Without my glasses, I’m as blind as a bat. Faces become obscure and everything is a blob of colors without shape. Some of you know this pain, and some of you even know how expensive it is to get prescription glasses. I’m currently surviving on one pair of glasses that have the prescription gloss eroding away at the corners. Being a grad student (or really any student) can be tough financially, and in my social media course, I read about a group of college students who found a solution to this dilemma that may help some of you.
In 2010, students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, David Gilboa, and Jeffrey Raider, launched a company that would revamp the way prescription eyeglasses were sold to consumers. The company was named Warby Parker. Their business model focused on online distribution and designing glasses in-house to cut out outside manufacturer costs. At first, consumers were hesitant because everyone was so used to going to showrooms to try on glasses. Through effective use of social media, these brilliant students were able to change the narratives and reduce dissonance. Today, Warby Parker has shipped more than 500,000 pairs of glasses.
Warby Parker would use social media to communicate daily with potential consumers and ask any questions, concerns, or complaints anyone had. By doing this, the company enabled the ability for consumers to build trust and a personal relationship with the company, which is crucial in today’s marketing world. Relationship building leads to brand loyalty!
Another business strategy the company used was developing the “Home Try-On Campaign” which allowed consumers to have samples of up to 5 glasses shipped to their homes to test out. This option was free of charge, and the consumer only paid for what they would keep. This helped to minimize the reluctance of consumers who were used to going into physical showrooms to try on glasses. Without the help of social media and the digital landscape, Warby Parker may not have become as successful. With traditional media, the company may have had a harder time developing trust with the consumers and getting their narrative out there.
Consumers were encouraged to share their positive experiences with friends online and post pictures of them wearing their cool shades. This allowed new customers to hear about the product through an already trusted source. Word-of-mouth (WOM) is such a powerful marketing tool that today’s online world allows for easily with user-generated content.
Social Media Perks I’ve learned thus far
- Reaching a larger audience
- Building relationships and trust
- Direct communication with the consumer
- Builds brand loyalty
- Monitors consumer feedback (think reviews and comments on posts)
- Faster business growth
- Cheaper advertising
I read about Warby Parker in my textbook for my social marketing class (link is below!). Subscribe if you’re interested in learning along with me!
Such an interesting analysis of Warby Parker’s approach! I have seen them on my social media, so it’s clear they have built up a good presence. Social media has really twisted the marketing world around. I feel like it’s impossible for a brand to survive that doesn’t have some sort of social media presence.
Look forward to reading more!
Even though I live in Germany, I still have heard about Warby Parker before! And can you guess where? Of course through social media! It’s crazy how online marketing can reach beyond the original market and become recognizable worldwide! Great post! I enjoyed reading it.
Social media marketing has completely changed the internet in the past years; it has changed the world. This has changed the marketing world, and Warby Parker used it to build a strong relationship with its customers and followers.
They encouraged consumers to share their thoughts and feelings about their products, and the strategy of allowing customers to try the products at home before selecting their actual fittings is so effective that it helps to remove doubts to a vast extent that customers developed more trust for the company and its service.
Thank you for this detailed post.
I too am as blind as a bat (I might be a tad more blind than them). One of the greatest points of the “Home Try On” process is the ability to not only have user-generated content (UGC) but the interaction between their peers can further the conversation and get the brand even more recognized by the right audience.
Warby Parker did a phenomenal job of developing a creative strategy that led to consumer engagement. They opened the door for communication and conversation even from the business to the consumer to create a dialogue. This strategy leads to the many ways that Warby Parker can track data from their audience’s behaviors and interests even to their most popular products based on trends and most common posts.
I love your post, it’s concise and informative. Thanks!
I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and browsing your blog. In the matter of Warby Parker I believe they did a great job creating multiple marketing strategies which allows consumers to develop proper communications channels. They have opened the door for communication on both sides of the spectrum and it helps the businesses to create content. I have learned that the Warby strategy is one of the best for their consumers interest.
Nice post, Thanks !