TOMS
22:50 Effecting change at TOMS
25:29 Implementation and the evolution of the impact model
32:07 The customer lifeline and staying ahead

As we interviewed Ian Stewart, we learned:

Brands who succeed know their DNA. Ian has worked at many well-known companies and thinks that these brands are successful because they know their DNA. They know what makes them who they are, and they know how to take that consistently around the world. Some advice from Ian—hold onto who you are and when you grow, continue to focus on your DNA to be consistent in all markets. According to Ian, innovation is, “…Know who you are, what’s your DNA, and how to extend it properly.”

Do less, and better. What are the top actions that will make the most difference in your company? Focus on doing less and putting more effort into what truly matters. This also applies to life outside the office. Ian has seen amazing changes as he strives to do less, better.

Create your playbook and follow it. There will always be people who try to copy you or brands who seem to be doing something better. Dig deep into your own experiences and decide on your custom playbook. Be confident in your ideas and stick to your plans. Make decisions because they are the right decisions, and avoid quick decisions based on fear. Then, every so often, go back to your playbook and change it when things aren’t working. Your playbook will probably look different for each brand and company, but it will also change as the world changes.


Listen to the full episode for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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