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vision care

product news

house

BRANDS

P30

featuring

ABO CE ON NON-LICENSED EYEWEAR

Working

with RIMLESS

P44

EYEWEAR P58

Bold Contemporary Expression OGI EYEWEAR

O C T O B ER 2 018 • P RO D U C T INF O RMA TIO N F O R O PTICA L PE O PL E • V ISIO NCA RE PROD UCTS.COM

Follow Us on Social Media! David Rips, CEO

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Facebook.com/YoungerOptics Facebook.com/DavidRipsCEO

LinkedIn.com/in/DavidRipsCEO

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YOUR CAMPAIGN YOUR SUPPORT

Think About Your Eyes drove 3.4MM incremental eye exams and $752MM in incremental industry revenue in 2017. These industry leaders make the campaign a reality, and to keep it going, they need your support. Show them your appreciation, and encourage other companies you do business with to join the campaign. Think About your Eyes can get even bigger and more impactful with your help.

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Contents.

VC P N O C T O B E R 2 018

ON THE COVER Among those frame companies specializing in house brands, Ogi Eyewear’s bold, colorful, contemporary designs offer affordable handmade luxury that follows today’s trends.

16 UPFRONT FROM THE PUBLISHER 7 VIEWS 8 THINK ABOUT YOUR EYES 9 Guest Editorial by Ann M. Hoscheit, OD, FAAO, FAARM

VCPN INSIDER 10

V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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30 BUSINESS SOLUTIONS EMOTIONAL BRANDING 12 by Maria Sampalis, OD

ECPS TAKE ON BRANDING 14 BRAND BEYOND MARKETING 16 by Laura Pasternak

58 NURTURE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEAM 18 by David M. Dye

TREAT YOUR EMPLOYEES LIKE THEY MATTER 20 by Christine Comaford

CREATE OUTRAGEOUS GROWTH 22 by Roberta Matuson

NEW 24 Continued on page 5

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VCPN

FYSH-SEPT 2018.pdf

1

2018-09-12

10:18 AM

Confidence has no competition, individuality is an expression and style is the personal signature. FYSH is designed for the strong, ambitious, game c hanging women who embrace individual style. Combining the latest runway looks with the color trends of the season, FYSH eyewear features a vast array of bold colors, intricate patterns, unique constructions and shapes. The 2018 collection focuses on mixed materials in deep earth tones finished with muted gold & rose gold hues. Animal prints, glitter acetates, pearlized & multi-colored acetates bring a new perspective. Metal accents suc h as double metal bridges, inlays & browline details are key to the perfect eyewear accessory.

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

1.855.455.0042 |

www.WestGroupe.com F-3606

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a fresh NEW

EXPERIENCE VISIONCAREPRODUCTS.COM

Have you seen the ALL NEW VisionCareProducts.com? Completely redesigned to provide all the product and technology information busy ECPs need to stay ahead of the curve— when you want it—on any device!

IMAGE NAVIGATION

COMPLETELY RESPONSIVE

ABO EDUCATION

Easily get where you want

The new site adapts on all devices, mobile, tablet or desktop

Features online courses, immediate results, downloadable certificates, and MORE courses!

VISIT VISIONCAREPRODUCTS.COM TODAY! 0118_VCPN_Website_HouseAd.indd 12

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Contents.

OCTOBER 2018 VOL 18, ISSUE 10

VC P N O C T O B E R 2 018

EDITORIAL STAFF VICE PRESIDENT, EDITORIAL John Sailer JSailer@FVMG.com

EDITOR Cara Aidone Huzinec CHuzinec@FVMG.com

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kat McBride KMcBride@FVMG.com

PRODUCTION + WEB MANAGER Anthony Floreno AFloreno@FVMG.com

4 4 . g p out our ing

d ck Che Re-Bran ith : W E C ice ABO r Pract nsed u Yo on-Lice r N ea Eyew

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Perry Brill Christine Comaford David M. Dye Ann M. Hoscheit, OD, FAAO, FAARM Roberta Matuson Laura Pasternak Maria Sampalis, OD EDITOR EMERITUS Ed De Gennaro, MEd, ABOM EDeGennaro@FVMG.com

BUSINESS STAFF PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER

Continued from page 1

EYEWEAR + FASHION

VISION CARE TECHNOLOGY

360: BOLD MINIMALISM 26

RIMLESSREADY 58

A HOME FOR HOUSE BRANDS 30 by John Sailer

by Cara Huzinec

PRODUCT FOCUS 60 A Photochromic Breakthrough

Terry Tanker TTanker@FVMG.com

A NEW ERA IN EYEWEAR 38

EXECUTIVE VP

by Perry Brill

Shawn Mery SMery@FVMG.com

PHOTO CLINIC 40

20 QUESTIONS 62

Interchangeable Temples

With Mike Abrashoff

ABO CE 44

VISION EXCHANGE

VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING Debby Corriveau DCorriveau@FVMG.com

REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Eric Hagerman EHagerman@FVMG.com

Re-Branding Your Practice With Non-Licensed Eyewear

NEW 50 TRENDS 57

VISIONCAREPRODUCTNEWS

NEW 61

VCPN_MAGAZINE

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING FOR THE OPTICAL INDUSTRY 63

VISIONCAREPRODUCTNEWS

SHOWCASE/VCPN

For subscription information email Sub@VisionCareProducts.com VCPN (ISSN-1549-6716) is published monthly by JFT Properties LLC, 31674 Center Ridge Rd., Suite 104, North Ridgeville, OH 44039.  phone (440) 731-8600.  Periodical Postage paid at Cleveland, OH and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to VCPN, 31674 Center Ridge Rd., Suite 104, North Ridgeville, OH 44039. SUBSCRIPTIONS: 31674 Center Ridge Rd., Suite 104, North Ridgeville, OH 44039 or online at visioncareproducts.com. Distributed to qualified optical dispensing locations, chain store headquarters, and optical laboratories. Other U.S. subscriptions are available for $85 for one year; $160 for two years. Contact publisher for overseas rates. Copyright © 2018 by JFT Properties LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The publisher’s acceptance and publication of any advertising or editorial materials does not constitute endorsement of any product, service, or company by JFT Properties LLC. Throughout this publication, trademark names are used. Instead of placing a trademark or registration symbol at every occurrence, we are using the names editorially only, with no intention of infringement of the trademark.

V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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CONNECT with us!

VCPN Insider

Our monthly eNewsletter bringing you the latest in industry news and releases.

GET SOCIAL VISIONCAREPRODUCTNEWS

Subscribe here:

@VCPN_MAGAZINE

VISIONCAREPRODUCTS.COM/VCPN-INSIDER

LINKEDIN.COM/SHOWCASE/10571800

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From the Publisher.

mental

O

ver the last several months we’ve discussed the critical components of leadership necessary for running a successful company. In July, we examined “Motivating the Man in the Mirror ”—not always an easy task. However, finding the key(s) to what does motivate you will impact the rest of your company. In August, we analyzed being honest with yourself and investing in your business. And last month, we took a look at “class” and how it separates you from the crowd and makes people want to follow you. This month, I want to touch on the importance of a positive mental attitude. When I was in high school, this poem hung on a large poster on a wall in the athletic wing. Underneath it was a quote from Arnold Palmer, the professional golfer: “This poem has hung on a plaque in my office for many years. I am not aware of its origin but consider it a pertinent guideline for one to peruse in life and toward specific goals as well. It has always provided an energizing thrust to my career in golf.” Sports analogies are probably the easiest to demonstrate how accurate this poem is. In virtually every sporting event, announcers touch on how

TOUGHNESS

“mentally tough” an individual athlete is or, in certain circumstances, how mentally tough the entire team is. Mental preparedness and mental toughness go hand-in-hand and give individuals a big edge before an event even begins.

Mental preparedness and mental toughness go handin-hand and give individuals a big edge before an event even begins. Mentally tough individuals who come to mind include Mike Tyson. Other heavyweights were simply afraid to get in the ring with him, and many of them—now years later—freely admit it. Tiger Woods had it and is trying to find it again. But earlier in his career, all the other players knew they were playing for second. After trying for over four decades the Washington Capitals finally won the Stanley Cup. I use these examples to demonstrate my point. I’m sure within your company, circle of friends or family, you recognize individuals with these traits. You can train yourself to be “mentally tough,” too. How?

It’s not just one thing—it’s everything we’ve been discussing over the last three months—goal setting, practice, preparation, discipline, organization and wanting to be better. I’m glad these articles are helping—keep the emails and comments coming. They motivate me! n WHETHER YOU THINK YOU CAN OR CAN’T YOU’RE PROBABLY RIGHT If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think that you dare not, you don’t; If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t, It’s almost certain you won’t.

TERRY TANKER PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost; For in the world you’ll find Success begins with a fellow’s will. It’s all in the state of mind. If you think you are outclassed, you are; You’ve got to think high to rise; You’ve got to be sure of yourself before You can ever win a prize. Life’s battles don’t always go To the stronger or faster man; But sooner or later the man who wins Is the man who thinks he can. — Author Unknown

Email me at TTanker@FVMG.com V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Views.

Independence IS INTEGRAL

H JOHN SAILER VP, EDITORIAL

ouse brands: While this term is a part of our optical vocabulary, at first glance it may not be completely clear what it means. To get an idea how those in the eyewear business define “house brands,” we reached out to the people closest to them, the eyewear designers and manufacturers who offer them. “Everyone has a different understanding of what a ‘house brand’ is,” Peter Friedfeld, coowner of ClearVision Optical, told us. “For ECPs, it may be a brand that has their name on it. For the supplier, it may be the same. For example, our ‘house brand’ for more than 50 years is CVO (ClearVision), the brand that our company was founded on.” He further clarified, “I think today the term ‘house brand’ is also interchangeable with ‘independent brands’ or ‘non-branded’ product. We refer to ‘house brands’ as those that we develop internally, including product design, marketing, branding and manufacturing. These brands differentiate themselves from ‘licensed brands.’ Today, house brands fall into two main categories: value price and mid/upper price. House brands have traditionally been able to offer the on-trend or classic styles that we all know sell well, with a lower price offering in the market.” So, it’s independence from licenses that’s integral to what

defines a house brand, while in addition the overall development is internal, from beginning to end under the control of one single company. Beverly Suliteanu, WestGroupe’s vice president of product development, agreed. She shared with us her observations that house brands are not just independent from licenses but also from the competition. “Independent house brands are a fantastic way for independent ECPs to differentiate themselves from online and chain store competitors,” said Suliteanu, whose house brands include Evatik, KliiK, FYSH and Superflex. “Most chains and optical online retailers tend to focus on licensed brands as these names are easily recognized by the public, and the brand name tends to be the key selling feature of these products,” she continued. “With brand names widely available, the profitability of these brands for the ECP is somewhat diminished due to easy price comparisons by consumers. House brands, as there is no licensor to answer to, tend to have more leeway in design, leading to more creative and varied styling.” Now, the definition of house brands becomes even clearer: independence from licenses, internal control that starts with design and continues through manufacturing, plus the ability to compete as a result of these

Independent house brands are a fantastic way for independent ECPs to differentiate themselves. characteristics all contribute to what makes a house brand. Add to these the final experience of the end user, and the picture of a house brand comes fully into focus. Morel Eyewear’s CEO Tom Castiglione told us this about his company’s house brands, “What we are creating here is a proprietary brand that we can tell a story about. We can share that story with a consumer and create an experience. Experience is what we are trying to achieve. The experience is what sets them apart. The consumer intimately knows the story behind what it is that they are wearing.” Equipped with this background about how to define a house brand, take a look at pages 30-39 to get an idea of what new styles are available in this category, then take the ABO CE course on Non-Licensed Eyewear to further your expertise. Also check out this month’s Business Solutions section on Branding Your Practice to find out how, in addition to taking advantage of the benefits these house brands have to offer, you can simultaneously brand yourself as well. n

Email me at JSailer@FVMG.com 8 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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Think About Your Eyes.

It’s all in the BRAND

By Ann M. Hoscheit, OD, FAAO, FAARM

W

hen you think of brands, you might think of your favorite shoe company, the chips you eat or the airline you fly. But as business professionals, we have a brand and branding needs that can’t be ignored. The first step is overcoming the fear of branding or the belief that a medical or eyecare practice doesn’t need to have a brand. A brand is the essential underpinning to the practice marketing strategy. Typically, the practice brand begins with the “brand” of the founder and is defined accordingly. The brand is something your patients feel, hear or see when they visit the practice and interact with the doctors and staff. It should emanate from the practice mission and vision statement and define the business. Don’t have one of these yet, or need a refresh? Start by listening to your patients—what are they saying? Perhaps V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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you’ve already been “branded” and now you just have to find out how your patients see you and run with it? What sets your practice apart? Do you have a specialty? This is your unique value proposition. It’s okay to be bold and innovative, but always be authentic. Along the same lines, there should be an obvious connection between the brand and what drives your practice. (For example, don’t brand yourself as a high-end optical boutique if you don’t have 50% or more of your inventory in this category.) Write down what the brand means to you, but more importantly, live it. Every brochure or handout, lens cleaner and cleaning cloth, eyeglasses case, merchandise bag or direct ship order has your logo and practice website. Nothing goes in the patient’s hands without your brand on it. Engage your staff, both with the creation of the brand and also with branded uniforms and business cards. Develop a “voice” for the business via a

strong digital presence, including your website and social media. Patients are using the internet to find eye doctors now more than ever. Web traffic to ThinkAboutYourEyes. com has nearly doubled this year. Do you have a listing? Make it easy for patients to find you and get to know your brand. As advocates for vision health, we can be focused on the medical side of the business. But as businesspeople, we need to take tactics such as branding seriously. The brand should be what helps bond the patients to your practice and encourages a long-term, loyal relationship. n Ann Hoscheit, OD, FAAO, FAARM, is a consultant with EyeBridge Consulting Associates and provides patient care at Cherryville EyeCare, Cherryville, NC. She is among the more than 20,000 optometrists listed on the Think About Your Eyes online locator. First Vision Media Group is a media partner of Think About Your Eyes. O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 9

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vision care

product news

Insider. LAUNCHES, PROMOTIONS, MERCHANDISING, EVENTS AND OTHER THINGS TO KEEP YOU IN THE KNOW

GET A JOB! The Optical Women’s Association has added a new Job Board feature to its website. OWA members and sponsor companies can freely use the board to post and search for jobs within the optical industry. Companies and members can fill out an online form to get their jobs posted quickly. Non-members and nonsponsor companies can also post listings by paying a small fee. 972.233.9107 OpticalWomen.com

RANDY JACKSON TO KEYNOTE AT EYEINNOVATE Randy Jackson, American Idol judge and Zyloware spokesperson, is the keynote speaker at EyeInnovate 2018, a one-day conference to be held Nov. 6 in Los Angeles. Jackson will share his own vision care story as well as a behind-thescenes look at American Idol. Attendees can also enter to win weekly ticket giveaways through Nov. 1.

CROAKIES GETS AN “A” FOR EIFERT

877.707.3459 EyeInnovate2018.com

Croakies has expanded its relationship with Cincinnati Bengals tight end and outdoorsman Tyler Eifert, who will endorse Croakies in his professional and everyday life. Marketing will include traditional product endorsement with broader digital content, brand campaign support and exclusive product introductions, including plans to launch a signature Tyler Eifert product collection later this year. 800.955.6544, HilcoVision.com

To stay informed subscribe to the VCPN INSIDER e-newsletter here: VisionCareProducts.com/VCPN-INSIDER 10 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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vision care

product news

Insider. KIRK + KIRK CELEBRATES THE CENTURY MARK In 1919 Sidney and Percy Kirk converted a dilapidated sewing machine into a lens cutter, setting off a century of the Kirk family influencing optics around the globe. Sidney’s son Neville was in practice with his wife Esme, and it looked like that would be the end of the family interest in optics. But one day, their son Jason found a box of frames created by Sidney and Percy in the 1950s and ‘60s. Fast forward to 2019, and Jason and his partner Karen, herself a designer, now carry the mantle of 100 years of Kirks in optics.

HIRES + PROMOTIONS DAC Technologies has hired Joe Patella as an area manager based in Orlando, FL. Patella will cover the southeastern U.S. and be responsible for reaching out to existing customers and developing new partners in the region. Prior to DAC, Patella worked with National Optronics’ field service division.

+44 (0) 1273 963129 KirkAndKirk.com

le.

MCGEE GROUP LAUNCHES READER DIVISION The McGee Group has created The Reading Glass Company to grow its reader category under the Vera Bradley, Life is Good and Totally Rimless brands. John and Linda Nides joined the company to lead the new division. Both have more than 15 years of optical experience at Scojo New York and Ogi Eyewear. 800.848.1506 McGeeGroup.com

BACK-TO-SCHOOL CAMPAIGN MAKES A BIG IMPRESSION Think About Your Eyes’ back-to-school marketing campaign has yielded more than 130 million media impressions, according to the organization. TAYE focused on encouraging parents to take advantage of summer break to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist for their children. TV and radio interviews resulted in 57 million impressions, and an Instagram story takeover for Refinery29 yielded 70 million impressions, while another four million came from a partnership with online influencer network Collectively.

Noteab

s signed tical ha p O A A& ent with agreem g ) in s n e y (RRR a lic c h e l Ro a des R lu L c E ment in R AC H e re g a e r. The . The lin eyewea tribution is d s e a id po E t worldw ision Ex V t a t u . will deb h 2019 in Marc

Vision Source has named Amir Khoshnevis, OD, as executive vice president and chief clinical officer. Khoshnevis will work alongside senior management leaders to ensure the voice and vision of the private practice optometrist continues to guide the network. Khoshnevis joined Vision Source in 2003 and has held several leadership roles at the company.

OPTISOURCE ACQUIRES PEEPER KEEPERS OptiSource International has acquired Portland, OR-based Peeper Keepers, an eyewear retainers company known for its “stay put” rubber grip ends. For the past two years, OptiSource was the exclusive distributor for Peeper Keepers. 800.678.4768 1-800-OptiSource.com

ThinkAboutYourEyes.com

V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Branding.

emotional BRANDING

CONNECTING WITH PATIENTS PROVIDES A PROVEN APPROACH TO COMPETE WITH ONLINE RETAILERS.

By Maria Sampalis, OD

E

-commerce business has grown tremendously over the years and will continue to innovate and revolutionize how our patients seek knowledge, choose providers and purchase healthcare products. Emotional branding could be a different approach to how eyecare professionals can compete with online retailers. It can be a way to provide the best customer service as consumer trends change and patients seek more of an experience rather than solely focusing on price. Understanding what might emotionally trigger a patient to buy products or seek services from your office can be one way to combat online retailers and create loyalty and retention.

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Tapping into the emotions of your patients from the first interaction to promote your service or products is called “emotional branding.� Your brand image is very powerful. It triggers your patients to engage with you. Once you have them engaging with you, emotional branding builds those lasting relationships that create patient retention, loyalty and trust. STORYTELLING The patient brand experience depends on it telling your story. The way you create emotional engagement is critical to getting the results that you want, whether it is making a sale, retaining patients or building a reputation. Create a story of you. Let your patients or potential patients know who you are. A

parent, animal lover or sports fan, whatever it is, promote it via eblasts or social media to create a personalized approach to your brand strategy. Engage your patients and learn what has attracted them to you. Understand the lifestyle of your patients and promote products or services that your patients will benefit from. You want to know what triggers them to choose your office. Promoting yourself through storytelling is a powerful way to get patients talking about your office and referring others. Storytelling creates a brand story that educates patients, inspires them or makes them feel something. Those feelings create lasting impressions that keep people coming back and not going to your competitor. V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Branding. Promoting yourself through storytelling is a powerful way to get patients talking about your office and referring others. Let your patients know about your volunteer work, your struggles and accomplishments to provide a “human effect” that online retailers can’t compete with. Your goal is to make them feel or experience something during the interaction. EMOTIONAL DRIVERS Once you have successfully promoted your brand through storytelling and understand what your patients want, you can determine which emotional drivers influence your patients. Some emotional drivers in your practice include being healthy and improving your appearance and self confidence. Knowledgeable eyecare professionals can use these drivers to cultivate a personalized approach to a treatment plan, recommendation of products and ultimately a defensive strategy against online retailers. CONSISTENCY People don’t like change if they are comfortable and happy with your services. They are used to a certain experience and value. Develop a brand-specific strategy that is inviting to your patients. Whether it is that your services are provided in a timely manner or a friendly environment for families, being consistent will differentiate your office from online retailers. The value and emotional experience that your patients feel outweighs e-commerce pricing. When returning patients ask about your vacation or children, you have successfully accomplished the art of emotional branding. n Maria Sampalis, OD, of Sampalis Eyecare in Cranston, RI, is founder of Corporate Optometry on Facebook, CorporateOptometryCareers.com and the Corporate OD blog. She offers strategic planning services through Corporate Optometry Consulting. V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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PERSONAL BRANDING: CORPORATE ODS DON’T SELL . . . OR DO THEY? One reason why many young optometrists join corporate optometry is because they don’t have to sell glasses; they just focus on patient care. What many corporate ODs don’t realize is that they have to sell themselves. You may not be selling glasses, but you are selling your service, your name and an experience. You need to demonstrate your clinical skills to patients in a timely manner and provide a quality experience.

1. GOOD WORK IS VALUED You are selling yourself on performance for a pay raise or for the opportunity to take on an additional location. You are setting yourself apart from others with the way that you sell yourself, and this can open doors to opportunities that may not have presented themselves otherwise.

2. MAKING AN IMPRESSION You are selling the experience to create patient retention and a good impression with the patient. If you are confident with difficult cases or situations, your patients can sense that. In turn, if they are hesitating on a treatment or even on trying out progressive lenses, patients will value your recommendations because of the impression that you have left on them.

3. REPUTATION Important to success in any industry is the reputation that you create for yourself. We all want our patients to be happy with our services. Reputation in the medical community for services is highly regarded. Use your reputation to create an experience of excellence for your patients. Corporate optical should promote that reputation. It attracts a different target audience that is not solely focused on pricing.

4. PERSONAL BRAND In a tough market, a personal brand will help you stand out. If you follow the top three suggestions above, you will gain recognition among patients and employers. You are selling your personal brand to that patient and to your employer. It includes your professional attire, body language and communication style. It needs to be consistent. Word-of-mouth is a very powerful selling tool that is based on patients’ experience with you, and it will create referrals. Bring it all together by combining storytelling and emotional branding. It seems tough to be able to do all this in the 15 minutes you are with a patient, but it can be done. Project confidence; know the main reason the patient is there, and deliver a solution. Being able to provide quality eyecare while also telling a story during the exam will create a different experience for the patient that will be memorable. They will tell their friends if it was a “custom” experience. It can be as simple as recommending a certain progressive that would be specific to their individual needs. Emotional branding is a way of making a connection with your patients. It creates trust. Share your experiences that relate to that patient to make the patient understand that you care and to bolster your patient/provider relationship. Master this skill and you will have patients for the long term.

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ECPs On.

ECPs Take On

B RA NDIN G

VCPN SURVEYED A GROUP OF EYECARE PROFESSIONALS TO FIND OUT THEIR OPINIONS ON BRANDING, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY SAID:

80

APPOINTMENT CARDS 77% CLEANING KITS 53%

70

WHAT PROMOTIONAL ITEMS WITH BRANDING DO YOU GIVE TO YOUR PATIENTS? (CHECK ALL THAT APPLY)

EYEGLASS CASES 43% PENS 32%

60

MICROFIBER CLOTHS 29%

REUSABLE SHOPPING 50 BAGS 22% MUGS, GLASSES, WATER BOTTLES 10% 40 CAR EYEGLASS/ SUNGLASS CLIP 5%

30

T-SHIRTS/CLOTHING 5% REPAIR KITS 2% EYE MASKS 2% OTHER 8%

20 10

OTHER: flyers, post-op supply kits, drink koozies, calendars, notepads, knives, cellphone chargers

0

What is the most effective promotional technique you have used to create brand recognition for your business? “In-house video loop.”

“Local race t-shirt.”

“Cards and mailers.”

“Window decorations.”

“Repetition and consistency.”

“Trunk shows.”

“Window ads.”

“Newsletters.”

“Social media/direct email.”

“Word-of-mouth and social media.”

“New logo and tagline being used with every promotion and communication we design.”

“Lens promotions.”

“Database use.” “Open invitation for feedback.”

“Logo and name.”

“Yearly trunk show hype and cool useful giveaways.”

“Television commercials.”

“Low prices.”

“Advertising and promotions at local high school.”

“Our bags!”

“Our website.”

“Countercards.”

“Billboards.”

“Branding the doctor and his reputation via patient referrals, handouts and testimonials.”

“Posters.”

“Good care and service.”

“Youth sports and banners.”

“Strong Google presence.”

“Referral cards.”

“Signage by me that truly educates and communicates without the slick ‘sales’ bites.”

“Business cards for appointments.”

“Speaking at groups, health fairs, clubs or teacher groups.”

“Displays.” “Calendars.” “Window display featuring a brand.” 14 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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“Live, three-minute local radio ads.”

“Performing a survey and asking participants for their pearls of wisdom and then accumulating their responses.”

“Branded social media posts.”

“Being a consistent long-time vendor at the Southern Women’s Show.”

“Staff, word-of-mouth, how we answer the phone.”

“Longevity.” “Facebook.”

V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

9/21/18 8:34 AM


ECPs On. HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHANGE YOUR WINDOW DESIGN?

DO YOU CREATE YOUR OWN BRANDING OR UTILIZE AN EXTERNAL MARKETING SERVICE?

1%

9% 10%

29%

41%

55%

17% 16%

22%

ALL FOUR SEASONS 41% OTHER 22% NO WINDOWS 17%

OWN BRANDING 55% EXTERNAL SERVICE 16% BOTH 29%

MONTHLY 10% EVERY HOLIDAY 9% WEEKLY 1%

OTHER: never, three years, one to two years, some quarterly/some monthly, occasionally when new product is introduced, when I get tired of what is there

EXTERNAL: local, national, manufacturer-supplied materials, LensCrafters, Vision Source, Innexus Pro, iMatrix, Facebook, Google, Vistaprint, Quil

“Encourage referrals.”

“Email reminding.”

“Trade magazine advertising.”

“Pens; patients come back every year and look forward to getting a new pen. We took the time to find a design that was comfortable and wrote well so patients would actually use them and now just take them and lose them. Our local DMV has even been spotted using one with a string on it so no one can steal it!”

“My 40 years in practice!” “Information on new products and medical information handouts or via digital forms.” “In-person health fairs, senior expos. We give out branded mugs with branded goodies for two-pair purchases. We use branded mouse pads at every desk.” “Branding within the office; making everything uniform for the patients.” “We have an office dog.” “We do not promote at all and have 30% to 35% new patients every year. Great service has spread word-of-mouth like wildfire!” “Health fairs and getting our face out there.” “Advertising.” “Signage.”

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patients give them to others. Our name and number are always within reach.” “Logos on the polo shirts staff wears.” “Consistent colors and logo.” “Key chains.” “Staff wearing the products that we carry.” “Branding with health facility.”

“Hand out business cards to every patient who enters our office.”

“Punch balloons.”

“Offering services not provided by other local offices.”

“Having the nicest dispensary locally with a beautiful saltwater aquarium.”

“Sponsored sporting events.”

“Free vision screenings.”

“Smiling faces.”

“Sunglasses for kids in all daycares locally.”

“Recall cards with applied discount.”

“Offering digital retinal scans.”

“Using logo on all electronic communication with patients.”

“Umbrellas.”

“National Vision Source recognition.”

“We give away pens with our name on them, and our O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 15

9/21/18 8:34 AM


Branding.

BRAND

beyond marketing

MULTIPLE COMPONENTS BEYOND JUST YOUR LOGO ENCOMPASS BRANDING YOUR PRACTICE AND INCLUDE YOUR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION, MISSION, VISION AND MORE.

By Laura Pasternak

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randing goes well beyond marketing. It will not be successful without ensuring that all aspects of your business reflect and support your intended brand. One of your most valuable assets—your people—must be well-trained in articulating and delivering on your brand. This step is particularly important for the service side of your business in which your offerings are soft assets such as knowledge, experience and people. BRAND: THE SUM OF ITS PARTS Despite what many believe, brand isn’t about your logo, tagline and glossy brochure. Instead, a strong brand integrates multiple components, all of them necessary, including customer interactions, employee communications, corporate philosophy and advertising/marketing efforts. Your brand extends to your employees, customers, the media and even the general population. If these components don’t consistently reinforce your brand, customers will become dissatisfied. The negative impact of their perception, should they voice their

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opinions to other potential customers or even the media, could have a ripple effect on your business. This can erode your brand equity and create misperceptions about your practice in the marketplace that in turn could lead prospective customers, employees and investors to pass on your organization. On the other hand, brand consistency throughout all levels of the organization helps drive an organization to grow and prosper. Strong brands can drive an increase in sales. The company is better suited to attract and retain the best employees. Vendors can see value in your brand and look to establish partnerships with your business, while investors will see the business and your brand equity as a valuable commodity. BRANDING THROUGH EMPLOYEES Your employees are one of the most critical touch points for your customer. Here are four steps to ensure that they are representing your brand in the best light possible: phy that

DEVELOP A COMPANY PHILOSOPHY A thoughtfully planned philosoguides how your practice operates

is the first step to reinforcing your brand among your workforce. The prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is an excellent example. It has created the following five “Gold Standards” for business operations that reinforce the brand and detail an employee’s role in delivering on it: A vision to revolutionize hospitality in America by creating a luxury setting for guests and a credo that states the company’s commitment to the genuine care and comfort of its guests.   A motto that exemplifies the level of service for its guests:  “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” Three steps of service: (1) A warm and sincere greeting that uses the guest name, if and when possible, (2) Anticipation and compliance with guest needs, and (3) A fond farewell that uses a guest’s name, if and when possible.  The “20 Basics” that outline the responsibilities and expectations for how the company delivers on its service (including #13-Never Lose a Guest). The employee promise: “At The RitzCarlton, our ladies and gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests.” V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Branding.

MAINTAIN BRAND CONSISTENCY This step is essential to building a strong brand. However, it is often one of the first steps to unravel. You must establish consistency throughout all aspects of your organization. Just setting standards is not enough. You must constantly evaluate your actions. Establish checkpoints for each aspect of the business that interacts with customers and the general public. Ensure that each employee is empowered to identify and address inconsistencies in your brand. Fail to deliver on brand with one customer, and he or she might forget. Fail to do so for another, and he or she might not be so forgiving. It only takes a scant few to dispel the brand you are touting.    PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH The best way to lead is by example. If your brand projects your organization as one that supports its employees and then reneges on that promise, your brand (and sales) will suffer. Case in point: Walmart, which says, “We believe that one of the keys to our success is our people and how we treat V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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them.” However, the retail chain has been the subject of unfair employee wage practice lawsuits. Moreover, though the company says it values its target customer (the hardworking middle class), its actions aren’t necessarily consistent with the rhetoric.  

Your brand is only as good as the people behind it . . . and the people in front of your customer. IMPLEMENT BRAND GUIDELINES In order to ensure brand consistency, your organization must establish a framework or set of brand guidelines for all to follow. We’re not merely talking about logo or corporate identity guidelines but actual brand guidelines that communicate the company’s brand positioning statement, key messages, core values, brand attributes, measures of success and processes for handling customer issues or feedback. Federal Express was an early pioneer of this idea. The international shipper utilizes

an internet-based program that outlines the company’s brand guidelines. This detailed approach provides guidance on everything from the graphic standards for use of the company logo to how cultural differences affect brand (particularly important for global companies). Establishing brand guidelines leaves no room for misinterpretation and helps maintain consistency throughout all levels of the organization. Brand extends well beyond your marketing efforts. Your brand is only as good as the people behind it . . . and the people in front of your customer. Take the time to effectively build a corporate culture that mirrors your brand. Train your employees to represent that brand.  Evaluate your consistency in delivering your brand across all aspects of your business. In doing so, you will strengthen your brand equity and position your practice for greater success. n Laura Pasternak is principal/chief brand strategist of MarketPoint, LLC, a brand management firm that helps businesses improve results by identifying, integrating and managing customer-driven brand equities and strategies. YourMarketPoint.com. O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 17

9/20/18 7:24 PM


Leadership.

Nurture Confidence IN YOUR TEAM By David M. Dye

A

s I walked into my office, my cell phone buzzed with a text message. It was from Pami, one of my direct reports and a leader of two teams. The message was simple: “I want to resign.” We met for coffee that afternoon to discuss the situation. She looked up from her mug, her eyes watery, and said, “David, I don’t think I can do this anymore. I don’t believe in myself.” That is a low feeling. One of your people . . . one of the team members you rely on, has lost faith in herself. What made it worse was that I completely believed in her. I had no doubt she could do the work and lead her teams. Something was missing between my belief in her and her lack of belief in herself. Lack of confidence will cripple your team, keep them dependent on you and prevent you from doing your own work. In contrast, effective leaders build confident teams that tackle new challenges, learn and achieve together. These leaders nurture confidence in their teams through three key practices. SAY ‘YOU CAN’ Every leader is a CBO or Chief Belief Officer. When you hear people talk about leadership vision, this is ultimately what they mean. Leaders communicate possibility and potential. Walter Isaacson’s biography popularized the idea of Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field.” Although the “field” encompassed some unsavory characteristics (bending the truth, exaggerating, ignoring what Jobs did not want to deal with), it also included an almost magical ability to make the seemingly impossible happen. How did Jobs do this over and over again? Issaacson relates the story of Jobs’ visit

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with Corning Glass’s CEO, Wendell Weeks and how Gorilla Glass came to be used in the iPhone: Jobs said he wanted as much Gorilla Glass as Corning could make within six months. “We don’t have the capacity,” Weeks replied. “None of our plants make the glass now.” “Don’t be afraid,” Jobs replied. This stunned Weeks, who was good-humored and confident but not used to Jobs’ reality distortion field. He tried to explain that a false sense of confidence would not overcome engineering challenges, but that was a premise Jobs had repeatedly shown he didn’t accept. He stared at Weeks unblinkingly. “Yes, you can do it,” he said. “Get your mind around it. You can do it.” As Weeks retold this story, he shook his head in astonishment. “We did it in under six months,” he said. “We produced a glass that had never been made.” At his best, Steve Jobs had an unwavering vision of the future and a conviction of what people could do. He transferred that belief to Weeks with the simple words, “You can do it.” Your team needs to hear you say, “You can!” I once had the privilege to interview Christine Aguilar, one of a small handful of female staff in a mostly male prison. With a highly diverse and contentious inmate population, she had been placed in charge of creating a clothing factory. As if those weren’t enough barriers, prior attempts to open a similar factory in other state facilities had failed. One year later, Aguilar’s factory was out-producing the prototype operation, had an impeccable safety record and could run itself without supervision. When I asked Aguilar what made such a rapid transition possible, she said, “It began with my belief in the people. When they came to me, they wanted to tell me about what they had done on the outside, why they were in prison. I cut them off, told them I

LEAD YOUR EMPLOYEES TO KNOW AND MEET THEIR EXPECTATIONS BY SHOWING THEM HOW TO BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES.

didn’t really care about who they were last year. “This is who we are going to be in this factory, and this is what we’re going to do.” Most of them didn’t believe it at first, but pretty quickly they responded to someone believing in them.” When you positively communicate, “You can!” to your team, your belief in your team will become their confidence. Ultimately, this is the distilled essence of leadership: transferring the belief that together we can have a better tomorrow. CLEAR EXPECTATIONS AND TRAINING Imagine that you’re driving across the country to visit a friend. It’s late at night, your phone has died so you can’t consult the GPS, and you think you’re on the right road, but you’re not sure. What would you do? If you’re like most people, you would either look for a road sign or stop to find a map. In order to restore your confidence, you need clarity about where you were and where you’re going. After your belief in them, your team needs clarity. This is deceptively simple. When we struggle as managers, it is often because we have failed to set clear expectations. Set Clear Expectations: I’ve worked with thousands of managers and team leaders, and in 90% or more of those coaching conversations, the problems we’re discussing result from unclear expectations. Expectations can come from many sources: the team itself, the manager or the organization. Regardless, if those expectations are not clear, they will not be met, and I can guarantee you will be frustrated. You can determine if expectations are clear by asking team members, “What do you understand the expectations to be?” If they can’t state them clearly, you have work to do. Train and Equip Your Team to Meet the Expectations: After clear expectations, the V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Leadership. next pitfall is in assuming that everyone has the knowledge or skills to meet those expectations. Ensure your team members are set up for success. Don’t take this one for granted. I’ve met engineers who didn’t know how to use basic scheduling tools. If you’re unsure if people have the skills necessary, ask for a demonstration or have them walk you through their processes. Confident teams are clear about their expectations and have the skills they need to achieve their goals. As a leader, it’s your job to make sure both of these are in place. COACH FOR GROWTH Managers and leaders often struggle with how to develop their people. You might vaguely know you’re supposed to . . . you’ve heard about “leader as coach,” but what are you actually supposed to do? The good news is that you can do it, and it doesn’t take very long. In a few conversations that take a few minutes each, you can enhance a team member’s ability to take responsibility, solve problems and build their confidence. HERO OR HARASSED When a team member asks for help, how do you respond? Do you get upset, or do you dive in to “help” by offering solutions. Unfortunately, neither response gets you what you want: more time for your work and more responsibility from your team. On the one hand, if you get upset and chastise your team for bothering you, they will stop bothering you. They’ll also resent you and begin dragging their feet rather than solve problems that need attention. But hey, they’re not bothering you anymore, right? On the other hand, if you play the hero and jump in with answers, the immediate problems get solved and work continues. But next time an issue comes up, your team still can’t figure it out for themselves and, worse, you’ve now taught them that if things get difficult, you’ll just figure it out for them. Yes, you’re the hero, but say goodbye to your own productivity! The help your team really needs is not chastisement or to solve problems for them. What they really need from you in these moments are your questions. V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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THE POWER OF HEALTHY QUESTIONS Good questions are critical to free up your own time and increase your team’s ability to think and problem solve on their own. Poor questions place blame, dwell on failure, and are followed by an implied “you idiot!” Examples of poor questions include: • Who screwed up? • Why did you do that? • What were you thinking? In contrast, healthy questions focus on learning and on the future to generate ideas and solutions. Examples include: • What is your goal? • What did you try? • What happened? • What would you do next time?

Effective leaders build confident teams that tackle new challenges, learn and achieve together.

Assuming that your staff members have the basic skills, training and materials they need to do their jobs, this conversation doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes. For a complex project it might take the time required to drink a cup of coffee, but it shouldn’t take much longer than that. Now, you might be wondering what to do if the person replies to one of your questions with, “I don’t know.” No problem! “I don’t know” can mean many things. Rarely does it mean the person has zero thoughts about the issue. More often, “I don’t know” translates to: • “I’m uncertain.” • “I don’t want to commit before I know where you stand.” • “I haven’t thought about it yet.” • “I don’t want to think about it.” • “Will you please just tell me what to do?” • “I’m scared about getting it wrong.” Your job as a leader is to continue the

dialogue, to ease the person through their anxiety and train their brain to engage. With one question you can re-engage them in the conversation and move through “I don’t know” to productivity. When someone says, “I don’t know,” your next question is: “What might you do if you did know?” Try this with your children, with your co-workers or with the person next to you in a coffee shop. In any conversation where someone says, “I don’t know,” respond with a gentle, “What might you do if you did know?” and watch what happens. The person who was stymied two seconds ago will start to share ideas (usually good ones!) and move on as if they were never stuck. It’s amazing and hard to believe until you try it. It works because this question addresses the source of the person’s “I don’t know.” If they were anxious or fearful, it takes the pressure off by creating a hypothetical situation. If they hadn’t thought about the issue or didn’t want to think about it, you’ve lowered the perceived amount of energy they have to spend. You’re not asking for a thesis on the subject, just a conversational “What might you do . . .” You’ll know you’re succeeding in asking healthy questions when a team member tells you: “I had a problem. I was going to come and talk it over with you, but then I thought, you’re just going to ask me all these questions. So I asked myself all the questions instead, and I figured it out.” Celebrate those moments and encourage them to start asking those questions of the people around them. You’ve just increased your team’s capacity for problem solving, freed up time to focus on your work, and you’ve built a confident leader! Confident teams are a joy to lead. They achieve amazing results, have fun along the way, and allow you to do the work you need to do. When you share your belief in people, set clear expectations and ask questions to coach growth, you’ll have a confident high-performance team before you know it! n Award-winning author David Dye works with leaders, managers and supervisors who want to build teams that get more done with fewer headaches. LetsGrowLeaders.com O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 19

9/20/18 7:35 PM


Culture.

TREAT YOUR EMPLOYEES

Like They Matter SIX THINGS YOU DO (OR DON’T DO) THAT MAKE THEM FEEL UNLOVED.

By Christine Comaford

O

f course your employees matter. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t hire them, trust them to do important work or keep paying them week after week. If you think about it at all (which you probably don’t), you assume they realize that. It’s only logical. But, you may inadvertently do and say things that make them feel otherwise—and it has little to do with logic. Mattering is one of the three most primal human needs, along with safety and belonging. When employees are made to feel that they don’t matter, it happens on an emotional level, not an intellectual one. And we now

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know emotions, not intellect, drive 90% of human behavior. The really bad news for leaders is that when employees feel they don’t matter, they simply cannot function at their highest level of performance. When leaders say or do something that makes employees feel insignificant (and/ or frightened or isolated; the three tend to work together), they revert to the fight/flight/ freeze part of the brain—falling into the “Critter State.” Once in this state, all innovation and collaboration skills fall by the wayside, and every decision boils down to a single question: “What will keep me safe right now?”

HERE ARE SIX THINGS YOU MIGHT BE DOING TO MAKE YOUR EMPLOYEES FEEL LIKE THEY DON’T MATTER: 1. You don’t respond to emails.  Sure, you’re busy, and sure, your employees know that, but the Critter State doesn’t spring from the rational part of the brain. Instead of thinking, “Oh, the boss will get back to me when she has a moment,” they think, “She doesn’t like my idea. She doesn’t like me. I feel rejected. I don’t matter.” When employees email the boss, especially when that email asks for his or her approval or contains sensitive content, they’re putting themselves out there. Always V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Culture. respond even if it’s simply to say, “I need a little time to think about that, but I’ll get back to you in a day or two.” 2. You don’t give them feedback. When people matter to us, we want them to know they’ve done a good job. If they haven’t done a good job, we want them to know that too, so they can improve. To the employee’s Critter Brain, silence means we don’t care enough to let them know either way. Hopefully you’re giving feedback in performance evaluations, but give it informally as well. A simple “Good job writing that proposal” means a lot. And while it’s less fun to hear “You need to work on the close to your sales pitch,” when your employee starts getting better results, he’ll know you cared enough to speak up. It feels un-PC to make this comparison, but consider how well children respond to being consistently held accountable. Rules and boundaries make people feel loved. It’s true for employees and leaders too. In the Critter Brain, we’re all two-year-olds. 3. You only acknowledge mistakes.  This makes them feel like a faulty cog that must be repaired to keep the company machine running smoothly. To let them know they matter, make a positive personal connection with employees as often as possible.  Be specific about what you like and let them know their unique contribution makes a real difference to the company. Better yet, make a point of praising them publicly. Social rewards are extremely powerful—far more powerful than cash rewards, in fact. 4. You don’t celebrate victories. No, simply getting paid isn’t reward enough for doing a great job (a paycheck can feel like oil for the cog—necessary, but not meaningful). When your team has an especially significant win, make a point to order in a special lunch and celebrate the team company-wide. Team victory celebrations foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie, which go hand in hand with mattering.  5. You show favoritism. In many companies, there are certain team members who are perceived as “above the law” or in the V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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When employees are made to feel that they don’t matter, it happens on an emotional level, not an intellectual one. “in crowd.” These people tend not to be held accountable for their lack of performance, and they often get the lion’s share of raises, promotions, or perks, even if they don’t deserve them. Yes, other employees notice. People think lovability isn’t an issue in business, but it is. Feeling that others are more loved triggers safety, belonging and mattering issues in those on the outside. Absolute equality may not be possible in an imperfect world, but it’s critical to aim for it. 6. You burn them out. Do your employees slog away like slaves, working long hours and completing one high-stress task after another, day after day after day? Not only will they feel you don’t care about their well-being, they’ll burn out. Yes, from time to time we all have to exert extra effort . . . but no one can sustain such a pace forever. Even if you don’t tell employees they have to work until 8 p.m. every night, they see you

do it and feel they’re expected to do so as well. This isn’t good for you or for them. Sustainability is about creating win-win agreements with others and ourselves. We all need a good blend of people, activities and things that excite and energize us to balance out those inevitable things that drain us. If your employees matter to you, you’ll help them strike that balance. To many leaders, paying so much attention to what goes on inside employees’ heads is a foreign notion. But when we’re able to break the mental patterns that hold us—and those around us—back, we can reach heights of performance we never thought possible. n Christine Comaford is a global thought leader who helps mid-sized and Fortune 1000 companies navigate growth and change, an expert in human behavior and applied neuroscience, and a bestselling author. SmartTribesInstitute.com O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 21

9/20/18 7:33 PM


Strategy.

create

OUTRAGEOUS GROWTH

CHANGE ISN’T FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, NOR IS IT FOR THE WEARY— RAISE THE BAR WITHOUT FEAR.

By Roberta Matuson

T

hink about some of the most successful organizations. What do they have in common? If you answered outrageous gaps between their organization and that of their closest competitor, you’d be right. This growth has led to some amazing profits. Here is one example of an organization that has created outrageous gaps and another that has fallen victim to its own success. Apple is constantly raising the bar and creating large chasms between itself and its closest competitor, Microsoft. Apple hasn’t created these gaps through price cutting or selling more of the same. Instead, it propels growth through innovation. Remember how cool we all thought the iPod was when it first hit the market? Apple didn’t stop there and pound its chest on top of the mountain like some organizations might have done. Instead, the company took its bows and continued to innovate, thereby increasing the gap to outrageous levels. They continue to raise the bar while competitors scramble to compete. Meanwhile, Apple is on to the next thing.

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Remember the splash America On Line (AOL) created when it made the Internet accessible to the general public? If your first thought was, “America who?” you’re not alone. AOL was an American success story until it became complacent. Broadband entered the market and AOL rested on its laurels while innovative companies created outrageous gaps. By the time AOL introduced broadband options, its customer base was no more. What was once a great company is now the perfect case study on how complacency can destroy an organization. THE TRUTH ABOUT CHANGE Change management isn’t about fixing things. It’s about improvement. Change management initiatives must be more than one-time events or they will fail. When done right this process yields powerful results. Here are steps you can take to catapult ahead of your competition. What’s driving your desire for change? Before proceeding, it’s important to determine your motivation for changing. Change for the sake of change is just that. Are you changing because your competitor

is changing, or are you metamorphosing because you envision a future state that is a stronger, bolder version of your current state? These are two different initiatives that will yield significantly different results. In the first situation, you are chasing after your competition. An example of this would be Avis Car Rental. This company has always prided itself on having to work harder because it was never number one. On the other hand, Enterprise built the largest rental car company in North America through tremendous leadership and the entrepreneurial spirit of its employees. Its goal has never been to be the biggest; it simply worked hard to be the best. Enterprise is an example of a company that is building on strengths and widening the gap between its organization and its competitors. Until recently, Enterprise offered services no one else offered. Now, others offer pick-up and delivery services in an attempt to catch up. A colleague recently reported that he almost missed his flight waiting for one of the car rental competitors to pick him up. If you had to pick one, which company do you V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Strategy. believe would continue to experience growth? Which organization will attract innovators that will continue to raise the bar for this company? BACK TO THE FUTURE If you’ve decided that growth through innovation is more your cup of tea, then begin by looking into the future. Organizations must first ask themselves the “whats” to determine the future state of their businesses (dealing with the “hows” later). The following questions need to be asked: • What are you looking to achieve? • If you had a fairy godmother and could become anything, what would that be? • What would your company look like? Feel like? Smell Like? The above exercise is best done with those who will be responsible for helping achieve the future state—so it’s a good idea to involve your employees in these types of discussions. This is the first step toward gaining their support and commitment, which is vital for change to take hold. It’s important not to skip this step. The answers to these questions will help you determine when you’ve arrived at the destination, known as future state. ROADMAP TO SUCCESS Now that you figured out where you want to go, it’s time to get down to the business of defining objectives. How will you achieve your future state? Will you get there by retaining key talent? Will it be through acquisition? Will you choose cost cutting, or will you invest in new technology to create the future state of your organization? When examining the objectives, it’s important to make sure they’re not in conflict with one another. For example, can you successfully open up several new markets without adding additional staff? Can you become an organization known for the use of cutting-edge technology if the plan calls for building your future state on outdated equipment? ALL ABOARD! The next step is to get your sponsors on board. These are the people in the organization who are the key decision-makers, resource holders and those impacted by the change. Outrageous gaps will be created more quickly if everyone is moving forward V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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together. You’d be surprised how a few key stakeholders can throw on the emergency brake and stop the entire operation. That’s why it’s important to align everyone. Don’t forget about the informal influencers who have the power to derail this initiative. IMPLEMENTATION Companies that take the necessary time to plan for change find implementation significantly easier than those who don’t because its people know where they’re headed and why they’re going there, and they’ve already committed to making the trip. Along the way, check to ensure key measures are being met and make adjustments accordingly. Keep people informed along the way and be open to hearing feedback from those involved in the change. COMPLETION All good things must come to an end, and that includes a change management initiative. Take time to celebrate your successes and then prepare for your next leap as you look to create even more outrageous gaps. Change management is all the buzz these days as companies try to light a fire under their people with the hopes of a spark that will ignite the entire organization. Most fail. According to research conducted by the Ken Blanchard company, 70% of change initiatives are doomed to failure from the start. Here’s why: 1. The mistaken belief that announcing change is the same thing as creating change. We’ve all been in meetings where changes were announced and then nothing else happened. It’s time to change this. 2. Flavor of the month—”Let’s see, what is going to be this month’s change initiative? If I wait it out long enough, perhaps no one will notice that I haven’t participated.” Employees are tired of taking on this month’s change, which for them signals more work ahead. You have very few chances to get change right. Therefore, it’s best to take your time on the front end before moving to the implementation stage. 3. Employees are focusing too much on what they have to lose as a result of this change rather than what they have to gain. Many aren’t willing and able to make shortterm sacrifices to achieve long-term results.

Effective change leadership requires the development of strategies to resolve concerns and learn from the insights and advice that people have. Effective change leadership requires the development of strategies to resolve concerns and learn from the insights and advice that people have about the impact of change. 4. Failure to reward along the way. Behavior change is difficult for most people and takes quite a while to achieve. Reward people for achieving defined milestones and you will see their commitment rise. When people are committed toward achieving the future state, change will occur. 5. No one is leading the charge. Change initiatives, such as a move toward a lean manufacturing environment or shifting the culture of the organization, require an orchestrated approach. Someone must stand in front and play the role of the conductor. Otherwise, everyone will be playing his or her own tune and any chance of harmony will be lost. If change is mishandled, the outcomes can be disruptive or even disastrous. In some situations, failed change efforts will lead to even more serious trouble as productivity, morale and money are wasted on lost causes. Change isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it for the weary. It’s for those organizations that are constantly looking to improve and create a better future for their employees and their stakeholders. n Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, helps leaders of Fortune 500 companies and small- to medium-sized businesses create exceptional workplaces. A seasoned consultant, Matuson is considered an authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty. She is a prolific writer, the author of numerous books who has published more than 300 articles worldwide. MatusonConsulting.com O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 23

9/20/18 7:44 PM


New. CRYSTAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT INTEGRATES NEW SOFTWARE

HEA 20/20 PROGRAM LAUNCHED

Crystal Practice Management Software has added Crystal PM and Optikam Pad, a stand-alone iPad app for eyewear dispensing, to streamline sharing of patient measurement data and eliminate the need to manually enter data. Optikam’s Cloud Subscription automatically populates OptikamPad fields directly into Crystal PM, which include all ophthalmic measurements in addition to panto, wrap, A, B, ED and DBL values.

Healthy Eyes Advantage, Inc.’s new HEA 20/20 Program provides customized support to independent eyecare professionals. “Our new HEA 20/20 Program and Solution Pathways provide a holistic approach with easy access to everything an IECP needs to run an effective, efficient practice,” said Jim McGrann, executive chairman. Healthy Eyes Advantage members will benefit from enhanced purchasing programs with a broader choice of products and services, including technology-based services to improve workflow efficiencies, patient engagement and patient outcomes, rolled out over several months.

800.308.7169 CrystalPM.com Optikam.com

800.245.0051 MemberServices@HEA2020.com HealthyEyesAdvantage.com

EYECAREPRO’S LATEST FREE MARKETING EBOOK “GoogleMyBusiness in Eye Care: Time to Be All Over The Map,” from EyeCarePro provides tips on how to market your business using GoogleMyBusiness, an online formula that provides business information for consumers with reviews, photos, maps, questions and answers and appointment setting. EyeCarePro’s free ebook breaks down how to set up a GoogleMyBusiness page to support a practice and its patients. The ebook can be downloaded at Hubspot. EyeCarePro.net/gmb-ebook. 415.481.9008 EyeCarePro.net

SMART PRACTICE AI SOLUTIONS FROM COMPULINK Advantage SMART Practice from Compulink utilizes artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled features and real-time data to completely automate tasks such as billing, eligibility and ERA posting. Advantage SMART Workflow alerts providers and staff when patients are waiting and automatically displays patient records while Advantage SMART Patient Engagement communicates personalized content directly to a patient’s mobile device, which includes products and services specific to each patient. 800.456.4522 CompulinkAdvantage.com

PATIENT QUESTIONNAIRE ON BLUE LIGHT EXPOSURE FROM BLUTECH BluTech Lenses developed a questionnaire ECPs can give to patients to assess their exposure to harmful blue light. This digital lifestyle questionnaire enables ECPs to gather information needed to help patients understand their digital lifestyle and identify their needs. When completed electronically, the questionnaire also auto-calculates the total hours a patient is exposed to digital and LED light sources and can be emailed to patients prior to appointments. Practices can customize the questionnaire by adding a logo and business information directly on the questionnaire. The questionnaire can be downloaded for free at BluTechLenses.com/Resource/. 800.258.5902 BluTechLenses.com

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ADVERTORIAL

WHY MYOPIA

MATTERS By Millicent Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, Senior Vice President Customer Development, Essilor of America

“PSA: If you see me anywhere not wearing my glasses and I didn’t notice you, please don’t be sad. I am nearsighted, with astigmatism...”

A

s we know, people face this reality daily. Myopia is more than a refractive condition that causes annoyingly blurry vision, and it can impact the lives of patients who are affected. Many eye care professionals treat myopia the same way we have been for 50 years – by prescribing eyeglasses or contact lenses for clear vision only. But this approach may not be enough anymore. The risk for retinal pathologies and other ocular diseases increases tenfold for patients who do become high myopes. Nearly half of all Americans suffer from myopia, and while many practitioners are aware of the rising rate of myopia in places like east Asia, many likely do not know there has been a dramatic increase in this condition in the United States over the last 10 years.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Everyone in the eye care community has a role to play. As an ECP, your first step is to change the way you think about myopia. It’s no longer enough to treat it; now, as a standard of care, you should consider your patients’ quality of life and

how to actively manage myopia. Wouldn’t you like to slow the growth of a condition that affects almost half of all Americans? One way to do this is to make sure your patients understand the importance of regular comprehensive eye exams, especially for children. Children as young as age two or three can exhibit symptoms of myopia and if you are seeing them regularly, you can track how quickly the condition progresses. You also have a much better chance of slowing progression and greatly reducing the possibility that they will become high myopes later in life. If you don’t see a child until age nine or 10, they could already be myopic and you’ve lost this opportunity. You may not see the wisdom today in managing a condition to make perhaps only a small difference in a patient’s vision. However, by managing myopia in a different way, we may be able to reduce their degree of blur when uncorrected, which improves their quality of life. So while it may seem like a small change, you’ve made a big impact on your patient.

Unless indicated otherwise, all registered trademarks and trademarks are the property of Essilor International and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. These products may be protected by one or more patents listed at www.essilorusa.com/patents.

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WHY ESSILOR CARES To fulfill our commitment of eradicating poor vision in one generation, we must address the unprecedented growth of myopia in this country. That’s why Essilor is taking bold, immediate action to provide a clearer future for millions of people by leading efforts around myopia care. As part of our efforts to raise awareness about myopia, we will be reaching out to consumers and we want to ensure you are prepared. Your patients count on you to have the knowledge and information surrounding the latest research, trends and solutions for myopia care to help them make an informed decision. If you’re not on the path to becoming a myopia expert, you risk losing them to someone who is. So join us as we take on one of the most prevalent eye conditions in the world and help make the difference for your patients. Because we believe everyone deserves to see well. n

Better Sight. Better Life.

ESSILOR OF AMERICA | essilorusa.com

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Bold

MINIMALISM SILHOUETTE TAKES CLEAN DESIGN TO ANOTHER LEVEL WITH TITAN MINIMAL ART.

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360.

F5515

The Titan Minimal Art is the epitome of ‘nothing feels like a Silhouette.’

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­— Gerhard Fuchs

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ared-down to only essential elements, Silhouette’s Titan Minimal Art collection embodies comfort and clean styles. “The TMA is characterized by the absolute reduction to the essentials,” said designer Gerhard Fuchs. “You can’t remove anything nor do you need to add anything. It’s a design classic and here, form follows function in a perfect way, and with that, unrivaled wearing comfort. The Titan Minimal Art is the epitome of ‘nothing feels like a Silhouette.’” The collection is screwless and hingeless, weighing only 1.8 grams. Crafted in Austria, where Silhouette is headquartered, models range from casual to elegant with shapes from retro butterfly and cat eye to smaller oval-shaped styles for men that hearken back to the 1990s. In May, the company introduced TMA The Icon Accent Rings, which incorporates

an SPX (a super-polyamide material) ring that frames the outside lens edges to create the illusion of a frame. This unique design is neither a rimless style nor a full-rim. Instead, it’s a combination of both. With six frame colors, six lens shapes and six Accent Ring colors, the collection offers more than 200 possible variations for a completely custom style. Roland Keplinger, Silhouette’s head of design, told VCPN the company first attempted to design Accent Rings about four years ago, but it was only in the last year it established the technology to produce frames that are thin and light. “For a designer, this new hybrid of full-rim and rimless eyewear creates a great playing field,” he said. “We see the Accent Rings as not only one-dimensional rings, but also as an opportunity to let certain silhouettes of the rings interact with different shapes of lenses.” n

Silhouette International 800.223.0180 Silhouette.com V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Extreme Closeup.

SPONSORED CONTENT

a digital solution to be the ‘FRAME HERO’ THERE’S AN APP FOR ORDERING REPLACEMENT PARTS, MOREL FRAME HERO, WHICH SAVES TIME, MONEY AND EVEN THE ENVIRONMENT.

DETAILS

BACK STORY

WOW FACTOR

To service frames with necessary replacement parts, Morel has introduced Morel Frame Hero, a new tool that is available for both iOS and Android users. (A web version is also available.) In addition to providing a platform for ordering replacement parts, the app also features training videos for working with Morel frames. Morel Frame Hero is available for download at the App Store and Google Play.

“Overhead is wicked in small business,” company founder Jules Morel once said. So in the company’s continuous efforts to develop business solutions that help alleviate unnecessary overhead and improve everyday practice, Morel developed the Morel Frame Hero. Not only does utilizing this app save time and money, but it is also an eco-friendly way to cut back on waste that would otherwise result from replacing a complete frame and the packaging used to ship standard replacement orders.

By using an app to quickly and easily service frames with replacement parts, Morel Frame Hero, sends parts at no charge with no approvals required, provides fast and free ground shipping with automatic status updates and tracking information, and saves money by not having to replace a full frame. In addition, no returns are required, and there is no impact on return rates that influence rebate eligibility. n

MOREL Morel-France.com Info@Morel-EyewearUSA.com 800.526.8838 V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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House Brands.

A HOME FOR

house brands

THE GO-TO FRAMES FOR MANY ECPS, THEY’RE NOT LICENSED BY MAJOR DESIGNERS NOR ENDORSED BY FAMOUS CELEBRITIES, BUT RATHER HOUSE BRANDS ARE A CATEGORY UNTO THEMSELVES. By John Sailer uality, price, flexibility, design and the personal attention that comes from working with an independent company are among the factors eyecare professionals cite for choosing to carry house brand frames. The eyewear manufacturers specializing in this category agree, adding their own reasons for ECPs to carry them. “Independent house brands are a fantastic way for independent ECPs to differentiate themselves from online and chain store competitors,” said Beverly Suliteanu, vice president of product development for WestGroupe. “Most chains and optical online retailers tend to focus on licensed brands as these names are easily recognized by the public, and the brand name tends to be the key selling feature of these products. With brand names widely available, the profitability of these brands for the ECP is somewhat diminished due to easy price comparisons by consumers. Additionally, as there is no licensor to answer to, house brands tend to have more leeway in design, leading to more creative and varied styling. House

brands are able to adapt quicker to trend changes as the design cycle tends to be shorter than licensed products.” Yael Ifergan, director of marketing for Aspex Eyewear, agreed with this manufacturing flexibility benefit. “We control the product development process from A to Z and don’t have to wait for approval from a licensor,” he said. “This allows us to shorten the product development process and bring new models to the market in a much shorter time frame. We can adapt more quickly to new trends and opportunities. We can invest significant amounts of money in marketing and advertising and keep growing the brand. We can invest in proprietary new technologies such as Turboflex and use them across several collections.” Ultimately, house brands are about maintaining control, both for the manufacturer and the ECP. “We don’t have a pocketbook designer telling us where the logo should be; we don’t even use logos,”said Thomas Castiglione, chief executive officer of Morel Eyewear. “We look at them as proprietary brands, brands that we have created and have full control over.”

WESTGROUPE, FYSH F-3611 (ABOVE LEFT) KLIIK DENMARK K-626 (ABOVE RIGHT)

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House Brands.

EC485

ASPEX / TURBOFLEX

A

spex launched a national advertising campaign this fall for its TurboFlex house brand and its patented 360 Hinge, directing consumers to ECPs who carry the brand. EasyTwist (left), with its flexible bridge, and EasyClip (above), with its magnetic clip-ons, both feature the TurboFlex 360 Hinge. Aspex Eyewear 800.277.3979 AspexEyewear.com

QUENNEL 7855

OGI / BON VIVANT

O

gi (right), the original line from Ogi Eyewear, brings bold, colorful, contemporary eyewear. The Quennel (above), in Ogi’s Bon Vivant line, is lighter and more playful with soft blends of crystal acetate and complementary darker temples Ogi Eyewear 888.560.1060 OgiEyewear.com CSR@OgiFrames.com

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House Brands.

459

MODO

L

ightness embodies MODO’s philosophy, heritage and purpose and celebrates the structure of its eyewear. The frame style on the model is 7012 from the MODO R1000 + collection, and the sunglasses are style 459 from MODO’s PTA collection (Paper-Thin Acetate). MODO 800.223.7610 MODO.com

CustomerService@MODO.com

174

SAFILO / CARRERA

A

statement brand since 1956, Carrera is defined as being for people who live by their own rules. The Signature collection combines classic shapes and craf tsmanship with urban attitude, focusing on styles that unite the flair of metal details with refined acetates. Safilo USA 800.631.1188 Safilo.com Info@Safilo.com

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House Brands.

30067L GB05

MOREL / LIGHTEC

W

ith a sleek look that hides technological prowess, Morel Lightec’s comfort and lightness rely on a frame with screwless temples and a flexible hinge, also without screws. Its signature thin line of metal on the temple joins the trendy retro-inspired tortoise-shell shades and warm colors. Morel 800.526.8838 Morel-France.com Sales@Morel-EyewearUSA.com

M-3802

MARCHON / MARCHON NYC THERMO-MEMORY

D

esigned with a thermosetting plastic, these styles adjust easily with heat, and Thermo-Memory remembers its original shape. Lightweight and durable, the Marchon NYC Thermo-Memory collection features hidden flexible spring hinges in frames with modern shapes and sophisticated color combinations. Marchon Eyewear 800.645.1300 Marchon.com CS@Marchon.com

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House Brands.

LS503

TURA

S

ince 1938, Tura eyewear infuses feminine flair with bold beauty inspired by American jewelr y and 100% conceived in its Manhattan design of fice. Handcraf ted eyewear for the discerning woman of all ages, Tura of fers ever ything from modern silhouettes to more classic styling. Tura, Inc. 800.242.8872 Tura.com Orders@Tura.com

3616

WESTGROUPE / FYSH

A

ll of WestGroupe’s brands have a back stor y for ECPs to share with their patients, and FYSH is no dif ferent. Combining the latest runway looks with the color trends of the season, FYSH is designed for strong, ambitious, game-changing women who embrace individual style. WestGroupe 855.455.0042 WestGroupe.com Info@WestGroupe.com

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House Brands.

BAMBOO

MOTT OPTICAL / SUKI

A

A matte titanium-based line, the Suki house brand from Mott Optical is defined as a “natural extension of self,” featuring a monochromatic outside with a pop of color inside. Designed for a high-Rx patient looking for a lightweight frame, the line also features nosepads for extra support. Mott Optical 855.750.6688 MottOptical.com MottGroup@MottOptical.comcom

GENUINE

CLEARVISION / ASPIRE

W

ith a weightless, “barely there” feel, the latest addition to the Aspire collection is constructed of SDN-6, a new proprietary nylon plastic material featuring a manufacturing technique that allows for a saddle bridge design.

ClearVision Optical Co. 800.645.3733 CVOptical.com CService@CVOptical.com

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ECPS CHOOSE

House Brands.

NU026

WHAT DIFFERENTIATES HOUSE BRANDS? While you usually have to buy in bulk, you can get a stylish frame at a lower price point and pass that savings on to the customer. They can’t be shopped online. You can pick and choose your colors and styles. — Todd Jones, Co-Owner, Dispensing Optician, Optical Reflections, Chapel Hill, NC. (90% house brands)

L’AMY / TLG

E

xpanding The Biform Hinge concept, which offers dual action flex with a secure close and includes slim metal rivets that embellish the endpieces and anchor the hinge, the NU026 style features a retroround shape, a keyhole nosebridge and richly colored acetate horn on both the front and temples. L’Amy America 800.243.6350 LAmyAmerica.com Support@LAmyAmerica.com

MA3017

They are easier to work with, both the company and the product. I prefer house brands. I think small businesses do in general. Big brands are manufactured in a big mill and not specific to certain demographics. — Michelle Altman, LDO, Altman Eye Gallery, Sunrise, FL. (70% house brands)

The thing that really differentiates those kinds of companies is the ability to give you personal attention. If something’s not moving, they’re happy to take them back and replace them with something matching the trends or your demographics. That keeps the product fresher and allows you to tailor what you are offering your patients on an ongoing basis. Working with these companies is much more pleasant than having a fight. A lot of the bigger companies and big brand reps have limited ability to give you personal attention, and they are governed by pretty strict policies regarding how much you can return and how much to place in your store. I like to keep the amount of reps we’re dealing with as low as possible, so if one rep can rep multiple lines then we’re seeing fewer reps for the same amount of lines that we’re selling. — Adam McKenzie, ABOC, Optical Manager, Jarvis Vision Center, Murray, KY. (90% house brands)

Definitely high quality frames that are easily adjustable. They’re a little edgy without being over the top. They seem to have really captured the usage of color.

MARCOLIN / MARCOLIN EYEWEAR

T

he new Marcolin Eyewear collection is designed with the inspiration and essence of a luxury jewelry line. This new collection is for a sophisticated, upscale consumer who is looking for a high quality product at an affordable price point. Marcolin 800.345.8482 Marcolin.com InfoUSA@Marcolin.com

— Gina Redlich, Optician, Advanced Eye Care and Vision Gallery, Hillsborough, NJ. (40% house brands)

House brands have better design and better quality. You don’t have to compete directly with the big box stores. They help us be a little more unique and a little more profitable. The companies are easy to work with. — Wes Johnston, Office Manager/Buyer, Mockingbird Optical Shop, San Antonio, TX. (75% house brands)

House brands are a great way to find value for our patients who may be budget conscious. — Fernando DeSantis, The Vision Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, (40% house brands)

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HOUSE BRANDS House brands are staples that every inventory portfolio needs to offer. They are the backbone that the remainder of your inventory builds off of. ­­ Mindy McCormick, ABOC, Retail Coordinator/Frame Buyer, EyeCare — Specialties, P.C., Lincoln, NE. (20% house brands)

Price is a big factor. We do about 15,000 cataracts per year, and Medicare patients are entitled to a frame and lenses benefit one time after cataract surgery. House brands are always a good option for that because we can price them so the patient doesn’t incur any costs. ­­— Stephanie Stripe, COA, ABO, NCLE, Vision Galleria, Mynot, ND (40% house brands)

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH HOUSE BRANDS TO CARRY? A lot of it is really design and materials, mostly design. I pick frames that require the least amount of adjustments. We like to see patients, but we don’t like to see them that often. We want them to say, “Hi, the product is working out,” but not for tweaking or adjustment. That tells me the product is well made, and when it is well made they spread the word. That’s how I get referrals.

WHAT DIFFERENTIATES HOUSE BRANDS AND HOW TO CHOOSE AND PROMOTE THEM.

polarized clips that they practically sell themselves. We do look for something unique, frames that you don’t see on every person walking down the street. With frames that aren’t strongly branded you’re looking at the frame itself, you’re looking for a frame that stands out. Of course, pricing is important too. ­­— Melanie Hill, ABO, Woldorff Family Optometry, Durham, NC. (40% house brands)

HOW DO YOU PROMOTE HOUSE BRANDS TO THE END USER? I’m not a salesperson like some opticians. I’m an optician. I go with size and features and price. If a big name brand fits them better, that’s what I put them in. I just have a majority of house brands, so it’s easier to find a good fit among house brands. ­­— Michelle Altman, LDO

We promote the look of the frame on somebody’s face. If a person says, “I need to be thrifty,” I can still promote a package program to the patient for their convenience. There are eight other places in town, so we have a lot of competition.

­­— Meg Young, Owner/Optician, Optical Shop of Nyack, Nyack, NY. (80% house brands)

­­— Stephanie Stripe, COA, ABO, NCLE

We analyze them based on several factors. One is diversity within the group. We practice in a smaller, rural town, so we look for brands with a good mixture of traditional styles and different colors and temple designs to attract different patients. That’s one of the things we like about WestGroupe, the diversity of styles that attract different patients at different price points.

I don’t figure in the price point. I let them decide the price point. I’ll show them a variety of frames from low end to high end, then while we’re picking frames, I’ll make suggestions. Then I’ll bring up the price and let them make the decision whether they can afford it.

­­— Reed Jarvis, OD, Jarvis Vision Center, Murray, KY. (90% house brands)

We’re in a transition mode at our practice trying to bring in exclusively house brands because it’s becoming more complicated to compete with online brands that you can buy everywhere. We emphasize the story behind the house brands. They all have their own internal messaging, and we have placards that create a connection with the patients. ­­

I’ve done this a long time, so it’s through experience that I determine which house brands to carry. I’ve been burnt and know which ones are better, knowing that they invoice correctly and knowing that their warranties are very good for a year or so without any problems. I don’t throw a lot back, but I like to know that I can. I also choose what’s best for my patients. ­­— Michelle Altman, LDO

The house brands we use are Marcolin and Europa. We use them because the product quality does not differ between lines. The differences I see are more by style and the demographic they are trying to reach with their lines. Generally, the house brand will somewhat mimic some of the brand name lines in terms of style and quality but be less expensive. Service from the company comes into play here as well. Calling the inside reps at those two companies is not something I dread, like I do with some. ­­­— Fernando DeSantis

Style is number one. Aspex has a wide variety of styles that I can find something for almost all of my patients. Paradox has edgier looks, while Takumi is a little more mainstream. People love the magnetic V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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­— Todd Jones

— Reed Jarvis, OD

We showcase them in our displays and make them front and center on our boards. Once a year we do a holiday open house, have a trunk show with those brands and invite patients to come in and shop with incentives and discounts. ­­— Adam McKenzie, ABOC

We promote them mainly by showing them, assuring the quality of the frame and using them the most. They are our best sellers, so they have become our go-to frames. We don’t get any commission, so that allows us to be honest with the patient and do what’s best for them. But we try to figure out a budget the patient has and the style they are looking for. This leads us to the final product, but if a patient likes two similar frames and there is a difference of say $80, they will most likely choose the lesser price but not sacrifice any quality. ­­— Fernando DeSantis

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House Brands.

A NEW ERA IN

eyewear

SYNONYMOUS WITH INDEPENDENT EYEWEAR, HOUSE BRANDS ARE UNIQUELY DEVELOPED AND FREE OF LICENSES AND CORPORATE INFLUENCE.

By Perry Brill

W

e’re living in a less brand-dominated world. There’s a retail revolution in action where new brands arise, and the less popular ones fall to their demise overnight. There will always be a presence of core brands that have a history of producing for the masses. You will find these in every major city in shopping hot spots. However, there’s a retail player in town known as the “house brand” or “independent brand.” All of sudden you wake up and there’s a spotlight new brand with internet influencers broadcasting its arrival. It’s trendy, it’s quality, and it allows individuals to show off fresh new style that’s exclusive. It used to take a full-scale team to develop, market and maintain a brand’s presence. Today, the eyewear market is evolving in a way that allows the hippest brands to evolve overnight. The concept of house brand frames is alive and well. 38 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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STANDING OUT IN A SEA OF FRAMES Making our board space “pop” is harder than ever today. The variety of quality frames and designs is extraordinary. The eyewear field is becoming saturated and highly differentiated, causing retailers to become savvy about choosing which vendors they align with as business partners. Patients expect to see new merchandise at each visit. Introducing house brand frames into an eyewear gallery sets the scene that an optical is at the forefront of fashion and trends. With correct signage and merchandising, you can create a ripple in a sea of frames, calling attention to your customers a brand is worthy of exploring. It’s important to establish house brands as a new “brand” by correctly inventorying a prominent number of pieces to establish its presence. A sea is a large territory, and your house brands should be too. Don’t just sprinkle them in.

House brands will continue to dominate the retail revolution

THE EQUATION: COST, DESIGN, QUALITY, VALUE Any time a retailer or wholesaler is looking for revenue opportunities, this equation should be explored. The equation when solved correctly can lead to greater consumer satisfaction. COST: A collection of house brand frames should allow manufacturers and retailers greater purchasing power as costs of goods become less. This is a big bonus as the savings from not purchasing expensive V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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House Brands. licensing fees can be used to focus the extra savings on intricate design and quality elements.

SHOULD I BE SELLING PRIVATE LABEL?

DESIGN: Creative freedoms become abundant in house brand frames. Rather than following a set of brand guidelines that may have existed for decades, designers can source inspiration from within themselves or current fashion to create eyewear that speaks to the target demographic. QUALITY: This is where house brands shine. Producing frames more efficiently and with lower overhead allows for cost shifting. This means a greater portion of a budget can be used to focus where it matters for the person actually wearing the frame. Examples of better quality elements of house brand frames could include: higher luster acetates, proprietary hinges or subtle brand details on the temple tips. VALUE: Creating the concept of value in something that is not familiar to consumers is tough. Without brand recognition, a house brand has no merit. Fortunately, value can be created when enthusiasm is transferred from optician to patient through storytelling. By telling the story of a house brand from inception of brand, cost, design and quality, you can relay the message of value. Always try to focus on a proposition of more for the same or more for more value. There’s no end to the low end. HOUSE BRANDS ARE REAL Consumers are starting to accept that little brands are more intimate and exciting than traditional legacy brands. If you look at the Instagram frenzy right now, brands are popping up overnight and gaining serious traction in the crowded retail space. It’s no surprise brands can gain thousands of followers after a brand launch. Exclusivity is becoming much more popular than familiarity. People want to be asked, “What are you wearing?” House brands will continue to dominate the retail revolution as social media organically elevates these brands to higher levels. n

Private label is nothing new. Go to any grocery store and see their brand name slapped on a box of cereal or potato chips. It’s not quite that name brand taste, but it’s good enough for the price. Branding a local optical’s name on frames gives it scale and legitimacy. People are proud to represent local brands they adore. It’s a new phenomenon in retail.

3 REASONS FOR PRIVATE LABEL 1. CREATE WALKING ADVERTISEMENTS FOR YOUR PRACTICE There’s no better advertising than a personal referral. It’s genuine, and people love sharing their wardrobe secrets. These are your net promoters, and they refer patients to you because they want to and not for a reward.

2. LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD Private label can lower your costs of goods by 50% to 90%. This allows eyecare professionals flexibility in pricing. The online market will increase in market share in the next decade. Be prepared with a plan, rather than surviving off becoming a coupon business to drive sales. Remember, your eyewear costs should have no relation to what consumers should be charged. Set pricing based on value and not mathematical industry trend markups.

3. NOT FOUND ONLINE We hear the horror stories of people snapping photos of frames and purchasing in front of us. Prevent this consumer behavior by offering a superior design and quality product without the internet footraces.

HOW DO I START PRODUCING MY OWN FRAMES? You can either buy “ready stock” eyewear or start designing your own simply by selecting shape and material combinations from factories. Don’t be intimidated. A quality factory will guide you through the decision-making process. The factory wants repeat business, and you want to sell frames to satisfy the three reasons for private label. Ready stock is perfect if you just want to select pre-produced styles and have your name put on them. This method has a low barrier to entry and cost. Designing your own is more involved and necessitates minimum order quantities, usually 100 to 300 pieces per model. This method is for those thinking more long-term about establishing a true brand for years to come. The profit margins will be so great you will make a return on investment in no time. What are you waiting for? Go explore factories in Italy, Japan, China and Korea!

Optician Perry Brill is with Brill Eye Center in Mission, KS. V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Photo Clinic.

Interchangeable TEMPLES IN L E SS T H A N O NE MINUTE, YOU C AN C HAN GE THE TEMP LE S ON T H E M A OP TIC AL’S IGREEN HI- TEC H FRAMES.

S

everal years of research and development have resulted in these frames that are not only lightweight and flexible but also highly customizable. Temples in several different colors, either shiny

or matte, are available in three lengths—130mm, 135mm and 143mm. They are all interchangeable, resulting in the ability to personalize any iGreen frame.

REMOVING TEMPLES 1

Hold your frame in an upright position (vertically) with the frame top facing you. Temples should be closed.

3

Press with your thumb with slight pressure, bending temple inward.

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2

With the hand holding the frame, place your thumb right below where the hook and temple meet.

4

With your other hand, using your thumb and index finger, grab the top of the temple and pop it off the hook and away from the frame front.

V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Photo Clinic. ADDING TEMPLES

5

6

Hold your frame in an upright position (vertically) with the frame top facing you.

7

With one hand on the frame use your other hand to place the temple on the hook.

8

Insert the hook into the top of the temple, push temple upward until it pops in.

Repeat steps for the other temple

THEMA OPTICAL 786.803.8881 ThemaOptical.com CService@Thema-Optical.com V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Style: SPL618

w w w. p o li c e li f e s t y le . c o m

| 800.423.3023 | WWW.DERIGO.US

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Extreme Closeup.

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BACK STORY

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Passionate about freedom since 1983, Police has served as a metropolitan manifesto for those who set out to get noticed. One of De Rigo Group’s key house brands, Police is a global lifestyle brand that offers a range of eyewear, watches, jewelry, fragrances and leather goods. Designed by the De Rigo Group’s Creative Director Enrico Furlan and backed by big name brand ambassadors, Police has been synonymous with a strong energetic style and urban charisma for the past 35 years.

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offers a wide scope of compelling marketing materials from cohesive co-op packages to institutional and seasonal point-of-purchase merchandising, including floor and table displays, shelf talkers, window stickers, countercards, box displays and more. n

DE RIGO REM CustomerService@DeRigo.US 800.423.3023 V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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ABO GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Re-Branding

YOUR PRACTICE

WITH NON-LICENSED EYEWEAR APPROVAL: ABO APPROVED FOR 1-HOUR, GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ONLINE COURSE: SWFVM002 EXPIRATION DATE: NOVEMBER 18, 2021 APPROVAL: This course has been approved for one hour of General Knowledge continuing education credit by the American Board of Opticianry. NOTE: This course is only available with online testing. Please see instructions at the end.

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COURSE DESCRIPTION:

By Jesse Walters, ABOM

There are many familiar designer names to be found on frame boards at all levels of the eyewear industry. It is a common perception that a recognizable brand name can make your patients more willing consumers of a product that already holds value and association. This article aims to highlight the great benefits of supporting smaller, independent designers of eyewear in a way that sets your practice apart in this competitive business.

“Do you carry (insert familiar major brand name here)?” As an optical professional I am sure you have fielded this question many times, and depending on what type of retail environment you are in, the answer can lead you on a few different paths. The reality may be, “No, because that is a proprietary brand licensed to a major box store or chain.” Or “Yes, but you can get it much cheaper online because we have to support the overhead

Sponsored by an unrestricted education grant from Morel.

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ABO GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

Independent eyewear companies employ their own name and unique identity as opposed to borrowing from others.

of a brick-and-mortar office that accepts insurance benefits with qualified opticians who get paid a living wage.” Wouldn’t you much prefer to be having this conversation instead: “We do not, but can I show you some frames that are on the cutting edge of fashion, handmade with quality materials and are exclusive to our practice?” In American culture, designer name brands are a dominating force. Whether you sport a “swoosh” on every item of clothing you wear or clutch a handbag with the repetitious beige “C” on it, you are supporting a brand for its cultural identity or social status. These familiar brands hold consumer loyalty and are clearly associated with specific demographics and cultural significance. Also, their logos are licensed and branded on the temples and demonstration lenses of eyeglass frames sold worldwide. These name brands are collected and packaged by large-scale distributors who contract with everyone including online retailers, big box stores, small eyeglass chains and independent optometry practices. Understanding where you stand in that business hierarchy will greatly determine how you can compete while carrying those same familiar name brands. You may think your sale is all but wrapped up thanks to the positive association of familiar brand X, but are your patients really going to resist the urge of a Google search for the lowest bidder? Instead of entering a competition you are not likely to win as an independently V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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owned business, you can offer a more innovative, fashionable and finely crafted product, one that is not offered by a thousand other retailers. These are lines produced by designers and manufacturers who are exclusively dedicated to the optical frame industry. You can proudly display these unique lines and introduce your customers to an unrivaled eyewearbuying experience that cannot be duplicated or mass produced. HOW IS BRAND CULTURE CHANGING? By now most of us in the eyewear industry, and much of our patient base, are familiar with Leslie Stahl’s 2012 exposé on 60 Minutes regarding the illusion of choice in mainstream eyeglass retailers. Much of the familiar brands we see are owned by a very small number of companies (she argued mainly one in particular) who control much of the market. This is not limited to control of frame lines but includes ownership of chain stores throughout the country as well as major vision insurance plans. I have had patients on more than one occasion actually try to call me out during a sale by saying, “I’m onto you! I saw that news report, and all these frames on your wall are owned by one big monopoly.” Fortunately, I have the great privilege of looking that patient in the eye and saying, “Not at this practice.” The public perception of big brand names has been changing, and there is an

increasing reluctance and mistrust directed toward the corporate model. There is a lot of negative press regarding “big pharma,” “too big to fail” and “the top 1%.” Simultaneously, there is an ever-growing movement of shopping local, supporting small business and a social awareness of the votes you cast with your wallet on every purchase. It may seem futile and perhaps even risky to try to avoid participation in the biggest piece of the pie of this billion dollar industry, but the true illusion is that there is a choice for us and our patients. There are thousands of pioneering and creative small businesses that are committed to designing and making quality eyeglasses. Why would you so willingly sell your competitor’s product when you can work with companies that have no other interest but to see your practice succeed? The creative eyewear segment covers a wide variety of evolving styles and value that is not beholden to brand licensing or corporate control. WHAT IS THE TRUE DIFFERENCE? If you recognize a frame label from your shoes or your handbag, then it is not a designer dedicated to eyewear. They may specialize in handbags or shoes that display the original intent and quality of the designer and their specialty, but the individual or company name stamped on that eyeglasses frame usually has very little to do with that product itself other than the purchase of the logo. The branding O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 45

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ABO GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

attention of your target demographic, so you must display and advertise accordingly. Your approach needs to combine a suitable display (if it’s an artistically designed frame, display it like art), an educated and enthusiastic staff to promote the brand and maybe even a party every now and then to get the word out. It’s starting to sound a lot more interesting than a shoe logo on a lens isn’t it?

Independent designers are not beholden to a particular brand identity and have the freedom to create and evolve without corporate restrictions.

found on prescription eyewear is a very diverse range of company logos well beyond handbags and shoes to magazines, children’s characters, cosmetics companies and more. Much of the cost of these frame lines lies in the royalties paid for the privilege of that label, not the quality of the product itself. This permission to use popular brand names is also always subject to continuously switching hands to the highest bidder. We see this often when big designer names change distributorship suddenly only to have eyecare professionals left with discontinued product on their boards. We also increasingly see successful boutique eyewear lines make such a name for themselves that they are aggressively pursued and purchased by the major players in optical wholesalers. These once high quality, imaginative frame lines now have their brand stamped on mass produced, outsourced, cheapened models that are stocked in every mall optical. Our independent optical dispensaries then inadvertently end up selling our competition’s product that we had embraced for years as an independent brand. 46 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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Independent eyewear companies employ their own name and unique identity as opposed to borrowing from others. They have a vested interest in the quality and integrity of their product. They are not regulated or limited by licensing agreements, and the full value of their product exists in the frame itself, not branding and royalties. They are autonomous and not under commercial control, which enables them to adapt to changing trends more quickly, often creating the new vogue eyewear. The advantages of a product that is manufactured with fine construction and deliberate longevity are appreciated by the optician fitting it, the patient wearing it and the optical practice standing behind the transaction. HOW DO YOU MARKET AND SELL UNFAMILIAR BRANDS? Independent designers are not beholden to a particular brand identity and have the freedom to create and evolve without corporate restrictions. However, each frame line has its own personality and story that is meant to communicate a form or function throughout the collection. There is no familiar logo that is going to catch the

Private frame vendors have a lot of stake in the success of your small business and can provide unique resources to help promote their product at your office. They will freely provide you with pointof-purchase advertising for your frame boards as well as display items that communicate the essence of the line. Often they have advertising dollars that can be contributed to your practice, and you will find they are more willing to indulge your creativity in marketing than other name brand frames. They also have much more respect for your place in the market with many lines remaining loyal to your practice’s exclusivity by limiting sales in your immediate area and surrounding region. Many small designer lines have frame representatives who act as your personal assistants toward product growth. Most will spend time with your staff to introduce a frame line thoroughly. It is important to not only see and feel the entire collection but to also know the history behind the designer and the quality of materials and construction. Representatives also provide a tutorial on how to present and highlight each unique piece. Don’t forget to ask about any special considerations needed when mounting different prescription lenses. Many imaginative frame lines also require creativity during lens fabrication, edging and mounting. The frame rep is also available to visit your local laboratory for training in order to protect the integrity and longevity of the product. Frame reps are often more than willing V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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ABO GENERAL KNOWLEDGE to host “trunk shows” in your office, so take advantage, they are a great way to present an unknown line to the public. The dispensary can temporarily be devoted to one or a handful of collections in their entirety, and VIP invitations can be sent to the specific demographic targeted. An eyewear event is a remarkable way to spread word-of-mouth advertising, and a little wine and hors d’oeuvres never hurt either. Brand recognition is not just limited to the commercial sector. Many non-licensed eyewear companies started small and are now a household name. You need to display, present and talk about unrecognized names as if they are the next big thing. Introduce these lines to your patients with a knowledge and enthusiasm that is far more compelling than the name of some clothing designer. Carry lines that you are proud to support, and you will no longer feel like a salesperson; you will be a true stylist. That experience will outweigh presenting a frame line merely because the patient gets an extra $20 off because it happens to be owned by their vision insurance provider. The big brands with national recognition also have the advantage of mainstream direct-to-patient marketing. We see this throughout the optical industry, including progressive lens brands and specific coatings that are requested by name. I work in a successful practice that sells no lens V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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brands marketed directly to patients. When they are requested by name, it is important to remain honest and educate your patient about the benefits and quality of the technology and products you do utilize. When you are knowledgeable and have confidence in the product you sell, your patient is not likely to get up and shop around for a specific name. It hasn’t happened to me yet anyway. You can also use this strategy when a specific frame manufacturer is sought. Recommend frames that are similar in style, durability or value. Explain why you choose to offer these frames instead of the name brand and why it is a better choice for your patient. Make sure you are supplying the right product to your community with the non-licensed frame lines you introduce. Be careful to shop for your patients not for the optician doing your frame buying. Some assume independent frame lines are synonymous with funky, high-end luxury eyewear. That is certainly a segment of it, but you can also appeal to the needs of the athletic, minimalist, price-conscious, nostalgic, tiny tot or eco-friendly consumer, all without big brand names. WHAT DO NON-LICENSED FRAME DESIGNERS HAVE TO OFFER? Arguably, the most notable contribution of independent frame design companies

is in style and pioneering fashion. The creative eyewear segment is constantly challenging how we look at and look in eyeglasses. This simple medical device can transform into a wearable work of art with boldness and color. Small designers are able to think outside of the box from how we traditionally envision the construction of a device that holds a corrective lens in front of our eyes. When a product can focus on a niche market and does not necessitate the need for mass consumption and production, it can experiment and enhance. A frame need not be bold and colorful to be innovative either. Mass-produced frames need to always concern themselves with the bottom line. They must utilize inexpensive and abundant materials. In independent lines, you will find the use of higher quality and more durable materials used for their adjustability, comfort and longevity. That’s a good investment for both you and your patient, but you won’t get to see each other as often for constant repairs, adjustments and warranty exchanges. These smaller players in the market don’t have to be outrageously expensive either. Without the costs of middlemen, royalties and overhead, prices can be kept low and value high. Also, never assume that just because the patient’s last pair came O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 47

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ABO GENERAL KNOWLEDGE from a box store that they are unwilling to invest in a good product they can trust. There are also trends in the independent market that don’t stop at frame styling but also focus on social responsibility. Some lines make a charitable donation with every purchase. Others utilize non-petroleum-based plastics, which is a very unique and rare selling point. Also, the country of origin is extremely important to many consumers. Offering designer lines that are handmade Scandinavian, French or Japanese gives your practice a global influence of design and manufacturing principles. Having a frame line that is made in the U.S. will without a doubt set you apart from the chain store retailers as well as appeal to a broad American demographic. WHY SHOULD YOUR PRACTICE SUPPORT AUTONOMOUS DESIGNERS? Think about where you fit in the optical marketplace and who your major competition is. Have you ever seen those lists of smaller brand name food companies that are all owned by the same huge parent company? In our industry, the same huge companies are buying up chain stores, frame lines, labs and insurance companies in order to control costs and the market. If you are an independent, doctor or optician-owned practice, why would you stock your shelves with your competitor’s product? You can’t compete unless you set yourself apart through quality, service and brands that are uniquely yours and rely less on bargain hits on a Google search. 48 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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If you are like me, you are frustrated with the buy-out, contract labs and online prescription orders that are making it harder to sell your product at a price that will keep you in business. Perhaps you just need to change what you are offering. Just as individuals want to vote with their wallet, as a business you can do the same. If we desire to steer the optical industry in a different direction we need to make our votes count. If a designer brand wants to sell cheaper in bulk to a large chain than to your practice, then they aren’t supporting your business. You may want to reconsider supporting theirs. You will feel more confident and fulfilled selling a product you are passionate about, and that feeling will transfer to your patient. When a frame is made with care by the company that puts its own name on it, there is a more meaningful exchange from wholesale to optical to patient. When you think about marketing a big brand identity and how that speaks to a patient, imagine a short conversation educating someone about what that small company represents and then reconsider which brands have a more compelling identity. HOW DO YOU CREATE A BETTER PATIENT EXPERIENCE? We know we can’t compete with the big retailers on many levels, but never underestimate the power of the eyewear-buying experience. You can’t simultaneously focus on cost, quality and service. You can however blow your patient away with quality and service at a cost that is well

worth the experience. Categorizing people with branded frames is extremely easy and dangerous if you have nothing but big brands on your boards. Do you steer your active patients directly to a frame line with an athletic brand and your suburban housewife toward the brand that also sells floral bedding? People are wary of being profiled and pigeonholed and can see right through your disingenuousness. With independent and unfamiliar frame lines, you have an opportunity to make your patient feel unique and that they are being given one-on-one service as an individual and not a demographic. Instead of making the blatantly obvious connection of directing a sporty-looking person to a sports brand, you instead can have a conversation about durability and comfort. You can highlight a patented hinge that gives a frame flexibility or a lightweight material that provides strength for an active lifestyle. When the sale becomes less about branding and more about meeting your patient’s unique visual needs, the buying experience becomes more personal. When what you are offering is unfamiliar to your patient it is imperative that your staff is well versed in the unique selling points of each line you carry. Saying your product is exclusive is not enough; know what your patient is looking for. It may be a certain style, a practical requirement of comfort or durability, or a complete dependence upon what you recommend. Next, confidently make your recommendation. With non-licensed frame vendors V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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there is more to talk about because everything you know about the designer is new information to your client. The more enthusiastic you are about what you are selling and why it’s great, the more incredible the buying experience is. A positive buying experience with a unique, comfortable, low-maintenance, fashionable frame with a story is something people tell their friends about. They are not only purchasing a quality product but also a complete service package with a well-informed and experienced salesperson. This is why we dine in certain restaurants. The ambiance and service are well worth it. When your server is able to elaborate on everything on the menu and tells you the food is responsibly sourced and made with quality ingredients, it’s a better experience that you highly recommend, unlike your last visit to the mall food court. The main reason patients ask for specific brands by name is because it is the only way they know how to start the conversation. You need to take their request and determine what they are really asking for and what appeals to them about that name brand in the first place. You then can steer the conversation with your trusted professional knowledge to how you can better meet those needs with the non-branded merchandise that you offer. WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOUR PRACTICE? There is a common expression: “The customer is always right.” Whether your career has been in retail, medical, laboratory or a wholesale environment, I am sure you will agree this is a frustratingly false statement. A more appropriate idiom exists that “what is good for the patient is good for the practice.” This more V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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accurately portrays that we are not to provide our patients with what they demand but rather what is going to serve them best in the long run. This is what will grow your practice with a loyal patient base that trusts your professional judgment regarding what will best suit their visual needs. Licensed, brand name eyewear may be what your customer is asking for, but is it what they really want? As we know, they are not always right. We must educate our patients and offer new options that appeal to them in a way that name brands can’t. Entice customers with inventive design, novel materials and responsible business practices. Taking the time to do so ensures your patient will walk away with a more durable and fashionable piece of eyewear. It is in turn good for your practice because you are sustaining a segment of the optical industry that supports your business and provides you with merchandise that is going to continue to strive for excellence. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to independent frame lines and

ABO GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

your board space. There are many ways to appropriately balance familiar brand names with non-licensed designer eyewear. Highlighting your offerings with displays unique to different collections will differentiate and promote each frame line more effectively. Having your board space organized in broad and often meaningless categories such as “men’s and women’s” or “plastic and metal” is essentially a death sentence for the unfamiliar brand, not to mention a very lackluster buying experience. When you don’t showcase your inventory by designer, you are not giving true credit to the unique objective and marketing intent of brands small and large. Now it is time for your practice to explore how to be a responsible consumer for your patient by finding independent frame lines that speak to the unique demographic you serve. Your patient may be directly marketed to through larger media outlets, but you can use smaller, more focused industry resources to discover what the eyewear arena has to offer you. Go to trade shows, read optical trade magazines or search online for the types of eyewear that would flourish in your practice. Invite frame reps to pitch to your staff what they have to offer, and get everyone excited about the product they sell. It’s good for your patient and your business. n Jesse Walters, ABOM, is an independent educator with 15 years in the optical industry as a dispensing optician in boutique and medical settings and as a lab manager in large corporate laboratories and in-office finishing labs.

This course is ONLY available for online testing. TO TAKE THE TEST ONLINE: Go to VisionCareProducts.com/Education 1. Log in under the black log-in bar. (NOTE: If you have not registered on our new sites since September 2017 use the “register” link to register for online education, and record your user name and password for future access.) 2. Click on the course you would like to complete. 3. Review the course materials. 4. Take the test at the end of the course, submit your answers, and your results will automatically appear on your screen! 5. All passing tests will automatically be submitted to ABO at the beginning of each month. You may print a copy of your certificate for your records. O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 49

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New. Launch

3535

9045

SILHOUETTE ESSENCE Silhouette’s Essence Collection is designed to provide comfortable fit for everyday wear. Using SPX, a durable and flexible material, together with high-quality titanium, frames are light yet resilient. Shapes range from round and square to a distinctive cat eye with a rosé color gradation and an octagonal model with a gray color variant. The color palette features eight contrasting color combinations, and titanium elements come in either a matte or glossy finish. Women’s color options are rosé spirit, vibrant red, silky white and the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year: ultra violet. Men have the choice of easy brown, blue relax, black style or black spirit. 800.223.0180 Silhouette.com

6040

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7000

7630

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New.

CLASSIQUE EYEWEAR

DESIGN EYEWEAR GROUP

LISA LOEB

INFACE COLLECTION

STYLE: MOON STAR

STYLE: IF1337

Moon Star features a cat eye silhouette with a rectangle frame and an upswept brow bar in a subtle ombré acetate. Named after one of Loeb’s songs, Moon Star is available in three hues: olive mocha, rose mocha and burgundy.

Two styles feature titanium fronts with flexible acetate temples. IF1337 is a rounded rectangle-shaped frame available in gold, black, blue and dark blue matte, while IF1338 features a double bridge and comes in black, gray-brown, dark gray and blue.

866.604.5700 Classique-Eyewear.com

800.654.6099 DesignEyewearGroup.com

V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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MODO

NEUBAU EYEWEAR

MARCOLIN

DEREK LAM STYLE: DL290

STYLE: EVA 3030

STYLE: GM0789

This unisex ophthalmic model has a double bridge with 18-karat gold-plated stainless steel rims for a retro-pilot look. Color choices include yellow gold with orange leather, brushed gold with tan leather, brushed copper with burgundy leather, and shiny gold with black leather detailing.

The unisex Adam ophthalmic and women’s Eva model feature a hinge with the neubau logo. Adam is available in three finishes: denim matte/ graphite, caramel tortoise matte/gold or black coal matte/silver, while Eva comes in brick red matte/gold, caramel tortoise matte/gold and black coal matte/rose.

This women’s sun model features a bold square shape and is finished with a slim double bridge and a colored transparent insert to match the acetate temple tips. Available in rose gold and ivory, GM0789 has acetate temples witha metal core and the “Marciano” logo.

800.223.7610 Modo.com

800.223.0180 neubau-eyewear.com

800.345.8482 Marcolin.com

MARCIANO

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New. Launch

DOMO

GÖTTI SWITZERLAND DIMENSION NEXT Using 3D printing, the frame front is constructed from polyamide into a stable pair of glasses, layer by layer, that is both light and flexible. 3D printing makes it possible to manufacture each shape in different sizes, creating a product range with limitless options and resulting in a truly personalized frame. The temples are made of Sandvik stainless steel, and the entire piece doesn’t contain any screws or soldered joints. Colors include ash, moss, mocha, brick, stone, sand and berry. 914.274.8522 Gotti.ch

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9/21/18 10:00 AM


New.

MOREL NOMAD IBIZA

ALTERNATIVE EYEWEAR

CHARMANT EYEWEAR

ZYLOWARE EYEWEAR

STYLE: 40014N

GLACÉE

TITANIUM

STETSON

STYLE: GL6885

STYLE: CH12158

STYLE: ST355

GL6883 and GL6882 are modified cat eye-shaped styles that incorporate a textured application on the front, while squareshaped models GL6884 and GL6885 feature laser cut-outs that hearken back to the original Glacée collection.

This full-rim butterfly women’s ophthalmic style combines innovative technology and comfort. Slightly uplifted edges are reminiscent of a cat eye and glossy temples are uniquely etched. Available in three colors: black, brown and pink.

This full-rim zyl classic square-shaped model for men comes in two color finishes: black over a clear zyl front with shiny gray horn temples and gray with a shiny gray crystal front and tortoise temples. A foil-stamped “S” logo is incorporated on the temple.

Ogi style 9246 is a soft rectangle-shaped model available in blended color combinations: auburn/ green, gray mist/gray, black cherry/burgundy and cobalt/lilac. Ogi also offers Seraphin Fuller in a modified P3 and Bon Vivant in an oval.

888.399.7742 AlternativeEyes.com

800.645.2121 Charmant.com

800.765.3700 Zyloware.com

888.560.1060 OgiEyewear.com

Stainless steel temples and hinges that lack screws or springs highlight this rectangular men’s frame. Ibiza is available in five versions: one semi-rimless, two full-rim and two combination models. Colors include black, brown, gray and blue contrasted against shades of gray, blue or rust. 800.526.8838 Morel-France.com

V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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OGI EYEWEAR STYLE: 9246

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New. Launch

AVA

MONDOTTICA BLOOM OPTICS BOUTIQUE Created for the woman with a fuller face shape, the Bloom Optics Boutique collection consists of eight styles (four metal, four plastic), frames accommodate progressive lenses and range in sizes from 56mm to 58mm. Colors range from deep blue and rich burgundy to subtle purple.

CONNIE

866.666.3662 Mondottica.com

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New.

A&A OPTICAL

SAFILO

LIBERTY SPORT

HUGO BOSS

REC SPECS

DRAGON ALLIANCE

WESTGROUPE

CROCS EYEWEAR

STYLE: RS40

STYLE: VERSE

STYLE: E-9175

This stainless steel square model includes a drop bridge and mono-black front. The laser-cut pattern on the temples is inspired by carbon fiber texture. Two-tone color choices, contrasting between the base and the accent color, are black/blue, brown/ taupe and charcoal/red. 855.455.0042 WestGroupe.com

STYLE: JR081

STYLE: HG1002

CF4386 is a full metalrimmed square frame available in black, silver and green. Junior boys’ style JR081 combines an acetate front with TR-90 temples and comes in combinations of black front/red accent, green front/green accent and gray front/cyan accent.

This bold square sunglass for men is layered with different colored acetate on the front. Techno stripe color options are black with red stripes, transparent with black stripes, blue with gray stripes and gray with khaki stripes.

This active youth goggle features eyerim cushioning, temple padding and an improved venting system to protect eyes from collisions. An over-mold design on the temple adds grip and stability. Available in matte black/ cyan, matte gray/cyan, matte navy/green, shiny purple/ pink and shiny black/red.

The Verse men’s sun model features squared-off edges and the Dragon logo on the temple. Made of an injection-molded Grilamid frame, polycarbonate lenses and stainless steel hinges. Verse comes in black, tortoise, navy and wood grain with matte and polished finishes.

800.492.4465 AAOptical.com

800.631.1188 Safilo.com

800.444.5010 LibertySport.com

844.276.1280 DragonAlliance.com

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EVATIK

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New. Special Collections

L’AMY CHAMPION FLEET This subcollection of ophthalmics and sunglasses are made of titanium for durability and lightweight comfort. The nine-model collection features dual-injected rubberized temple tips and scratch-resistant polarized sun lenses. Five ophthalmic models (one extended size) and four sunmodels all feature spring hinges and adjustable nosepads and temples. FL1004 is a full-rim titanium model available in matte gun, matte black and dark olive, while FL1001 is a semi-rimless in matte gun, dark brown and matte navy. The FL6004 full-rim sunglass style is available in navy/red, gun black and matte black 800.243.6350 LamyAmerica.com

MAUI JIM SWAYING PALMS With a slightly narrower bridge and taller lens height than other models in this collection, Swaying Palms is an acetate frame that captures the essence of Hawaii with its 24-karat gold gilded temple details and pearly hues. The sun model comes with SuperThin (ST) glass lenses for high clarity vision. 888.666.5905 MauiJim.com

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9/21/18 10:01 AM


Trends.

heavy

METAL

INLAID MATERIALS ARE A RECURRENT THEME IN TODAY’S FRAME STYLES, AND METAL INLAYS ARE AMONG THOSE SEEN MOST FREQUENTLY.

1

7

6

2

3

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4

1. Dolce & Gabbana DG2196 800.422.2020 Luxottica.com CustomerService@US.Luxottica.com 2. Kenmark Eyewear Ruthie 800.627.2898 KenmarkEyewear.com Info@KenmarkEyewear.com 3. Tiffany & Co. TF2165 800.422.2020 Luxottica.com CustomerService@US.Luxottica.com 4. Zyloware Eyewear Leon Max 6029 800.765.3700 Zyloware.com Info@Zyloware.com 5. Morel Öga 10076O 800.526.8838 Morel-France.com Sales@Morel-EyewearUSA.com 6. Tura, Inc. TBM 025 800.242.8872 Tura.com Orders@Tura.com 7. WestGroupe Evatik E-9177 855.455.0042 WestGroupe.com Info@WestGroupe.com

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Rimless.

COURTESY OF GÖTTI

ready

ANYONE WHO WORKS REGULARLY WITH RIMLESS EYEWEAR UNDERSTANDS ITS CHALLENGES: EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCHED LENSES TO FITTING THEM WITH HIGH POWER LENSES. VCPN CAUGHT UP WITH SEVERAL EYECARE PROFESSIONALS TO FIND OUT HOW THEY SUCCESSFULLY WORK WITH THIS SPECIALTY EYEWEAR. By Cara Huzinec NAHUM HALALY, LDO MOSTLY RIMLESS, LAUDERDALE LAKES, FL Halaly began selling rimless five years ago and carries a variety of brands at different price points to appeal to customers. Most, Halaly said, “like rimless frames because they are lightweight and the lenses don’t show as much as in a full frame. They like rimless models with the plugs better than the ones that are put together with screws because they are more durable.” “I do all kinds of rimless jobs, from the simple to the most complicated, in-house. The biggest challenge is the accuracy of the craftsmanship required to make them: the right size holes, the right hardware assembly, the correct holes/notch placement. A lens drill (not a hand drill) is a must: a 58 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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CNC or an edger that can drill. I use the Less Stress II drill by Santinelli and a patternless edger by AIT. It works best for me because I have full control of the drilling. In any other automatic drill or edger, the lens comes out drilled when the cycle is done, and if any adjustments are needed, you have to start over with a new lens. In my case, I can just make adjustments while drilling.” PEYTON PHILLIPS, OPTICAL ASSOCIATE/ BRAND ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR, AND STACY SUOY, LDO CLINIC OPTICAL, BOWLING GREEN, KY Clinic Optical carries several lines of rimless, including Zyloware Invincilites, Marchon Airlock and Charmant Titanium. Clinic Optical’s rimless customers are generally those who want their eyes to stand out, Phillips said, or “professionals who speak in

front of people and want to be heard and not seen, people who want the most viewing area possible, or people who can’t fit in ‘normal’ frame sizes.” PHILLIPS: “We do everything but edge drilled rimless frames (assembling, mounting, adjusting). One of the challenges I face with drilled rimless is making sure the lenses don’t scratch! When assembling frames, it can be difficult to not scratch around the drill mount because of how close you have to get with the tools to make sure they fit perfectly with the lenses. A big thing that I like to remind patients is to make sure they use two hands when taking off the frame and pull straight away from the face — don’t use one hand and cross over with a ‘swish’ movement. Different issues can come up for the patient, including wobbly frames and tension cracks.” V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

9/21/18 9:51 AM

TOP RIGHT/BOTTOM LEFT COURTESY OF GÖTTI, TOP LEFT/BOTTOM RIGHT COURTESY OF SILHOUETTE

RIMLESS-


Rimless.

TOP RIGHT/BOTTOM LEFT COURTESY OF GÖTTI, TOP LEFT/BOTTOM RIGHT COURTESY OF SILHOUETTE

SUOY: “Challenges to consider are the prescription power and thickness of the lens. Polycarbonate is a minimum requirement so the lenses are not easily cracked when drilling, adjusting or wearing, and since the frame must insert through the lens thickness, you must be mindful there is enough connection to hold together.” JODY A. SHULER, LDO EYECRAVE OPTICS, WATERTOWN, NY Shuler only carries one rimless collection at EyeCrave Optics: the Perspective line by Götti Switzerland, and he sold through his initial inventory of 12 pieces in less than six months. “Most of my buyers of rimless go with rimless for the invisible, more clean look of it, which is exactly why I chose Perspective. The design is impeccable, and it literally becomes invisible on the wearer.” V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

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Götti’s Perspective does require a special press to assemble frames, and Shuler does all assembly and repairs in-house. All edging and drilling are done at the lab. “Any line of rimless eyewear requires educating your clients on use and care, so always be sure to teach your client how to care for his/her unique piece so as not to damage the frame.” GILBERTO AGOSTO, STORE MANAGER FOR EYES OPTICAL BY GRANDVISION, ALGONQUIN, IL Agosto said he doesn’t have a “typical” rimless wearer: “They range from age 18 to 55. Some customers like the weight and comfort of using them, others like that it’s minimalistic and gives the illusion that they don’t have glasses.” For Eyes Optical processes all orders through a central lab, but Agosto said

Trivex is the best lens material for use on rimless eyewear. “They will hold up much better in the frames and ensure that stress cracks don’t occur. Also, having an optician understand what the final product will look like is important because not all high scripts will look good in a drill mount — nor will they always work.” Agosto said he remembers the days when it was all done by hand. “We would mark up the holes and manually drill it with a Dremel drill. The CNC OptiDrill is probably my favorite, and right now many companies like Santinelli and Briot have put out edgers that also drill the lens during the edging process, which are great, especially if you have a small practice. Drilling now has become much easier in that we can manufacture drill mounts with much quicker turnaround and with less breakage.” n O C TO B E R 2 018 VC P N | 59

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Product Focus.

A PHOTOCHROMIC

breakthrough

P

VSP OPTICS’ SUNSYNC ELITE LENSES FADE FROM DARK TO CLEAR IN SECONDS.

roprietary light-reactive technology differing from any previously available has been produced by VSP Optics in California to enable SunSync Elite lenses to substantially speed up the photochromic fading process. “SunSync Elite sets a new benchmark standard in photochromic performance, solving one of the most common reasons many patients shy away from choosing light-reactive lenses,” said Randy Dannewitz, senior vice president of strategic development for

COMPARE THE FADE BACK OF VSP OPTICS’ SUNSYNC ELITE (LEFT) WITH THAT OF THE LEADING PHOTOCHROMIC:

“SunSync Elite sets a new benchmark standard in photochromic performance.” — Randy Dannewitz, Sr. VP, VSP Optics

FULL ACTIVATION

15 SECONDS

30 SECONDS

54 SECONDS

90 SECONDS

4 MINUTES 30 SECONDS

VSP Optics. “For years, we have been focused on developing truly next-generation products. We’re excited to transform this lens category and offer a more effective solution for doctors and their patients.” In addition to featuring groundbreaking fade-back speed, SunSync Elite retains the core benefits of the original SunSync LightReactive Lenses, which include 100% UV protection, targeted blue light filtration, and a one-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee for VSP members. Introduced last month at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, SunSync Elite lenses are available to order Oct. 10, 2018. n

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New.

ESSILOR’S SPECIALTY LENS LAB Essilor’s Specialty Lens Lab produces custom lens designs for patients with low vision or high prescriptions and specialty lenses for patients with complex refractive errors, such as high sphere power, high cylinder power, special parameters, strong ametropia and extreme prisms and powers. Specialty lenses are also suited for those with medical issues such as cataracts, lazy eye or other rare eye conditions. Essilor Specialty Lenses are now available via Custom Eyes Lab in Sauk Rapids, MN, and orders can be placed through an ECP’s Essilor lab. Specialty lenses are available in various materials and power ranges, including those from -100.00D to +90.00D from its sister lab in France.

MR. BLUE SUN & SPORT EDGING SYSTEM This lens finishing system allows ECPs to expand offerings to produce Chemistrie clips as custom sunwear plus sports wrap frame coverage for endurance and extreme sports eyewear. The Sun & Sport’s features are available for every Mr. Blue Sun & Sport edition edger order associated with a new or already owned Mr. Blue or Mr. Orange tracer. 855.393.4647 EssilorInstrumentsUSA.com

800.542.5668 EssilorUSA.com

RIPCLEAR SUNGLASS LENS PROTECTORS

UPDATED DATA COMMUNICATIONS STANDARD

Distributed exclusively by Dynamic Labs, Ripclear films protect sunglass lenses from scratches and other damage. Designed for active use, these thin-film protectors are applied directly on lenses and are available for more than 60 sunglasses from a variety of brands, including Ray-Ban, Costa, SPY Optics, Smith and Oakley. Ripclear films are ANSI Z87.1-2010 rated and can be worn for more than one year.

The Vision Council’s Lens Processing and Technology Division recently approved version 3.12 of the Data Communications Standard, which aims to simplify the interconnection of products between manufacturers of lab equipment and producers of lab software. The updated standard includes added definitions for singular and plural records, a modified description of PROC clarification in plural records, corrections on structural errors and a new record label PROCBLK, which allows data records to be grouped together for delivery to specific devices.

888.339.6264 DynamicLabs.net

703.740.2245 TheVisionCouncil.org

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20 Questions

WITH

MIKE ABRASHOFF

Terry Tanker met with former U.S. Navy Captain Mike Abrashoff, who took control of the USS Benfold, which he transformed from one of the worst performing ships in the Pacific Fleet to one of the best. The two discussed leadership, motivation, organizational transformation, Abrashoff’s best-selling book, It’s Your Ship and his training academy, Aegis Performance Group. 1. How did you enter the Navy? I played football in high school and was recruited by all three service academies. I chose Annapolis. 2. What were your options after graduating Annapolis? To become an aviator, a ship

driver, a submariner or a marine — a select few can become Seals or go to med school, but those are rare. I wanted to be aboard a ship. So, based on your class rank you select an assignment. I graduated in the top 80% of my class [laughs]. As you can imagine, most everything was picked over when it was my time to select. I ended up on one of the rustiest old buckets in the Navy, along with some of the rustiest old officers. I found, however, that it wasn’t difficult to shine when your competition isn’t that great. 3. What ship was it? The Albert David, a

Garcia class frigate. The captain used to yell until veins popped out of his neck and forehead. As a result, nobody wanted to drive the ship. I went to 12 years of Catholic school with nuns; so getting yelled at was nothing new. I’d volunteer for every ship-handling assignment. I knew I was going to get yelled at, but it’s how I learned. Lo and behold, I got the CINCPACFLT (Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet) fleet ship handler of the year award as an ensign. I was just 22 years old and the most junior guy to receive it. 4. What did you learn from that experience?

You can learn in almost any situation good or bad. You can pick up traits from people you respect and admire, and you can watch others and say, “I’m never going to be that person.” The Albert David was a learning experience for me on what not to do. 62 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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5. What was your next assignment? I went to the Philippines where I worked for an admiral who had also been an admiral’s aide and was treated poorly. He said, “Mike, I hated that job with a passion. I’m going to make sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to you.” He trained me and was a mentor. He was responsible for 84 ships. He taught me a ship reflects the personality of the commanding officer. He told me, “You’ll know within the first 45 seconds of walking on a ship whether it’s going to be a good one or not. And it’s going to be a direct reflection of the personality of the captain.” 6. How could he tell? The general appearance of the ship and sailors, or how we were greeted on the quarterdeck. After we visited 10 ships, he was spot on.The person at the top had a huge impact, and this is true of companies too.

9. Do you have a leadership philosophy?

Leadership is situational. There are times when you have to be directional. As a captain, if I give the order to launch a missile I expect my crew to launch. I don’t want them to say, “Captain, have you thought of this?” You prepare and create discipline before a crisis. If people aren’t disciplined, when you need them to dig deep, they won’t be there for you. My leadership philosophy is a blend of things. I realize it’s not about me and I can’t order excellence. The only way to stay safe, either in the military or in tough economic times, is to have an engaged workforce that takes as much ownership of the business as you do. You can’t order that. You have to create it each and every day. 10. What did you have to change when you became Captain of the USS Benfold?

7. How important are mentors? A mentor can help you learn and grow quickly, assuming you’re receptive to what they’re trying to teach. I tried to learn from every superior, and some were even willing to take me under their wing. Every unit, every organization reflects the personality of its captain or CEO.

The culture. giving my crew the opportunity to make decisions for the good of the ship. Micromanaging people is stifling. As the leader, there is no way you can do all of the jobs necessary. Giving people responsibility and holding them accountable are the biggest changes.

8. Were you able to use that on your next assignment? My next ship, the USS Harry

11. Can you give me an example? The ship held about 450,000 gallons of fuel, and we tried never to get below 50%, just in case we were sent out on a mission. Ships refuel in port, but they also have to be able to refuel at sea, and that’s dangerous. Ships have collided, people have gotten killed, and it’s a career-ending event if you have a mishap. The ship was only refueled in port before I became Captain. I changed that, and we only refueled at sea.

W. Hill, was one of the most technologically advanced — a far cry from the Albert David. Unfortunately, I was ill prepared technically to be a department head on that ship, and I was flailing. The captain could have fired me, but he coached me until I had the technical skills. I worked at it until I became the best tactical action officer on the ship.

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9/20/18 7:17 PM


February National Lens Ad.pdf

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9/20/18 7:49 PM


20 Questions

WITH

MIKE ABRASHOFF

12. Impressive — so the crew responded well?

Yes, very much so. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour, all-hands-on-deck event. In fact, when we got to the Persian Gulf, my chief bosun’s mate said, “You know, we’ve never done this at night,” [laughs] so I decided from that point on, we would only refuel at sea, at night, and we became really good at it. Afterward, I realized it’s 120 degrees in the Persian Gulf during the day and it’s only 100 degrees at night, so nighttime actually made more sense. This was one reason we became known as the ship on which everybody wanted to be. 13. What else did you do? Simple things, such as letting the crew know what was going on in the world. On the closed circuit TV, we’d put on the news and sports scores while they were eating and, in between, I’d flash up my leadership principles: commitment, cohesion, accountability, creativity and innovation. 14. Did you know the ship was not performing well before you took command? I didn’t

know the extent of the severity. When I took command, I was only allowed to talk to my predecessor and no one else. Honest, self-evaluations — especially regarding leadership — are difficult for many to assess with accuracy. I was, however, able to look at all of the statistics. Retention rates are a good indication of the health of a ship, and businesses for that matter, and they were very low. 15. How did you fix that problem? First,

acknowledge it and own it. All this stuff goes together. If you have a high workman’s comp rate or if you lose people, the problem’s with you. Business owners need to know the problem is with them. I became involved in our safety programs. The other sailors saw it was important to me, and it became important to them. It’s funny how taking care of the small things helps the large things too. For example, we have our own fire suppression equipment onboard because, if there’s a fire at sea, we can’t call the fire department. We are the 64 | VC P N O C TO B E R 2 018

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fire department. All the equipment has to be checked monthly, and the technician has to sign their name. If there’s no name and date on the tag, then the maintenance is overdue and hasn’t been done. I’d walk down the passageways and stop in full view of sailors and check the tags so they’d understand and think, “This is important to the captain. It’s going to be important to us.” If it’s important to the boss, it’s important to the employees. 16. I always thought the military was about practice and repetition until things become second nature — is that how you managed?

Command-and-control works for half of the training. The other half is teaching people to take action and responsibility in an interactive way. An Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is so advanced, we have an embedded training system on the ship. I could create a training simulation to which my crew had to respond. It’s so sophisticated, it responds to their actions. It’s so dynamic, command-and-control doesn’t work. 17. What’s the most fun you’ve had on board?

Without question, it’s “plane guarding” for an aircraft carrier. Planes have to take off into 30 knots of relative wind across the deck, so they line up on a destroyer or a cruiser so they can land on the flight deck. We’re also there in case they crash so we can pick them up. On a no-wind day, the aircraft carrier has to crank up to 31 knots, to get enough wind across the deck. We’d have to do the same, so we’d be at full power with all four engines online. The ship is rumbling. It’s kicking up a rooster tail of water that’s two stories high, and F18s are flying overhead at a hundred feet — it’s the loudest thing you’ve ever heard. It’s difficult to describe how exciting that is, but I would do that job for free every day. 18. You’ve written several books on leadership — did their success surprise you? It’s Your

Ship was the first one, and I really didn’t know what to expect. A few neat things happened. I told myself if it was successful I was going to buy a Porsche. It made The New York Times

bestseller list, so I found a 2001 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, which I still have. Next, Sports Illustrated interviewed Bill Belichick. They asked him what his favorite leadership book was, and he said, It’s Your Ship! He’s amazing because he takes players from everywhere and gets them to play together as a team, which has been my whole message. Finally, the success of my book was the impetus to create Aegis Performance Group (APG). 19. Can you tell me more about APG? I try to

motivate people to become better leaders, but leadership is tough. Typically, when the first trouble call comes in, you forget everything. I teamed up with Stacy Cunningham, who put the academics behind everything I teach. Now we have a leadership program. It’s a virtual, six-month program that takes just 15 minutes a week. The cost is modest, and the coaching can be personalized. It’s for leaders and employees. Let’s say you have 25 employees — wouldn’t it be nice to know what motivates them so you can connect with them better and give them the opportunities they’re looking for? We try to reduce risk and help managers to understand who their people are and what drives them, and then they can make better-informed decisions. 20. How do you personalize the training?

We give assessments based on your motivators, behaviors and thinking style. For example, there are three basic thinking styles: you’re people-oriented, big picture-oriented or task-oriented. Most are two of these. Every organization needs to understand the personnel and their thinking styles. They may be doing more harm than good if the owner has no big picture skills or their technician has no people skills. What we do is help companies understand thinking styles, behavior and motivation. n V I S I O N C A R E P RO D U C T N E WS . C O M

9/20/18 7:18 PM


WORLD S I

G LEN E AL

T DAY CH H G

A child should never be limited by poor vision Help a child to see.

Take the Challenge DONATE today Every $100 can provide eye care for up to 20 children! To learn more or to donate today visit givingsight.org or call 303-526-0430

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Gรถtti Switzerland America, Inc. 145 Palisade street, Suite 300, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 +1 (914) 274-8522 office.usa@gotti.ch

VCPN October 2018  
VCPN October 2018