TLDR: Warby Parker sells quality eyewear at an affordable price. The company’s customer engagement strategy aims to let people know that.
So what?: If the price is right, you can sell anything. Everything else is just getting the word out in the right way.
Warby Parker started when one of its co-founders lost his glasses. Because he couldn’t pay hundreds of dollars for a new pair, he spent the next semester of grad school squinting at a chalkboard.
According to Warby Parker, the eyewear industry is monopolized. A single company keeps prices artificially high, which prevents millions of people from being able to see properly. This is both a medical and a fashion emergency.
Warby Parker’s best selling point is the one they started with: affordable eyeglasses. They still offer frames for only $95.
Further, the company practices what it preaches. A portion of Warby Parker’s revenue goes towards helping visually impaired people get eyeglasses.
Warby Parker engages its customers in several ways, including:
- Leveraging the press
- Having a cause
- Encouraging user-generated content
- Trying AR marketing
Warby Parker’s strategy works. The company made over $130 million in the third quarter of 2021 alone.
Leveraging the press
With social media so popular these days, it is easy to forget about traditional magazines and newspapers. Yet these channels still hold a lot of power.
When Warby Parker first opened, most of its marketing budget went to a PR firm. They published features in Vogue and GQ showcasing their products and new business model. Within weeks, Warby Parker reached its first-year sales target and had a 20,000 customer long waitlist.
Traditional print media has several advantages over newer digital channels. This approach can:
- target the right demographics
- create authenticity
- use higher quality images
Warby Parker also ran features in fashion magazines. This ensured that they reached fashion-conscious individuals. Anyone who subscribes to Vogue has a budget for fashionable eyeglasses.
Publishing in print media feels authentic, simply because you can touch paper. Social media ads are less costly by comparison – you can run millions of ads a day. By going to print, Warby Parker signified that they had skin in the game.
And of course, magazines allow for full-page color pictures. Tiny thumbnails on your Facebook feed simply can’t compete. This is especially important for certain items, like fashion.
Having a cause
Every time someone buys a pair of glasses from Warby Parker, the company gives a pair to somebody with impaired vision. This is their famous Buy A Pair, Give A Pair program.
Having a cause helps engage customers by making them feel like their purchase is more than a consumer comfort. Buying Warby Parker glasses feels like donating to charity, because it is.
Supporting a cause allows you to sustain an indirect marketing campaign. Instead of marketing your product directly, you sell the cause, and people buy your product to support the cause.
This technique is used by countless brands, including Starbucks, Patagonia, and Chipotle. It helps to elevate the product into something more meaningful, and removes the negative image of big business.
Encouraging user-generated content
User-generated content gets customers involved. Some of Warby Parker’s social media campaigns include:
- Wearing Warby, a collection of video interviews and blog posts featuring people who wear Warby Parker glasses and do interesting things with their lives.
- The company’s Home Try-on package asks customers to share their look on social media. Warby Parker helps them make a decision if they tweet at them with #warbyhometryon.
Augmented Reality marketing is practically built for the eyeglass industry. With AR try-on, customers can see live, computer-generated images of themselves wearing new glasses. They don’t need to wait for a package or go to a store- simply open a smartphone app and take a selfie.
This approach has several advantages. AR marketing can:
- let customers try more products
- facilitate just-in-time manufacturing
- reduce the cost of shipping and returns
- give customers a way to share their new look before purchasing
With a few simple 3D scans, Warby Parker can deliver an AR experience for their entire eyeglass collection. Customers can try on as many as they want before purchasing.
Customers can try on glasses with AR before they even physically exist. Instead of over-producing and wasting inventory, a fashion company can theoretically make a new pair exactly when they need it.
Shipping and returns are expensive, but with AR models, customers can see their new look without anything being shipped or returned.
AR try-on also lets customers take pictures of themselves with their 3D glasses, which they can then share on social media, and even ask their friends which item to pick. This is a great way to encourage customer engagement online.
How to engage customers like Warby Parker
If your business is in a monopolized industry, you can take the Warby Parker approach and simply offer reasonable prices. But even if not, you can still learn a lot from their marketing efforts.
Consider reaching customers through print media. This will give your brand a feeling of authenticity. It will show that you aren’t cheap, even if your product is affordable.
Consider aligning your business with a cause. Customers will feel more engaged if they believe their purchases are helping make the world a better place. You can market your brand indirectly, by selling the cause instead.
User-made content is a win in any industry. Word-of-mouth is one of the most potent ways to reach a customer. People will trust their friends’ purchases more than an advertisement.
And always consider experimenting with new technologies. AR is not a perfect fit for every industry, but it is quite valuable for many consumer products.
Media Shower helps brands build customer engagement strategies to fit their needs. We understand the ins and outs of the strategies employed by companies as diverse as Patagonia, Starbucks, or Alibaba. This helps us to craft a unique plan for you. Try Media Shower for free by clicking here.