Eyeglasses can be challenging to purchase and costly as well when it comes to wanting designer frames that fit our faces. Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal are the co-founders and co-CEOs of Warby Parker and is valued at $1.7 billion (Eng, 2019, p. 55). “Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses (Warby Parker, 2019).” The social media campaign is what makes the company stand out.
What is their business model? Warby Parker’s business model focuses on online distribution instead of the showroom that sells outside manufacturing merchandise (Mahoney & Tang, 2017, p. 18). The marketing has been on social media, which suits the company because they sell directly to the consumer online. Warby Parker has a website, and the social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Tackling the concerns of consumers that would be wary of purchasing eyeglasses online through the “Home Try-On Campaign” by order five pairs and keeping the one pair that fits while send the others back at no charge helps set aside consumer fears of shopping directly from the online distributor (Mahoney & Tang, 2017, p. 18).
What is the lesson marketers and educators of marketing, such as myself, can take away from how Warby Parker operates its marketing campaign? It is merely that they “… encourage transactional communication by consistently communicating with, and responding to, customer comments on their social media platforms (Mahoney & Tang, 2017, p. 18).” Having this kind of communication is key to keeping your consumers feeling like they are a part of the brand and story through engagement.
A takeaway of how Warby Parker uses social media is to educate its consumers by providing the information they are seeking (Mahoney & Tang, 2017, p. 19). Warby Parker does social listening, meaning the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand consumers by what they are saying online about a brand or the industry (TrackMaven, 2019). Social listening can be difficult for small business owners that are not sure how to do the research involved, including competitor analysis to properly educate consumers from knowledge gained.
The last takeaway is that Warby Parker teamed up with VisionSpring to provide eyeglasses to those persons in need for every pair a consumer purchases (Mahoney & Tang, 2017, p. 19). A trend that is happening in today’s market with brands is social responsibility. The Gilboa and Blumenthal have a philanthropic side with VisionSpring through “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program because about one billion people worldwide lack access to get eyeglasses (CBS News, 2017). Warby Parker is not the only brand to this, and Toms is another company that does the “One for One,” meaning buy one pair of shoes, donate a pair of shoes. “To date, Warby Parker has given away 500,000 pairs of glasses (Mahoney & Tang, 2017, p. 19).”
In conclusion, Warby Parker is an excellent example to study to improve the social community and social media marketing. In case you have not heard of the company, here is the link to their website: https://www.warbyparker.com/.
CBS News. (2017). How Warby Parker Successfully Disrupted the Eyewear Monopoly. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/warby-parker-cofounders-neil-blumenthal-dave-gilboa-affordable-eyewear-philanthropy/
Eng, D. (2019). Warby Parker in Hindsight. Fortune, 179(6), 55–56. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsu&AN=136490354&site=eds-live&scope=site
Mahoney, L. M. & Tang, T. (2019). Strategic Social Media from Marketing to Social Change. West Sussex, UK. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
TrackMaven. (2019). Social Listening. https://trackmaven.com/marketing-dictionary/social-listening/
Warby Parker. (2019). History. Warby Parker. https://www.warbyparker.com/history