Reach for Excellence

Market Opportunity: Spotlight Top Brands of Sports Sunwear

Nov. 9, 2016

Your patients don’t just want sports sunwear–they want specific brands, findings from The Vision Council VisionWatch 2016 Sports Sunglass report suggest. Unaided, respondents were asked what their favorite sports sunglass brand is. The most common brand that was reported was Oakley (22.6 percent of respondents). Ray-Ban was also a common brand with 12.3 percent of respondents saying it was their favorite sports sunglass brand. Around 24 percent of respondents said they didn’t have a preference when it came to sports sunglass brands, and about 20 percent of respondents said they did not know what their favorite brand was.


First, use signage to let patients see that you carry brand names they recognize. If 22.6 percent of people are looking for Oakley, then a patient should be able to easily see the name Oakley in your optical surrounded by Oakley sunglasses. Putting other names they recognize on your signage in your optical just makes this step even stronger.
The Oakley web site has great visuals that could be used in your optical. Here are three examples:

This first example plays on the idea that Oakleys are instantly recognizable.  

Pay attention to the messaging given on these next two marketing visuals. Not only are you showing a brand they recognize, you are using powerful messaging to help educate patients.

If 12.3 percent of people are looking for Ray-Ban, then make it clear that you carry this brand. Here is a visual from the Ray-Ban web site that could be used in your optical.

After making sure you have enough recognizable brand names displayed that patients can easily see, you can also use signage to show other brands that may not be as well known. An example would be Xperio. Here is a visual from the Xperio web site with a powerful message for your optical.


Second, you need to have enough frames displayed to enable patients to feel comfortable that they can find what they need in your optical. Having at least 25 percent of the frames on your frame board as sunglasses is the minimum number you need to show to convince patients there is enough product present for them to find what they want.
Here is a chart from the MBA Key Metrics document that gives helpful frame board information. This chart shows the sweet spot of how many total frames you should display in your optical based on the annual gross revenue of your practice. Keep in mind that last least 25 percent of the total number of frames you display should be sunglasses.


Third, every year, change up the way sunglasses look in your optical. If your optical looks the same every year, then patients who return every year are seeing the same old thing. Even if you’ve changed the frames you carry, if the patient cannot see change, then they assume they’ve already seen all the product you have. To have them answer the question “Can I find here what I need?” they need to see a different look. If you’ve always had your sunglasses on a frame board over in the corner, then make this the year you put a ribbon of sunglasses at eye level across all frame boards or move the frames to a different frame board – do something different to give patients the look of new and fresh.

Does this look inviting to patients if it hasn’t changed in the last five years?

Even this look gets old if it is the same year after year.

One word of caution. Do not overwhelm patients with visual clutter. A marketing adage is “Say more with less.” Use visuals judiciously, but use them powerfully. Create a look in your optical that is professional, clean and inviting while helping to answer the question for patients “Can I find here what I need?” in the affirmative.



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