These are my top 5 reasons why doctors should only buy independent eyewear:
Independent eyewear is developed by independent companies that is non-licensed and not mass produced by a large company.
1. Don’t Give Your Money to Your Competition
Independent eyewear companies want to grow your business because it grows their business. They often have a commitment not to sell their eyewear online, and to direct interested parties to your practice with their store locators.
Despite common objections, it is possible not to carry “name brands” and still sell eyewear. You must educate your staff, and they MUST buy in. In fact, patients appreciate your attention to detail when it comes to quality and story.
According to experts, branding is a “promised delivered.”1 It’s much easier to sell your brand when the products you sell share the same mission statement as your practice. Branding includes your target audience, their desires, and how your service is different than your competitors.
As a small business owner, your practice should have a brand. You’ve developed a logo, mission statement, and a goal for each patient encounter you have. You want the products in your optical to align. Are you big on customer service? Your vendors should be big on customer service. Do you want the best vision possible for your patients? Your lenses should be the best. Most importantly, you are the owner of an independent practice earned with hard-work and dedication. Don’t you want to work with companies with those same values?
It’s so difficult to find excellent customer service. As independents, we are unlikely to compete on cost so we must excel in service. One of the most frustrating things for me is to call a frame company and be put through a phone tree. We need things resolved quickly and efficiently, and independent frame companies make this happen. When a patient’s temple breaks, we need a replacement sent ASAP. Independent frame companies are like independent doctors, their reputation is important, and service is always reigns supreme.
4. Unique Character
So many frame lines are similar, and have the same shape and same color. Independent lines have their own character, their own charm, and their own stories. They are not common to all people, but decide who they are, and carry that distinction well. The best quality eyewear is so distinctive, one has the ability to look at a piece and know instantly which line it is from.
5. Unmatched Quality
“You’re paying for the name.” We tell patients this constantly. When you buy mass-produced eyewear, you pay for the logo/licensing, and not the quality. 5-15% of profit from sales of the product is estimated to be paid to the licensor.2
I’ve found the quality of independent frame lines much superior to big manufacturers. As with any other item, mass production usually decreases quality. There’s not a difference quality-wise between a $500 frame and a $100 frame with mass production. The difference is the brand name on the temple.
Buy SMART, Buy Independent!
1. McCulloch, Mark. “Branding and Marketing: What’s the Difference?” Marketing Donut. Marketing Donut, n.d. Web. 17 July 2015.
2. Tran, Hung. “Fashion 101: Licensing in the Fashion Industry.” Antwerpsex. Antwerpsex, 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 17 July 2015.