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Warby Parker or Shinola – What Will Your Millennials Choose?


There is no doubting that Warby Parker has disrupted the ophthalmic industry.

They have certainly raised a lot of money and have gone from e-commerce to developing an increasing number of brick and mortar stores across the country.

While there are certainly some patients who Warby Parker might not be able to service, there are many reasons that millennials find Warby Parker appealing.

In my own personal experience, working in private practice, I find that a majority of the patients who choose to purchase glasses from Warby Parker, are in fact millennials who relish in the glittering allure of “culture” and “for a good cause.”

Will millennials still choose Warby Parker once Shinola enters the game?

We’ll find out soon enough.

Shinola, is a Detroit based company specializing in watches and leather goods. However, founder Tom Kartsotis made it clear that they intend to expand their reach into eyewear in 2017.

Shinola, similar to Warby Parker, is a very cool company, that likes to “do good.”

I first heard of them a year or two ago when I was looking for watches.

Both Warby Parker and Shinola have established identities as companies who serve a greater good than simply selling products. They have created a brand that almost depicts them as charitable organizations.

Shinola’s focus – create jobs in America, allowing American’s to create goods representative of themselves. Help the American people!

Warby Parker’s focus – providing glasses to over a million of the underserved. 

There are many patients Warby Parker can and cannot accommodate.
While the companies do have some similarities, there is a glaring difference.

Shinola isn’t as cost conscious as Warby Parker.

Consumer goods sold by Shinola come with hefty price tags.

One of their best selling watches, comes with a price tag of $850.00.

A pair of their sunglasses will run your millennial patient $179.00.

What will the price point for prescription eyewear be? That is yet to be determined.

Why the high prices?

Well, it is made in America, perhaps that is a reason?

Regardless, it will undoubtedly be interesting to see if millennials who love to “do good” will buy into a brand that does good but costs them more money. I’m not entirely convinced that will be the case!

What are you doing in your own practices to create appeal and allure for millennials? Comment below!

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About Antonio Chirumbolo

Antonio Chirumbolo
Antonio Chirumbolo, OD, is Associate Director of Marketing at CovalentCareers. Antonio's focus is in the world of digital publications and healthcare marketing, with special attention on content creation, management, and development.

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