LUXURY EYEWEAR & SUNWEAR / PAGE 6
EASY TO CREATE OFFICE VIDEOS / PAGE 16 December 2012 • Volume 6, Issue 60 • www.ECPmag.com
ICARELABS.COM WK 6WUHHW 1RUWK Â&#x2021; 6W 3HWHUVEXUJ )/
PhotoViewsâ&#x201E;˘ lenses are an incredible advance over the previous generation of photochromic lenses like SunSensorsÂŽ, offering better all-around performance with 8x faster fade time and full direct UV protection. PhotoViews lenses should be your go-to option for price-conscious patients that are ready for photochromic lenses. PHOTOVIEWS 5 MINUTES
FADE TIME 80% Dynamic Range, minutes
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Vol. 6 Issue 60
LUXURY EYEWEAR Appeal to your most fashion conscious patients by offering the latest in luxury eyewear and sunwear. by ECP Staff
CREATING INFORMATIONAL VIDEOS A simple, how-to guide on how to create an in-office loop of informative internet videos.
by Anthony Record, RDO
MULTIPLE PAIR SALES TACTICS Applying an organizational approach to multiple pair sales is a recipe for success. by Renee Jacobs, OD, M.A.
EYE CARE & NUTRITION Offer your patients the best care by discussing nutrition and how it can affect their vision. by Corrie Pelc
GIVING BACK Learn about some of the wonderful charities available that help unfortunate people to see. by Ginny Johnson, LDO, ABOC
SELLING LUXURY The recovering luxury consumer is an important demographic for the diversified dispenser. by Lindsey Getz
On The Cover: Revolution www.RevolutionEyewear.com 1.800.986.0010
Departments EDITOR/VIEW .....................................................................................................4 INDUSTRY PROFILE........................................................................................28 TECHNOLOGICAL ECP...................................................................................36 SECOND GLANCE ............................................................................................38 MOVERS AND SHAKERS.................................................................................40 INDUSTRY QUICK ACCESS............................................................................42 ADVERTISER INDEX .......................................................................................44 LAST LOOK .......................................................................................................46
Courtesy of Eastern States Eyewear / Ultra Palm
EDITOR VIEW Jeff Smith
Shame from Knock-Off Frames
HE IMPACT OF COUNTERFEIT EYEWEAR and (especially) sunwear on the industry has been well-documented. Many people have no qualms about purchasing designer knock-offs for a tenth of the retail price. But aside from the questionable quality of such goods, there may be other intangible costs. According to an academic study, buying counterfeit goods may actually make people feel fake themselves, and can increase the likelihood of them behaving dishonestly in other ways. Francesca Gino of the University of North Carolina, Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, and Dan Ariely of Duke University ran experiments in which women were given the same pair of Chloe sunglasses. Some of the women were told that their pair was counterfeit and others were told their pair was authentic. The scientists then studied the effects of wearing a knock-off pair of sunglasses on the participant’s actions and view of themselves, as well as their view of others, all through a series of tests. Compared to those who were wearing real sunglasses, the women who wore the fake sunglasses cheated more and were much more likely to view the other women being tested as dishonest and unethical. “We first found that wearing purportedly counterfeit sunglasses caused people to cheat more on tests when given the opportunity — both when they believed they had an inherent preference for counterfeit products and when they were randomly assigned to wear counterfeits. Indeed, we found that the impact of counterfeits extends even beyond the individual, causing individuals not only to behave unethically, but also to see the behavior of others as more unethical. Finally, we investigated the mechanism underlying these effects, determining that wearing counterfeits causes people to feel inauthentic and that these feelings of inauthenticity — the counterfeit self – drive unethical behavior.” Gino, F., Norton, M.I.,
Ariely, D. The Counterfeit Self: The Deceptive Costs of Faking It
I guess the moral of this story is that people’s sense of right and wrong influences the way they feel and behave. Wearing fake products makes people act more fake and judge others around them as fake as well. This is true when people don’t consciously choose to buy the counterfeit product, but also when it is given to them as a gift. Perhaps this study could be tied into a public service announcement, illustrating the hidden, moral costs. It could be something like: “Wear fake glasses – feel half empty.” Although in this current economy, getting consumers to “keep it real” would be easier said than done.
4 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
Publisher/Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Smith Production/Graphics Manager. . . . . . . . . . . Bruce S. Drob Director, Advertising Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynnette Grande Contributing Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Judy Canty, John Dick, Paul DiGiovanni, Gary Fore, Elmer Friedman, Lindsey Getz, Renee Jacobs, Ginny Johnson, Jim Magay, Warren McDonald, Corrie Pelc, Anthony Record, Jason Smith Technical Editor . . . . . . . . Brian A. Thomas, P.h.D, ABOM Internet Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Adler Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ are those of the individual writers exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ assume no responsibility toward independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.
ADVERTISING & SALES (215) 355-6444 • (800) 914-4322 lgrande@ECPmag.com
EDITORIAL OFFICES 111 E. Pennsylvania Blvd. Feasterville, PA 19053 (215) 355-6444 • Fax (215) 355-7618 www.ECPmag.com editor@ECPmag.com EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is published monthly by OptiCourier, Ltd. Delivered by Third Class Mail Volume 6 Number 60 TrademarkSM 1994 by OptiCourier, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.
OptiCourier, Ltd. makes no warranty of any kind, either expressed, or implied, with regard to the material contained herein. OptiCourier, Ltd. is not responsible for any errors and omissions, typographical, clerical and otherwise. The possibility of errors does exist with respect to anything printed herein. It shall not be construed that OptiCourier, Ltd. endorses, promotes, subsidizes, advocates or is an agent or representative for any of the products, services or individuals in this publication.
For Back Issues and Reprints contact Jeff Smith, Publisher at 800-914-4322 or by Email: jeff@ECPmag.com Copyright © 2012 by OptiCourier Ltd. All Rights Reserved For Subscription Changes, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Scan this barcode with your smartphone to go to our website.
Skate Your Way to the Bank
Earn cash rewards for ANY pair of qualifying TransitionsÂŽ lenses purchased from FEA during January 1 through February 28, 2013. Qualifying lenses: KODAK Uniqueâ&#x201E;˘, PreciseÂŽ, ConciseÂŽ and Eagle Free-form lenses Sign up at www.feaind.com to participate. TransitionsÂŽ VI lenses (gray or brown)
TransitionsÂŽ XTRActiveâ&#x201E;˘ lenses
TransitionsÂŽ Vantageâ&#x201E;˘ lenses
$5 per pair
$7 per pair
$10 per pair
Cash earned will be calculated at the end of the promotion period and a check will be issued to you. Promotion open to Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) only. Must have permission from the practice owner to participate. Must be a current account of FEA Industries. Registration on www.feaind.com is required for rewards to be calculated. Checks will be distributed by March 15, 2013.
Call FEA at 800.327.2002 or order at www.feaind.com
Kodak and the Kodak trade dress are trademarks of Kodak, used under license by Signet Armorlite, Inc. CleAR is a trademark of Signet Armorlite, Inc. Transitions and the swirl are registered trademarks and XTRActive, Vantage and Transitions Adaptive Lenses are trademarks of Transitions Optical, Inc. Photochromic and polarization performance are LQĂ&#x20AC;XHQFHG E\ WHPSHUDWXUH 89 H[SRVXUH DQG OHQV PDWHULDOV ÂŠ2012 Signet Armorlite, Inc.
LAP OF LUXURY FOR THOSE WITH DISCRIMINATING TASTES AND AN APPRECIATION OF SUPERB DETAILS AND UNMISTAKABLE SPLENDOR.
1. SILHOUETTE Featuring a frame made of Silhouette’s proprietary SPX material, the full rim Melody is available in Grey, Earth and Violet. We also carry a rimless Melody collection, featuring fashion colors such as grey gradient, grey blue gradient, and violet gradient. SPX and High-tech titanium combine to make it a perfect fusion of comfort and fashion. www.silhouette.com
EYEWEAR & SUNWEAR
2. TAG HEUER L-Type LW: This avant-garde frame combines the collection’s strongest features for its most innovative design yet. With pure titanium, carbon fiber, elastomer and a selection of genuine leathers, the L-Type Light is a sum of the brand’s most luxurious components. www.tagheuer.com/eyewear 2
3. KENMARK Divas with an affinity for all things 70’s will love the glammed up styles coming out for 2013. The Vera Wang “Roksana” is a gorgeous take on the retro cat-eye. With its chic temple and oversized shape, the Roksana will not disappoint. www.kenmarkoptical.com
4. CAZAL Eastern States Eyewear and Ultra Palm Optical have added three new styles to Cazal’s “Legends” Collection. Cazal has reissued their famous 627, 858 and 955. Each piece is a timeless classic first released over 25 years ago and are amongst the most influential, and once again, the most coveted pieces in the history of fashion eyewear. www.eseyewear.com www.ultrapalm.com 5. MCGEE GROUP Badgley Mischka’s Lissette is a full rim combination frame with colorful polarized double fashion gradient lenses. The trendy oversized rounded eyeshape and open endpiece create an unforgettable frame front complemented by marble acetate temples. The metal décor is a metal casted, three-dimensional piece paired with touches of enamel and Swarovski crystals. Available in Gold and Gunmetal. www.mcgeegroup.com 4
6. MARCOLIN RC0695 color 028: This elegant rimless style embodies the Roberto Cavalli essence and provides a sculptural and luxurious design with wavy temple shapes that intertwine and meet at the hinge. Pearls and semi precious stones embellish the temples and create a magical, ultra-feminine style. www.marcolinusa.com
Caviar 5582 is an embellished sunglass with a modern edge. This sunglass is part of the Champagne Collection for Caviar. The 5582 features hand set genuine Austrian Crystals with larger baguettes and smaller square cut crystals making the details stand out in this temple design. This “one of a kind” sunglass is available as a drill mount & a full frame. www.caviarframes.com
BEST IMAGE OPTICAL
Throughout the years Best Image has been identified with our Fantasy Mask Collection. We carry a small collector’s item supply of these masks and are available to anyone. Our Fantasy Mask collection is extensive and constantly changing. www.BestImageOptical.com
Lightec introduces its first ever sun collection! All models are 100% screwless and weld-free! Frames are produced by folding one piece of sheet metal. Endtips feature injected grey or black rubber inserted into the core with the word “polarized” hollow molded on the inside of the right endtip and “registered design” on the left side. The sun collection currently offers six models which are available in gloss or matte galvanized finishes. www.morel-france.com
REVOLUTION EYEWEAR Don Ed Hardy is considered the “Godfather” of Tattoo. He is the person who helped to make tattoos into high end art. He incorporated Irezumi into his tattoo art to make it more vibrant and colorful. Revolution first incorporated the tattoos onto the temples of the infamous sunglasses, what followed is a feast for the eyes. The New Ed Hardy Collection is subtle, beautiful and more whimsical. www.revolutioneyewear.com
Trussardi style 12838 BE (women) is an oversized glam look in titanium. Unparalleled design is articulated in the expressively wrought brow line. Beige with brown gradient lenses. www.charmant.com/us
www.BestImageOptical.net • 800.688.7661 or 305.477.4707 • Email: info@bestImageoptical.com
TREVI COLISEUM EYEWEAR
COLORS IN OPTICS
Azzaro Paris is the quintessential brand of the Mediterranean with its glamour and understated sophistication. The Azzaro Eyewear collection for both men and women captures modern day luxury and elegance with unique treatments and stylish silhouettes. The look is chic and blends style, functionality and glamour. All frames are handmade in France. www.colorsinoptics.com
Signet Armorlite Offers Vision Expo East Promotion for ECPs Cotton Club Carbon Fiber Line is constructed of the newest space age materials and defines the concept of style, quality and luxury. Made of carbon fiber with rubberized temples for lightweight comfort, extreme strength and adjustability, model CC 280 is available in Black Gun, Black and White Black (shown) with a striking contrast. The line consists of modern shapes in 2 full rim and 2 semi rimless styles. Made in Italy and backed by a two year warranty. Sold exclusively in North America by National Lens. www.national-lens.com
Preferred Stock is our premier offering, featuring contemporary frames with smart styling, designed for the modern larger headed man. The Preferred Stock lineup was crafted with the latest technological advances available in the eyewear industry to provide durability, comfort, and style. Shown is Equity XL in Chocolate/Silver. www.fatheadz.com
Signet Armorlite has launched a second 2012 ECP Promotion called, “Join us at VEE 2013.” All ECPs are eligible to earn virtual tokens towards a “Spin the Wheel” game for every KODAK Unique and Unique DS Lens order purchased from any lab between November 1 and December 31, 2012 and redeemed on the promotion website. Participants can win several daily prizes including insulated beverage coolers and lunch totes. Plus, each token earned is one entry into the monthly drawings where one practice will win a travel package for two to Vision Expo East 2013 in New York City. The travel package includes: airfare, hotel accommodations, Broadway show tickets and a group dinner. To view complete promotion details and enroll, ECPs should visit the promotion website at www.JoinUsAtVisionExpo.com.
GOLD & WOOD
René 6: For the latest theo by Tim Van Steenbergen collection, Tim studied the art deco inspired buildings designed by his famous architect grandfather René Van Steenbergen. The combination of different materials gives the glasses a chic look. The front is made of acetate and the temples in metal featuring a color accent in epoxy. This color is also incorporated on the front. (lenses from ZEISS) www.theo.be
Line D: Destined for men who wish to distinguish themselves with subtlety and refinement. The front and temples are highlighted by a relief of nerves that channel the metallic brightness and reveal a purely graphic nature and aesthetic. Available in 4 lens shapes and 3 galvanic high-end finishes that contrast matte and shiny aspects: Champagne Gold, Palladium and Ruthenium. www.gold-and-wood.com
Hilco’s Fashion Sun Readers collection allows you to see everything under the sun, in style! Featuring an inconspicuous bifocal segment for comfortable near and distance viewing with impact resistant polycarbonate lenses providing 100% UV protection. The Orchid Sun Reader is a semi-rimless frame in a glamorous plum hue with delicate temple accents. www.hilco.com
T306 from the Tumi Traverso collection is a feminine silhouette, and is most impressive in a rich shade of ruby red acetate. Temples are accented with acid-etched metal recalling the signature Tumi ballistic nylon pattern, accented with a slim Tumi logo. www.remeyewear.com
ic! berlin kjell reloaded 2012 masculine – Classic. Tough. Player? Gentleman? Good or bad cop? Action hero or timeless gentleman, beer or water, it doesn’t matter. The two times classic, already worn by Jason Statham and Bruce Willis, makes a comeback in four stylish color combinations with thinner temple arms, giving extra corners and edges masculine. Classic. Tough. Women will go weak at their knees, promised! www.ic-berlin.de
To participate, sign up online at feaind.com. No other discounts apply. Use of Vision-Ease Lens voucher will not be applied. Lenses must be purchased through FEA industries to qualify. Promotion open to Eye Care Professionals only, and ends December 31, 2012. Payouts will be made once at the end of the entire promotional period, distributed by January 15, 2013. You must have permission from the practice owner to participate.
SEIKO Has Your Transitions 6ANTAGE™ Lenses! ®
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Single Vision Lenses 1.50, Trivex , & Polycarbonate ©
Transitions and the swirl are registered trademarks and Transitions Adaptive Lenses and Vantage are trademarks of Transitions Optical, Inc. ©2012 Transitions Optical, Inc. Photochromic and polarization performance are influenced by temperature, UV exposure and lens material.
Special Offer From SEIKO!
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MANAGING OPTICIAN Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO
“Let’s Get Loopy” A FEW MONTHS AGO I SUGGESTED YOU “GET LOUPEY.” By that I meant you ought to keep an inexpensive jeweler’s loupe at your dispensing table to make it easier to read the names and sizes on very thin frames. Now I’m saying it’s time to get loopy. By that I mean it may be time to update or create an in-office loop. It has become my first New Year’s resolution: to have it completed and ready to go by January 2.
to download it and embed it into your presentation. Don’t worry about the corporate ones. It’s a pretty safe bet that a Transitions promotional video you find on YouTube is yours to use as you see fit. On the other hand, a video created by a fishing shop to promote their polarized sunglasses is not. You technically need to contact the owner of the copyright and ask permission for its use. For what it’s worth, I have only been denied permission once.
After experimenting with many different set-ups, allow me to share what I believe to be the best approach. You will need an old laptop - the one you replaced that is now sitting on your closet shelf will be perfect for the job. A 20” flat-screen computer monitor can be purchased for around $100 – go bigger if your budget can afford it and your office will accommodate it. I have found the most serviceable medium to use is a simple slide show set up and displayed in Power Point. The finishing touch: a speaker system to add acceptable sound. Begin by choosing an appropriate background for the slides. While late versions of Power Point give “acceptable” options, check out thousands of free, downloadable backgrounds at websites like www.indezine.com or www.brainybetty.com. I splurged on some software a couple of years ago called Digital Juice. It contains literally thousands of professionally designed backgrounds.
People are usually flattered that you want to use something of their creation.
Once you’ve done that you need to create some slides and choose some promotional videos to include in the loop. Most frame and lens manufacturers create entertaining videos to promote their products and they will be happy to send them to you. You can also find just about all of them on YouTube. Additionally, as you start to poke around YouTube you find some other informational videos you may want to include; some funny ones too. You need to remember that just because a video is on YouTube doesn’t mean that you have permission
Once that’s all taken care of, you have to figure out a way to get the video from YouTube to the Power Point slide. While there are many different methods of doing that, I have found the following procedure to be the quickest and most reliable. Make sure you have installed a program called Java. It may already be installed on your computer. If not, a free download is available online. Find it at www.java.com. Having Java installed allows you to use the features of another website called www.keepvid.com.
16 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
Here’s what you do: While your video is playing on YouTube, highlight the hyperlink in the web address bar. It will look something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ri3M7-ESNE. (That link actually belongs to a video that demonstrates quite effectively the difference between standard Transitions and Transitions XTRActive lenses.) When the link is highlighted in blue, right-click and choose “copy.” Then go to keepvid.com and in the big address box, right click and choose “paste.” The link to the video you want to keep should appear in the box. Click the “download” box to the right. You will then be asked in which format to save the video. Click on the “Download mp4” option. A dialogue box will open on the bottom of the screen. Click on the black down arrow to the right of “save” and choose where you want to save the video. You can save it to your desktop, your videos file, or you can do as I do, which is create a special folder just for all your optical videos. Once the video resides anywhere on your hard drive, embedding it into Power Point is a breeze. So let’s go back to Power Point. In the display mode of Power Point, click on the Insert tab at the top, then the Movies tab, then choose the “Movie from File” option. Navigate to the file you saved and simply double-click on it. Power Point will then ask you how it should play the video. Choose the “Automatically” option. You can resize the viewing area by holding and clicking on a corner of the black “screen” and resizing it any way you would like by dragging it with your mouse.
Once you’ve done that, click on the Animations tab at the top. On the far right you will see it says “Advance slide.” Uncheck “On mouse click” and check “Automatically.” This tells Power Point to advance to the next slide as soon as the video is over. You need to follow that procedure for every video you wish to include in your in-office loop. If you’ve never done it, I know it sounds involved and complicated, but it’s really not. Once you have embedded three or four videos, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. There is one other step to take in Power Point, and you only have to do it once – not for every single slide. Click on the Slide Show tab at the top. Now click on “Set Up Slide Show.” Under Show Options, check the box that says “Loop continuously until ‘Esc’.” Simply click on “OK” and your show is ready to go. Your finished in-office video is limited only by the time and energy and imagination you are willing to put into it. Once it exits, adding or deleting slides takes a matter of seconds. Be creative. Intersperse promotional videos with funny ones. Throw in a few simple slides that inform about your practice or products you are promoting. The sky is literally the limit. Next month I will share with you 15-20 specific videos I chose for my loop, and an example or two of the other slides I use. Until then...get to work. ■
THROUGH THE LENS Renee Jacobs, OD, M.A.
As Jelly is to Peanut Butter, Objectives are to Tactics An Organizational Approach to Multiple Pair Sales LIKE JELLY AND PEANUT BUTTER, Objectives and Tactics belong together. Most eye care professionals will agree that patients benefit from using more than one pair of eye wear. Also, the more active the patient, the more eyeglasses they need. For example, imagine a weekend warrior who works in an office during the week, then enjoys snow skiing, racquetball, and home improvement projects on his days off. He needs more than one pair of eyeglasses. Thinking about this person underscores one business objective. We desire to provide each patient with the best possible safety, visual acuity and comfort during every important Life Activity. For this reason, most patients should own multiple pairs of eyeglasses. Such an objective is like jelly, the purpose is sweet and satisfying. The patient benefits from great vision while your business thrives from increasing revenue! Objectives are big picture ambitions that feel good.
the cause. Build support for an initiative that better serves the needs of every patient, an endeavor that differentiates your business from your competition. Be the business that expertly matches patients to the optical solutions that are best for their lifestyle. Again, an objective is like jelly, the purpose is sweet and satisfying. Objectives are big picture ambitions that feel good. Objectives are not an action plan. (See Figure 1 below) Figure 1: Objective â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Help Each Patient Own The Best Optical Solutions
If you desire to increase multiple pair sales, devise a strategy. Some offices put the responsibility of increasing multiple pair sales squarely upon the shoulders of opticians. The alternative is to take an organizational approach. Help each staff member, who participates in providing routine eye care, define their individual objectives that contribute to increasing multiple pair sales. Then help each staff member define their individual measures of success achieving their objectives. Empower staff to use creativity and ingenuity to improve their measures. Then facilitate meaningful collaborative meetings. This is the organizational approach to increasing multiple pair sales. The organizational approach has two advantages. First, if you implement successfully, patients will be better informed and better prepared to make multiple pair purchases at the point of sale. Second, taking the organizational approach builds leadership skills with methods that can be applied to any sales indicator. Objectives: When you decide to take an organizational approach to increasing multiple pair sales, begin with a clear statement of the objective. Choose words that inspire staff members to support 18 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
Look at the diagram. Notice that Life Activities are detailed in green. See that Personality/Attitude/Style are detailed in red. The Accurate Prescription is represented within the blue oval. The highlighted area describes the Personality/Attitude/Style one patient would like to project for his important Life Activities. Our Objective is to help this patient own the best Optical Solutions. (See Figure 2 on page 20)
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Figure 2: Example Matching Life Activities to Personality/Attitude/Style plus Optical Solutions
#1: Driving and Snow Skiing Personality/Attitude/Style: James Bond 007 Optical Solution: Free Form Single Vision Wrap sun lens #2: Business Director Personality/Attitude/Style: GQ Business Professional Optical Solution: Photochromic Free Form Progressive #3: Data Analysis includes creating Excel spread sheets, reading print outs, and evaluating project management. Personality/Attitude/Style: Geek Chic Optical Solution: Clear Near Variable Focus Lenses (occupational progressive)
MJ is an engineer who needs multiple eyeglasses in order to see his best during every significant Life Activity. He will enjoy sun wear that projects 007 confidence during jet skiing and driving. In addition, MJ will benefit from photochromic free form progressive lenses for everyday use. With an adjustable tint, his eyes will be comfortable during his morning walk to work. Plus, in the right frames, MJ will look fashion forward, tailored and smart during business meetings. Also, MJ will enjoy near variable focus lenses that provide wider areas of clarity for viewing the computer and documents on his desk. In his opinion, the Geek Chic look fits how MJ feels during intense concentration. Our business Objective is to help this man realize the visual benefits of multiple optical solutions. We use Tactics to convince him that the benefits are worth the investment. Tactics: Convince Each Patient That Benefits Are Worth The Investment Businesses achieve Objectives by applying Tactics. Tactics are methods, a modifiable action plan. Think of Tactics as peanut butter, the sticky specifics of team implementation plus individual measures required to achieve an objective. Like jelly and peanut butter, the Objective and Tactics belong together. Your office will convince more patients that multiple eyeglasses are a wise investment, when all staff members use effective individual Tactics. Apply an organizational approach to increase multiple pair sales. Begin by evaluating each point of contact during a typical eye exam. Discuss staff member roles, responsibilities, and measures that contribute to team success. (See Figure 3 on page 22)
Put individuals in charge of their own Tactics and Measures. Then schedule weekly meetings so that each can describe strategies attempted, and the impact on their measures. Discuss the specifics of both individual and coordinated implementation. Collaborate to achieve the business objective by using the simplest, most efficient, methods that increase sales. An Organizational Approach is Best For Business: Individual staff members gain leadership skills from devising Tactics, then examining roles, responsibilities, and individual measures. With practice, the team becomes skilled at synthesizing data, making timely and informed decisions, plus defining priorities and goals. They understand Objectives and Tactics from an organizational perspective. Teams that embody these skill sets can help your eye care business thrive despite increasing online competition, changes in healthcare reimbursement, and changes in your local economy. Leaders are primed to innovate and adapt within a rapidly changing optical marketplace. An Organizational Approach is Best For Patients: Let’s return to thinking about what is best for our patient MJ. (See Figure 2) Like most patients, who use multiple pairs of eyeglasses, MJ already owns frames and lenses from previous years. Reviewing his life activities, we expect that some pairs will have more wear and tear than others. Tactics are required to help MJ understand the most suitable optical solutions for his current Life Activities plus Personality/Attitude/Style. He also needs practical advice regarding products he already owns. (See Figure 1) A. MJ might own eyeglasses that are still in great condition, representing his current Personality/Attitude/Style. If the frames no longer hold his Accurate Prescription, then MJ might desire to update ‘lenses only’. B. MJ might own eyeglasses that have the Accurate Prescription for an important Life Activity; however they no longer project a favorable image. Perhaps he should donate those glasses to charity, and buy new eye wear that represents his current Personality/ Attitude/Style. C. MJ might own eyeglasses that are the Accurate Prescription and project the desired Personality/ Attitude/Style; however they are suitable for an activity he no longer enjoys. For example, if he purchased amber colored lenses best for shooting, but no longer participates in that sport, then he should replace the lenses or donate those glasses to charity. Continued on page 23
20 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
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Pre-Test & History
Responsibility Pre-Appointment Reminder Phone Calls
Convince each patient to bring every pair of eyeglasses, they own or use, to the eye examination.
How many patients brought multiple pairs? How many times did you make multiple trays?
Tray Each Rx
Measured Rx, Where Purchased, Approximate Date of Purchase, Frequency of Wear, and Purpose.
Did you document work, hobbies, sports, and interests?
Document Significant Life Activities
Which eyeglasses provide great vision, comfort, and style? Which Life Activities can be improved with better visual acuity, less eye strain, or enhanced style?
Did you document satisfaction regarding each pair of eye wear? Did you document life activities likely to benefit from better optical solutions?
New/Worn/Needs Repair/ Replacement Plan
How many times did you discuss the condition of eye wear and the appropriate replacement schedule?
Share Product Knowledge
Mention benefits of lifestyleappropriate optical solutions.
How many times did you mention benefits of appropriate optical solutions?
Clean/Tune Up/ Repair/ Adjust â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Every Pair of Eyeglasses.
Did you clean, adjust, and repair every pair of eyeglasses prior to the eye examination?
Inform The Doctor
How many times did you relay clear concise information to the doctor?
How many patients had significant Rx change?
Lifestyle Analysis and Decision Making
Prescribe the best multiple pair optical solutions
Explain the Best Multiple Pair Optical Solutions
Explain how each individual pair of eyeglasses will benefit the patient during a significant Life Activity.
Execute Flawless Multiple Pair Dispense
22 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
How many times did you help a patient plan how to use, purchase, and maintain multiple pairs? Measure Sales: Sun Wear %, Computer Lens %, and other multiple pair sales indicators.
Help Each Patient Make Informed Decisions
How many times did the doctor prescribe the best possible optical solutions? How many times did the doctor clearly communicate multiple solutions to the patient and the optician?
Share Prescriptions And Optical Solutions
Did you document complete information for each tray?
For every pair of eyeglasses, comment regarding the style. Then deliver exceptional fit and comfort. Finally, confirm excellent vision for the intended Life Activity.
Measure Patient Satisfaction using surveys and follow up telephone calls.
These examples illustrate the point that real patients rarely purchase 3 complete sets of glasses during one eye care visit. Patients have practical reasons for purchasing some ‘complete pairs’ and some ‘lenses only’. In addition, by discussing options with the patient you may plant the seed. Frequently, patients will return to purchase those additional pairs of spectacles when it is more financially convenient. If your business is only beginning to prescribe multiple pair Optical Solutions, then you will measure increasing sales of products like sun wear and computer lenses. If instead, your business is moderately successful selling multiple pairs, and you desire to improve, then a better measure is revenue per patient. When more patients invest in multiple optical solutions, then revenue per patient increases. Think again about our example patient MJ. Real patients often spread-out their purchases around real life events and priorities. Perhaps MJ desires to update his GQ Business Professional eyewear today, and update his 007 sunglasses
closer to ski season. Perhaps he is fixated on Christmas right now, and will return to make the sunglass purchase when he receives a work bonus or tax refund. With this in mind, focus on the objective, then re-think the most appropriate business measures. A practice that provides patient centered care, and helps every patient own the best possible eye wear solutions for his Life Activities and Personality/Attitude/Style, will experience higher revenue per patient per year. This is true when patients sometimes purchase ‘complete pairs’ and sometimes purchase ‘lenses only’. This is true when patients spread-out their purchases over time. Like jelly and peanut butter, Objectives and Tactics belong together. The objectives are big picture ambitions sweet for the patient and satisfying for business. Tactics are the sticky, salty details of team implementation plus appropriate measures. When you apply an organizational approach to multiple pair sales, combining objectives with tactics, you strengthen your business to thrive in a rapidly changing optical marketplace. I
PATIENT CARE Corrie Pelc
Eating is Believing: Tips on Integrating Nutrition into your Practice
NUTRITION seems to be the big buzzword lately when it comes to health. News reports talk about the increasing epidemic of obesity in both adults and kids. Research and studies describe the rise in Type 2 diabetes cases, and are linking obesity to conditions such as heart disease and metabolic issues. In the world of the ECP, nutrition may not automatically be something you consider discussing and educating your patients about. However, Dr. Stephanie Klemencic, associate professor at Illinois College of Optometry, says it is becoming increasingly important for ECPs to understand the link between nutrition and eye care. “We’re becoming more and more aware that nutrition may very well play a big role in some of our major eye diseases, like diabetes, macular degeneration, dry eye, (and) hypertensive changes,” she explains. “Our eyes are part of the health of the body, so things that affect the body are going to affect the eyes.” In agreement is Dr. Jeffrey Anshel, president and founder of the Ocular Nutrition Society (ONS) and founder of Corporate Vision Consulting, who says there have been dozens of studies “that have come out showing the likelihood of nutrition making a difference in the way people see, and actually in all areas of their vision.”
Educating Yourself In order to talk to patients about the importance nutrition can have on their eye health, ECPs need to familiarize themselves with the information out there. For example, Dr. Anshel says there have been numerous studies showing the likelihood of nutrition making a difference in the way people see. The most known study is the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) in 2001, which was a major clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI). According to the NEI, the study was “designed to learn more about the natural history and risk factors of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract, and to evaluate the effect of high doses of antioxidants and zinc on the progression of AMD and cataract.” Dr. Klemencic says the initial AREDS study showed high levels of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduced the risk of AMD in patients with intermediate and advanced macular degeneration. However, she says it’s important to note it was not found to be a cure. “It doesn’t allow patients to regain their vision whenever you prescribe these supplements, and it’s not been found to be useful for patients that have less advanced disease than the intermediate or advanced,” she adds. Additionally, Dr. Klemencic says AREDS is not for patients who are simply at risk for AMD, such as a patient with a family history. Continued on page 26
24 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
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Moving forward, Dr. Anshel says the data collected from the first AREDS study has resulted in about 25 follow-up studies, and from that AREDS2 has been formulated. He says the original AREDS formula contained vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc and copper, while AREDS2 also includes fish oil, lutein and zeaxanthin. Another way ECPs can educate themselves about the world of supplements is through doing their own research in the nutrition section of the grocery store, says Dr. Klemencic. She says the vast number of supplements available to consumers can be very confusing, so educating yourself on the subject can help you streamline what the best options are for your patients when prescribing supplements. “It’s one thing just to say, for example, go buy some fish oil and they just go get it over-the-counter,” she says. “You really need to show the patient how to read the label and how to make sure that they’re getting the right amount.” And Dr. Anshel suggests ECPs consider becoming members of the ONS, which would give them access to recent abstracts and current research, plus webinars and other educational opportunities. Additionally, the ONS has recently launched a fellowship program in partnership with the American Clinical Board of Nutrition. More information can be found on www.ocularnutritionsociety.org. Educating Patients As more research and studies are being produced, and patients are becoming more aware of the role nutrition plays in their overall health, how can ECPs educate their patients about the link between nutrition and their eyes? The first step is getting patients to understand there is a connection. Dr. Klemencic says that although she has patients at the Illinois College of Optometry’s eye care clinic constantly asking her for ways on how they can protect their eyes, they do not normally realize nutrition plays a role. She explains it’s all about promoting healthy lifestyle habits, so she talks to patients about the best things they should be eating for their vision, such as fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts. “First and foremost for the majority of our patients, the best way to obtain healthy nutrients is by what we eat and what we do every day, so what’s good for the body is good for the eyes, and I think patients can understand that,” Dr. Klemencic says. She also talks to patients about the importance of increasing their physical activity and not smoking to help protect their eyes as well. And Dr. Anshel says ECPs should also educate younger patients about nutrition, as that is where the preventive aspects of nutrition begins. “While in some cases (nutrition) can reverse
26 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
some disorders, it’s certainly a lot easier to prevent them than it is to reverse them,” he adds. In the Practice What are some others tools – and even services ECPs can use to help integrate nutrition into their eye care practice? At Dr. Anshel’s practice in Carlsbad, CA, he has a space on his intake form for patients to write down all the medications they are currently taking. “Many times they will just list their medications, so if I don’t see any vitamins listed down there, I will ask them if they are taking vitamins as well and that opens the conversation,” he says. From there, Dr. Anshel offers a variety of “Eye on Nutrition” services for his patients to help evaluate their nutritional intake. For example, he has contracted with a PhD nutritionist in San Diego to evaluate patient’s nutrient deficiencies based on different symptoms they may have. He also provides a supplement evaluation where he has patients bring in all the different supplements and vitamins they are taking. Plus patients can even have blood work taken to see what nutrients are being absorbed and what are they deficient in. Dr. Klemencic says she uses patient education that is embedded in their electronic health records (EHR), which enables her to call up and print out information as needed. She also gives out a brochure made by the ONS called ‘Eye on Nutrition.’ “It’s for patients and talks about the link between diet, being healthy, and how that’s healthy for your eyes,” she explains. The Future As research is continued and more studies are published, will it become more important for ECPs to integrate nutrition into their practices? Dr. Klemencic says yes and believes that it is an area that will continue to grow as more studies are conducted in the future. She also thinks this is an opportunity for optometrists to “step up” to make a difference in the lives of their patients. “Not just protecting their vision, which is extremely important, but also protecting them from other health problems and systemic problems by co-managing with their primary physician as well,” she adds. And Dr. Anshel says as researchers are finding more correlation between different diseases and the eyes – such as Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease – ECPs can tell a lot by looking at the eye and knowing what to look for. “We like to consider ourselves primary care providers, and you can’t be a primary care provider if you’re only looking at eyeballs,” he explains. “We know the eye is not only the window to the soul, it’s also the mirror of the body. We need to start looking at what people are eating that supports their eyes, and what they’re eating that’s hurting their eyes. I think we’re going to be missing the boat if we don’t start looking at this issue.” ■
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Exporting German Innovation and Inspiration
EyeCare Professional’s Paul DiGiovanni, LDO, speaking with Ralph Anderl, President, ic! berlin. Ralph Anderl
Please provide our readers with the background and history of ic! berlin. The ic! berlin company was founded at the very end of the last century by three guys without any idea about business and eyewear, which strangely turned out to be the best conditions to start an eyewear company in Berlin. On the other hand, we learned fast and won the “Golden Silmo” award in Paris in 1998, the key for entering the world of eyeglasses. We started out in our living rooms, and now we employ around 150 people all over the world. The heart of our product is still the patented unique screwless hinge system, which makes the glasses extremely strong and durable. On the other hand, the frames are still very lightweight. Last but not least, they are beautiful. We make glasses for businessmen, doctors, famous actors, and sometimes even for eccentric freaks! What is the company’s mission statement? ic! berlin is a culture company. We did not start the story to become billionaires. ic! berlin produces glasses as well as creating a new culture of business. We produce everything by hand in our own manufacturing facility in the heart of Berlin, rather than in big factories in China. We start the week each Monday with a choir; the singing provides a fresh and positive start for the week. Our office, situated in an old industrial bakery, is a mixture of open space, art, lounge and German engineering style machinery. We invite all our customers to come and experience it with their own eyes. We offer specific tours for tourists through our company. Visitors can mount their own glasses, see how we work, enjoy the beautiful view from our rooftop terrace and check out our art collection as well! What are ic! berlin’s key markets? Of course we focus on Europe, America, and Asia, but my hometown in Oldenburg, Germany is still very important as well. 28 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
In the next 1-3 years, what growth potential do you see for ECPs in the U.S.? I see a growth potential of 93% within eleven months. And perhaps a little bit more from the end of 2013 onwards. For 2014-2015, I predict less extreme, but still strong growth of approximately 53.46%. Describe the unique technology used in manufacturing ic! berlin’s frame line. We use an extremely strong and flexible stainless steel for our glasses, so that the metal can be relatively thin, which makes the frame very lightweight. The glasses are just banded; we do not use glue or screws. It is all about simplicity. Customers can understand our product in a way that is not too complex. This makes our glasses very futuristic, because that’s what products are going be about in the future. At the end the glasses are very sustainable because of this.
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‚The ic! berlin hinge is the heart of our frames. This innovative system was invented 1997 and layed the foundation for the world of our screwless ic! berlin sheetmetal-glasses...and when there are no screws, they cannot get lost. And if screws don`t get lost, everything is less screwed up!‘ R.A.
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As I mentioned before, it is not our goal to become billionaires from producing cheap, readymade products. That is why we constantly in-source, rather than outsource. If there is a production step that could make us more efficient, we invest our profits into new manpower and machinery, to ensure that the quality is always high.
If you buy an ic! berlin frame, you get a very lightweight, comfortable, strong and beautiful piece of art. You feel the remarkable quality day by day. If you have a question, you can directly call me on my mobile phone. You can find my number lasered inside each frame: questions? call ralph +49 (0)177 240 9 150.
Please provide an overview of your ophthalmic and sunglass lines. Since we’re not about chasing any trends that are out there, our collection is based on shapes that just fit, rather than styles that are “en vogue” at the moment and forgotten three months later. We have a great mixture of sheet-metal prescriptions and sunglasses as well as acetate models. Style wise it would be the best to check out our web page at www.ic-berlin.de
I guess there is no other company where you can get this service. In addition to that, a pair of glasses is always an invitation to come visit our factory in Berlin! You should really check that out! Our company was born in Berlin, our frames are handcrafted in Berlin and even our whole company culture is deeply rooted in the city. n
What are your target markets? Our target markets are: India, Brazil, Congo, Iceland, Norway, Tibet.
Please describe the POP available to ECPs. ECPs are our primary customer, that is why we offer them a variety of banners displays and gadgets to turn the point of sale into an ic! berlin shop. Currently, we are working on an airline trolley as a display and glasses storage. If there is any crazy idea though, for a trunk show maybe, we’re always open for suggestions, as long as it’s unique. Do the frames come with a warranty? Yes, if the metal breaks, I change the glasses for free. Everything else is covered by warranty for one year in the U.S. What differentiates your frame line from your competitors? Please explain why you feel a frame buyer should choose your line over another line in this highly competitive market.
30 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
Going Mobile! Available on iPhones and iPads
Latest Consumer Report Shows Gains in U.S. Vision Care Revenues Despite a somewhat anemic U.S. economy and sluggish job growth the vision care market continues to show signs of sustained growth. The total U.S. vision care marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s revenues increased 6.0 percent for the 12 months ending September 2012 to $34.5 billion compared to $32.5 billion in the prior year 12-month period, according to the newly released Q3 Consumer Barometer. Not only did revenues for the total vision care market increase, but virtually all product market segments recorded gains with several sectors showing significant increases. The study, a top-line view of vision care services and eyeglass purchasing trends among consumers across the U.S. by VisionWatch, is conducted by The Vision Council. According to the Barometer, dollar sales of frames, lenses, contact lenses, sunglasses, readers, exams and refractive surgery all showed positive growth for the 12 months ending September 2012 as compared to the same period year ago. A clear winner was the lens
market, showing a robust increase of 9.0 percent for the 12 months ending September 2012. Sales from the lens market accounted for $10.4 billion of the total vision care market for the 12-month period. The other product segment showing significant growth was the refractive surgery market which recorded a 12.9 percent increase for the 12 months ending September 2012 when compared to the year ago period. At the other end of the spectrum, eye exams recorded the least amount of growth with revenues increasing by 2.8 percent for the 12 months ending September 2012 compared to year ago. Consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; future purchasing intent remained virtually the same or was down slightly in some cases, according to the Barometer. The number of adults planning to have an eye exam within the next three months came in at 20.1 percent, a slight increase over the 19.7 percent for the six months ending September 2011.
THE MOBILE OPTICIAN
Ginny Johnson, LDO, ABOC
Give A Little Bit Give a little bit of your time for free Give a little bit I’ll give a little bit of my inventory See the man with the lonely eyes Give him sight, he’ll be surprised Why do you give, donate, or volunteer? I asked and ECPs responded: I believe in the cause It makes me feel good For the tax write off My wife makes me To widen my circle of friends It comes back tenfold Giving has no boundaries, shows no prejudice and is expressed in many different ways, shapes and forums. I like to believe there’s no competition when it comes to giving, since the focus is on need and never greed. You might find yourself volunteering side by side with someone who works for “them”. “Them” are the good people in this article that know the act of giving. Angel Optical www.facebook.com/AngelOptical Jacqui Pearson runs a small lab in Hokah, Minnesota called Angel Optical that makes hemianoptic lenses, Franklin bifocals, prism segs and macular degeneration lenses. The money that is made on this work goes to fund an eyeglass charity by providing free lenses for low income patients. Jacqui is a fix-it herself-er and can work miracles on lab equipment that others have by far given up on. Her eyes are set on having a 1-2 person wholesale lab to produce lenses exclusively for those patients with special needs. To find out how to join her in this quest, please visit Angel Optical’s Facebook page.
32 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
Essilor Vision Foundation www.essilorvisionfoundation.com Essilor Vision Foundation is on a mission to eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences. As part of World Sight Day, Essilor employees pledge to raise $1 million over the next three years to provide eyeglasses to children in need. Eyes Of Faith Optical www.eyesoffaithoptical.com I met Jim & Amy Schneider, the owners of Eyes Of Faith Optical, in 2009. I think “Give” could be their middle names. I asked Jim to share with me a brief description of their work. “We’re not a typical eyewear brand. Our vision is to design and distribute high-quality eyewear that allows people to express their faith, and for that purchase to provide the gift of sight to someone who wouldn’t normally have access to vision care. Wear & Share™ is the essence of our purpose - when you wear a pair of Eyes of Faith glasses, you share a pair of glasses, readers, or sunglasses, depending on the person’s need, in the name of your faith.”
“We accomplish the Wear & Share™ purpose through our partnership with Sight Ministries, who conducts clinics and delivers eyewear to places like Kenya, Malawi, Panama, and many others, where entire communities may never have had the opportunity to see clearly, or protect their vision with a pair of sunglasses. Growing the Wear & Share™ program is our top priority, as a remote community’s needs can only be understood once the mission team arrives. This program can help ensure that every mission is fully equipped with enough prescription glasses, sunglasses, and readers to fit each community member with the form of eyewear from which they’ll benefit the most.” HOYA www.thehoyafreeformcompany.com HOYA gives back by sponsoring Optometry Giving Sight, Prevent Blindness, Transitions/VSP outreach mobile clinic and various local events that touch the lives of those in need. L’Amy America www.lamyamerica.com Stephen Rappoport, President of L’Amy America, is donating the gift of sight with the help of his valued customers. Beginning in mid October through the end of December, for every L’Amy America frame sold, another will be donated to someone in need. The frames will be donated to one of several highly respected charities on behalf of the L’Amy customer. A tracking sheet is available for ECPs to keep record of L’Amy frames sold. This immensely successful charity effort previously resulted in the donation of nearly 8,000 frames. Lions Clubs International www.lionsclubs.org For nearly 100 years, Lions Club members have worked on projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Partnering with other sight related organizations they are able to offer services from eye screenings to cataract surgeries. They accept used eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses and children’s glasses. New Eyes For The Needy www.neweyesfortheneedy.org Since its founding in 1932, New Eyes has helped more than 7,500,000 people in the U.S. and 87 countries around the world to see clearly. They accept and recycle donated eyeglasses for distribution to poor people overseas. They also raise funding to benefit their U.S. eyeglass voucher program by selling donated jewelry and giftware.
Respectacle www.respectacle.org As you will see, this doctor’s vision for giving back clearly sets him apart from the rest by offering those in need a recyclable, spectacle, receptacle. Dr. Jeffrey Lynch went to Peru with a team of medical volunteers to perform cataract surgeries on the poor. Those with vision problems showed up in droves but the vast majority of them needed eyeglasses and not surgery. His somewhat frustrating trip lead him in another direction to offer sight to the needy. Dr. Lynch founded Respectacle, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses the power of the Internet to facilitate redistribution of quality, used eyeglasses to underserved communities worldwide. Donated eyeglasses deemed to be in “excellent” or “good” used condition are cleaned, categorized, and loaded into their online database based on the prescription. Rather than shipping a box of used eyeglasses somewhere and hoping for a match, those in need can enter in their actual prescription and order a specific pair. VOSH/International-Volunteer Optometric Services To Humanity www.vosh.org The primary mission of VOSH/International is to facilitate the provision and the sustainability of vision care worldwide for people who can neither afford nor obtain such care. Members include optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, medical personnel and trained laypersons. “Volunteering to improve eye care to the needy does not mean you have to spend a week in rural communities without electricity or running water. We have many levels of opportunity, starting with donating a pair of eyeglasses.” Dr. Ellis Potter, President, VOSH/International And there you have it, a starter list of reasons and ways to give the gift of sight. So loosen up those purse strings, roll up your sleeves and open your eyes to the needs that surround you. If you can’t figure out how to give then maybe John Seegers, the owner of www.OpticianWorks.com can give you a free lesson or two on what it takes to become a more competent optical dispensing professional. He spends countless hours giving help to ECPs in need and it all starts with you. I would like to thank the above ECPs, the academy, the producers and the editor for allowing me to donate such valuable website information. Those who could not be reached for comment were out doing great things. Remember that no donation is too small, except for no donation. So Give A Little Bit. ■ DECEMBER 2012 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | 33
MARKETING ECP Lindsey Getz
Selling Luxury: A Look at the Current State of the Market Since the recession began we’ve heard a lot about consumers tightening the rein on their purse strings and cutting spending. So is there still a market for luxury in this economy? The answer appears to be YES. Those that have the money are starting to spend more dollars again. It’s not to say that there haven’t been lulls, but spending on luxury products seems to be picking up steam. Keep your dispensary wellstocked as it looks like consumer spending is poised for some continued growth. We take a look at the luxury market and what you might want to keep in mind as you aim to sell some of your highest-end eyewear. Increased Confidence, Increased Spending Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of “Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury,” reports that Unity Marketing’s latest survey of affluent consumer confidence found a strong upturn in their feelings about financial status and prospects for the future. According to the report, this has resulted in the exclusive Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) rising at its fastest rate ever. The rising affluent consumer confidence also encouraged luxury consumers to increase their pace of shopping in the third quarter with luxury spending up 25.8 percent over the second quarter. “During the first half of 2012, affluent consumers were restrained in their spending on luxury goods and services, but they picked up the pace strongly in luxury spending during the third quarter survey,” says Danziger “Over half of the consumers surveyed feel they are financially better off today than twelve months ago; this measure hasn’t been this high since first quarter 2011.”
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As consumers loosen the grip on their spending a bit, eye care professionals hope that they’ll see some increase in eyewear sales. In the past, wealthy consumers haven’t been afraid to spend when it comes to high-end eyewear and it seems that the trends are moving in that direction again. In fact, spending on luxury fashion accessories is up 52.2 percent, according to Unity’s research. “Throughout 2011 and 2012, luxury consumer spending has mostly followed a downward trajectory with their feelings of consumer confidence (as measured by the LCI) weak over the same period. Finally, in the latest survey, we see a shift toward growing confidence which should give marketers that target all income levels a boost,” says Danziger. “After all, the affluent consumers we survey are the economy’s ‘heavy lifters’ accounting for only 20 percent of U.S. households but over 40 percent of all consumer spending.” The Big Spender Affluent consumers truly are a critical force in the market. According to Danziger, as the middle class gets weaker, the affluent will become even more important in the marketplace. Clearly this is an important market to pay attention to. So who exactly is the affluent consumer? Actually, it turns out that today’s big spenders on accessories like eyewear may be part of a younger crowd. While it seems obvious to assume the patients that will spend the most will be those in the highest income bracket, Danziger says that income
is no longer a primary prediction of spending. According to Unity Marketing’s research, age, rather than income, may be the single biggest predictor of spending proclivity. Research indicates that young affluent consumers (age 24-44) are more confident than their older counterparts (age 45 to 70). Unity’s research also shows that young prosperous consumers are more likely to spend, but there are fewer young wealthy consumers than there are older ones, making it critical to target them. So dispensers should entice young eyewear buyers with a nice variety of luxury styles and brands. Research seems to indicate that younger consumers may care more about the name recognition that comes with a brand. Styles from Coach, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, and other high-end brand names may strike a chord with your younger patient base. About the Young Affluent Consumer The ability to reach the younger consumer is evolving with the times, reports Danziger. Traditional forms of media are being replaced by online media. Young consumers are utilizing mobile media to get their information on-the-go. The focus should be on mobile media rather than social media for young, affluent consumers. But it’s incredibly important for retailers to have a well-rounded online approach. Eye care professionals should make sure they have a presence on social media and also ensure that their websites are able to be easily navigated on mobile devices. It’s simply not enough to have an online presence alone. A mobile phone has limited screen space and your standard fundamental web design may make your site
frustrating to navigate. That’s a big turn-off for your young patients. When selling luxury eyewear to anyone, pay attention to their interests. Some patients think of luxury in terms of materials, while others are more focused on the brand. As you talk to patients in the dispensary try to get a sense of what they value most and help them make selections accordingly. Also, remember that even though your patient may not mind spending big dollars, they’re not immune to shopping around or asking for a discount. In fact, research indicates that the affluent consumers who are used to purchasing luxury items are also accustomed to getting a discount for their heavy spending. Consider talking about a second pair sale—such as adding a pair of accompanying sunwear at a discounted price. The patient may see this as a great added value for their large purchase and may become a loyal customer with repeated buys. Looking ahead, Danziger says that the future looks poised for growth of the luxury market. Affluent consumers feel more confident this quarter than they have for a long time. And while wealthy consumers are definitely more apt to comparison shop and pay closer to attention to spending, Danziger believes that the holiday season will drive even more affluent shoppers out. “Marketers should focus on value in order to encourage affluent shoppers to shop, to indulge, and to spend,” adds Danziger. “Discounts may not be the answer for affluent consumers, instead focus on special events—special experiences that will create curiosity and draw people out of their homes and into your venue.” ■
TECHNOLOGICAL ECP Mary Armstrong, ABOC
Resolutions Reviewed Technological advances are redefining, reinterpreting and reprioritizing popular conceptions of existing words. In the eye care business, Refract, Repeat, Remake, Re-do, and Revisit are even more redundant refrains than the repetition of Recycle, Renew, and Reinvent we’ve grown accustomed to in other aspects of our lives. As “re-” means, at the simplest, “again” or “back”, calendar year-end is a great time to rethink your personal and professional goals and rejuvenate them in 2013. As New Year’s Resolutions might now suggest thinking of taking advantage of the After Christmas and Year-end sales to purchase a Hi-Def TV or digital camera, you might also consider further expanding your optical tool box with the addition of a web cam. Podcasts, which are like TiVo for FM radio, are gaining popularity as a customer connectivity app. As a career path growth example, in 2010, high-profile, independent film innovator and author, Kevin Smith, (Clerks, Dogma “and change” as he refers to it) has opted out after twenty years of filmmaking in favor of live podcast Q&A tours. Following the “On the Road” leads of just about any musical recording artists (signature song by Willie Nelson), motivational speakers, authors, gurus, writer Jack Kerouac and CBS news correspondent, Charles Kurault, Smith is redefining resolution revolution as the turning wheels on a tour bus. Increasing customer satisfaction by educating your staff and client base is a time-management tool. Podcasts provide the vital one-on-one experience conveniently to multiple prospects. To be most effective, a podcast needs to be incorporated into your larger marketing strategy of press releases, news media exposure and advertising. Deciding on which niche specialty – being the unique, 36 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
stand-out professional who offers what no other in your sphere provides - is key to choosing how your campaign will proceed. There are small consulting companies and large full-service agencies who do this all day long. In the Do-It-Yourself world, you can identify your customer’s needs by reviewing your customer’s profiles, feedback and surveying the websites of other “Three O” industry providers. You can also peruse varying YouTube videos, identifying examples of glaring inaccuracies which you can clarify. Additionally, once you’ve seen Toronto’s University of Waterloo School of Optometry graduating classes’ skit performance videos, you’ll know it’s time to determine what ancillary gifts you and your staff/fellow workers can contribute to producing a podcast. Incorporating suggestions input like displaying the question currently being responded to on a screen above the panel so those joining viewers or those fast-forwarding will not have to figure out the topic, and directing questioners to other available resources is a great way to encourage production involvement. “Everybody wants to See a SuperStar!” For the eye care professional, providing eye care services is a daily performance. You are always on stage. Applying one’s originality to the role is what creates the soughtafter uniqueness demand for your specific talents and business niche. Podcasts turn these live performances into improvised or rehearsed videos to post on your website in preparation for a road tour. Additionally, you can invite your customers to participate. You will need to get the otherwise unsuspecting to sign a disclaimer if they choose to be filmed or recorded. Most podcasts have been produced within the last three years, so there’s still time to ride the curve to the top before it’s overwhelmed by the next great social networking innovation. If you are a small practitioner, beginning a podcast road tour to small, neighboring communities who have to decide which direction to go to get
service is a cost-effective way to reach new, potential customers. Starting out close-to-home with a day-trip makes a great geographic test market trial for you, by eliminating overnight lodging expenses. Collaborating with a previously scheduled community activity ensures a higher attendance than if you are hosting an independent, free-standing event. Libraries are great venues. If you decide to expand to a state or regional area, the changes and adjustments will come easier. It’s like a Mini-Mobile Expo; the freedom to go anywhere far outweighs the temptation of brick expense to open a satellite office on the other side of town to compete in a boundary-restricted geographical location. Consider several partnering options such as including a professional panel representative from each discipline: Ophthalmology, Optometry, Opticianry and retail management. Integration makes a stronger presence and builds confidence in the potential for varied care solutions that might be required by combination pathologies. Industry suppliers, frame manufacturers/distributors and vendors, like labs, who are often transparent to the consumer, would welcome participation in the brand awareness and recognition opportunity. Like any “to-do”, preparation of freebie give-aways, contests, incentives, discounts, donations, registrations and advance ticket sales are all very important to promoting your event.
If you are unable to invest the time yourself and do not have sufficient motivated and/or qualified staff to implement this endeavor, hiring an event consultant is always an option, but it might be the one choice making the effort unprofitable. Really all you need are basic management skills, a checklist and the power and confidence to lead and to delegate responsibility. Here’s an historical example supporting re-directing or re-focusing your career. While viewing Seasons One of TV shows “Community” and “Treme”, I realized that when “drama imitates life imitating life”, the opinions on training teachers are the same as two-hundred years ago when Samuel Taylor Coleridge advised against training as an “Author”. One needs to acquire subject knowledge before teaching or writing about it. The need for “lay instructors” with occupational experience at the university level is soundly stated. Training educators and teachers to teach the specific expertise of their day jobs or authors to write about occupations in which they have attained proficiency, is more valuable to students than theory alone. Eye care professionals who rediscover this “How to Train Your Customer”, outside-the-classroom opportunity can experience Life Coach, life-enriching and life-changing enhancements to their careers. You can resolutely reframe your insight and revel in accomplishing your higher resolutions, both annually and before you retire. ■
SECOND GLANCE Elmer Friedman, OD
St. Nick is a Seven Diopter Myope Those that spent a few well placed extra dollars on a new, exquisite frame will thank their lucky stars that they made the right decision. Their clothes may not be fashionable, but they will still receive admiring glances. Santa Claus appears in some optical display windows sporting frames and sunwear all abiding the manufacturer’s suggestion about how to sell their products. I wouldn’t be surprised to see, in Macy’s window, little elves in green, automated and busily, cutting, edging and inserting lenses, morning, noon and night. Apparently, robots do not have a viable union to speak for them.
Christmas has two faces. One face reflects the nature of its happy side: celebration, gifts exchanged, family gatherings, love, good will, compassion and lively interests in our fellow humans. It is one time of the year that our occupation with food and beverage delights reaches an all time pinnacle. Joy reigns unabated and fruit cake sales top the year’s endeavors. This is not to mention the many companies that get well by way of Christmas season purchases. Nostalgia pours forth freely. Old photos and letters are shared. Many of our patients are making appointments in an effort to assure that they will not be visually handicapped when visiting Aunt Rose at the annual family Christmas get-together. Need we acknowledge the need of some to pass the scrutiny of others as they judge our appearance like a test tube to indicate our success this past year.
Anyhow, it’s always the same lenses and frame over and over again that creates the illusion of all that activity and production. A word here about the other face of Christmas. It is the darker side. It is a time of year when many people feel their loneliness and isolation most acutely and perhaps, at its deepest level. The absence of family, neighbors and friends can take its toll. Thoughts of close ones who are gone from their lives can be very depressing. The number of suicides at this time is always surprising and frightening. There is yet another aspect of Christmas. I refer to the mystique and magic of the season. The “Gift of the Magi”, “Christmas Carol” or “Miracle on 34th Street” each demonstrates a special experience that transcends the commonplace. The observer is launched into a realm of the miraculous, the wondrous and the mythical, where reality is suspended and the unexpected has fertile soil to grow. Reindeer are caught on radar as they fly from the North Pole with a red nosed reindeer in the lead. Cookies and cocoa left for Kris Kringle on Christmas Eve mysteriously disappear upon investigation by the glare of morning’s light. Please exercise this frame of thought as I share with you a personal experience that defies all the logic and
Progressivelenses.com 38 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
understanding that I can muster. I wish to tell you this unusual tale so that you can decide, in your own way, exactly what took place. Christmas fell on a Monday that year. I had given my secretary and assistant extra days off so that they could have a relaxed, long holiday weekend. Accordingly we scheduled no patients for that weekend before Christmas and I relished the opportunity to come into the office and luxuriate in this gift of time to catch up on some much needed paper work. How relaxing it would be to work without the pressure of an active office and those bothersome distractions and interruptions. The streets were practically deserted. The drive to the office was quieting and calm. I arrived at the office well before the time I anticipated and found no problems in locating a safe parking place directly in front of the office entrance. Within minutes I was shuffling my pile of backlog work into some meaningful priority order. I prepared a cup of coffee, tuned in to an FM radio station that featured light, relaxing music and before long my backlog was being whittled down. At one point I glanced out through my window and noticed that a light, steady snow had commenced to fall. It gave the city street scene a look of purity and serenity that seemed so rare and eerie. Suddenly, the atmosphere was shattered by a staccato of repeated, loud rapping at the front door. I jumped from my seat and bolted to the front door. He was a large man, very tall with striking white hair and a beard to match. At first I had the feeling that I was acquainted with him, but his name eluded me. I unlocked the door (always a dangerous move in those days and in those urban areas) and led him into the reception area. In a voice filled with anxiety he said, “I broke my glasses, doctor, and I need help right away.” He handed me a broken pair of spectacles. I noticed that the frame was a Pathway Challenger (a hugely popular frame at that time). They were Demi Amber, 48 eye, 22 bridge and 5 3/4 temples. I neutralized the lenses and noted the results: O.D. -7.00 sph, O.S. -7.00 sph ( ) -0.50 cylinder cx 90 with an add of plus 2.00 in executive style segments. As I located another frame for him, we chatted. He was greatly relieved to learn that I could be of some help to him and he soon lost the tension and anxiety caused by his ill luck with the
glasses. He revealed that his original home was up North and he was presently on an important delivery job that would carry him clear across the country. I asked him if he was a member of the Teamsters Union. He admitted that he was. Furthermore, he attested that he was extremely upset since the contract for his eye care had not been renewed. “A darned nuisance,” he barked. He rubbed his hands together and blew on them for added warmth. I poured two fingers of sour mash bourbon for him from a bottle I kept in the office for medicinal purposes and the color returned to his face. As a matter of fact, after the second drink, his cheeks began to redden and his nose turned cherry red. He became effusive and expansive in his speech. I began to adjust the temples on his replacement frame and he said, “Nobody liked to see me wearing glasses. I needed them but people just wouldn’t hear of it. Photographers would insist that I remove them and whenever I would visit a family they would look at me as if I was a stranger. I love children and I like to bounce them on my knee and ask them what they would like for presents, this time of year. They would always fog up my lenses. The young ones would dribble on them and some kids in the tough parts of town used to throw them on the ground and stomp on them. So I finally decided to get contact lenses. I recently used my last pair of disposables and couldn’t replace them in time for this big, long trip I must make. I try not to disappoint the people but without contacts and the broken glasses my nearsightedness makes it very dangerous for my driving. Once I nearly ended up with an antler up my nose.” By this time the white bearded gentleman had finished his third drink and embraced me and thanked me profusely for my service to him. He asked me what the fee was for the frame and adjustments I supplied. I cheerfully explained that I recognized him as a special celebrity and said there would be no charge if only he would leave his autograph with me. He took my pen and signed his name on a sheet of paper. He then reached into his bulging pocket and brought out a candy cane which he presented to me, with a flourish. In a twinkling of an eye he was gone. I felt euphoric. I reached for the slip of paper that he had signed with a great flourish and style. It said, “Murray Gackenbach.” So much for flourishes. ■
MOVERS AND SHAKERS ICU Eyewear ICU Eyewear, Inc. has announced that Rich Conti has joined the company as chief executive officer and member of the board of directors. The company also Rich Conti Kirk Hobbs announced that Kirk Hobbs, most recently the CEO of Lifefactory, has joined ICU as chief operating officer. Former ICU CEO Rob Robillard will remain on the company’s board of directors going forward. Conti is an experienced consumer products veteran who brings strong sales, marketing, and executive leadership credentials to ICU. He began his career with Procter & Gamble and then spent over 20 years with Clorox. He has also held CEO roles in private-equity backed businesses, and most recently held the position of president and COO for SC Johnson North America.
Marcolin USA Marcolin USA, the Americas’ subsidiary of Marcolin S.p.A., has appointed Bob Dunn as the vice president, Eastern sales for the optical channel. Dunn will oversee sales efforts in the Eastern area and will join Ben Wolf, VP Western Bob Dunn sales for the optical channel, both reporting to Fabrizio Gamberini, CEO and general manager. Dunn joins Marcolin USA following several years with Viva, where he most recently served as the Eastern director of sales for the optical channel. Prior to this position, Dunn was regional sales manager in the Northeast for Marcolin USA.
VOSH/International David McPhillips, OD, FAAO, of Primary Eye Care Associates in Horsham, Pa., was named the 25th VOSH/International fellow. The Fellowship Program was established by David McPhillips VOSH/International to acknowledge the skills and experience necessary for a member of VOSH to advise on the global challenge of preventable blindness. McPhillips received his optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and serves as the director of Eye Care Services of the Genesis Health Systems Geriatric and Rehabilitation Center.
Nouveau Eyewear Nouveau Eyewear has made two executive promotions within its leadership team. Karen Claussen, vice president of Customer Service has been promoted to vice president of Sales Karen Claussen
40 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
Operations. Claussen will coordinate growth strategies for small chain, direct sales and wholesale accounts. A 25-year industry veteran, Claussen joined Nouveau Eyewear in 1987. Timi Morris, associate vice president of Distribution has been promoted to vice president of Distribution and Customer Service. Morris will oversee Nouveau Eyewear’s customer service division in addition to leading its distribution center. Morris joined the company in 1996. Both moves are effective Timi Morris immediately.
National Academies of Practice Satya. B. Verma, OD, associate professor and assistant director of externship programs at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University, was elected as the next president of the National Academies of Practice Satya B. Verma (NAP). Dr. Verma, whose clinical specialty is geriatric optometry, low vision and computer-related vision problems, will be installed next April at the group’s meeting in Alexandria, VA. He is the second optometrist to be elected to this position.
DAC Vision DAC Vision has announced that Mr. Isaac Altit has joined the company as Vice President Sales. He will initially concentrate on emerging, under-penetrated and special project markets; while assuming mature market responsibilities Isaac Altit with time. Prior to joining DAC Vision, Altit held various senior sales management positions for 35-years at Coburn Technologies. His considerable experience includes operations, customer service, technical support, logistics and training for both wholesale and retail customers.
Virginia Eye Institute Virginia Eye Institute (VEI) has announced that Bradley P. Smith, MBA, FACHE, FHFMA, CMPE, has joined Virginia Eye Institute as Chief Executive Officer. He has more than 30 years of senior healthcare executive leadership Bradley P. Smith experience. Mr. Smith joins Virginia Eye Institute from New Horizons Healthcare Consultancy (NHHC), in Vermilion, OH, where he served as Principal. He also previously served as Chief Executive Officer, Northern Ohio Medical Specialists and Chief Executive Officer, North Central CareNet, Ltd.
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LAST LOOK Jim Magay, RDO
Silence is Golden? I love elections, however I’m glad this loud national paroxysm is over. The stress of elections kills me but I love it.
am a political junkie of the worst sort. I can’t avoid looking at the political editorials in the papers, while checking out Huffington Post every two minutes, and peeking at the Drudge Report. Of course at home I have to stay tuned to MSNBC, with occasional glances at Fox.
My co-workers are relieved that I’m no longer politically proselytizing on work time, and I’m glad the UPS and FedEx guys are not quoting Rush to me every day. And now it is over. Time to lick wounds, Time to mend fences. Time to spend more quality time with friends and family after months of nervous anticipation. Time to make peace with family members of the conservative persuasion. Now it isn’t so compelling to stay up and watch Stewart and Colbert. And the Boston Herald’s snarky headlines no longer infuriate me. Of course, my phone and email message volume have dropped to almost nothing and that’s a relief since my “$3.00 contribution” will no longer be matched and all deadlines for fundraising are over, sort of. I’ll miss my friends from the RNC and DNC with all their (75 to 100) appeals for contributions per day. My caller ID is showing me the normal calls, confirming doctor appointments, haircuts, and all the usual weekly stuff – we no longer are screening for political ads, afraid to answer the phone until we see who is calling.
46 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | DECEMBER 2012
Sooo ... peace and quiet prevails for the moment. Silence! Now I can turn my attention to some great novels I’ve been too politically distracted to read (“Bring up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel demands close attention). These days the sound track of my days is soft jazz and it feels good. Actually Seth Horowitz – a Brown University neuroscientist, says in his new book “The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind” that the right musical accompaniment can enhance learning and comprehension. Human hearing is “faster-than-thought,” can capture “a wide range of tones and timbres that visual color cannot hope to match,” and has more “flexibility” than taste and smell. All this lets sound “drive a fantastic range of subconscious elements in the living organism.” I guess he is on to something because I hear a note or two and can tell you the name of the song – for you young folks – they used to have a radio show called “Name That Tune” (I think it was on early television as well). The premise was the show orchestra would play a few bars and the contestants would vie to accurately name the song before the other. According to Seth, hearing is a sense that could be construed as our most important. There are many naturally blind vertebrates who have acute hearing. All of you ECPs who fit hearing aids should be congratulated on your contributions to society. So maybe “Silence isn’t Golden”, since we depend on hearing to such a great degree, thanks to Seth we can now say, “who knew?” ■
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