Selling The Promise
How do you create distinction between the optics (or the service or the frame selection) you offer and what your competition offers?
We make custom prescription sport lenses in a way that no one else does and for prescription strengths that no other sport lenscrafter will touch.
Plenty of other companies offer sport lenses for customers who fall within light/medium Rx strength ranges and it's difficult for us to communicate to a customer the difference between our work, which are handcrafted and made with years of expertise and optical innovation, and other 8-base sport lenses.
- We explain the craftsmanship, and unique, proprietary optical formulas we use to adapt an Rx for the curvature, frame angulation, etc. but to the layman this is largely too much technical information to process.
- We appeal to raw material superiority and quality of ingredient discussions, though it's really difficult to match the brilliant graphics and trademarked lens material names and full-page ad buys put out by leading sports eyewear companies.
- We can't just tell a customer we're experts, we need the opportunity to illustrate our expertise. Given the opportunity, this is typically where we're able to advance our position and where it's vital to have qualified and highly-skilled staff. Besides press, which is hard to come by and doesn't always communicate precisely as you'd like it to, when we're able to personally engage with a customer either via phone, email or in our shop and to discuss their hobby or their sporting pursuit and to answer their question with expertise, we're able to distinguish ourselves from the competition who are more cubicle farm than custom sport lenscrafting boutique. For most stores and companies reading this blog, the issue is shared: The market is saturated and yet you've worked hard to carve out a specialty within it, now how do you publicly - whether it's local or national - position yourself as such?
Ultimately, aside from initial service, the distinction between us and our competition is only proven in the optics of the finished product. We, like all of us in the optical industry, require our customers to believe in our work and to purchase something whose value and quality is only apparent when they finally look through the lenses. Unlike shoes or cars, but maybe more like a book or a trip, the value of prescription lenses and the true distinction of quality between our sport lenses and another brand's is only revealed in the visual experience, the promise of which we have to sell and which has to be seen for itself.