Warby Parker Case Study: Brand Strategy BreakdownJul 22, 2023
Growing up I (Tyler) HATED wearing glasses.
It was so bad I would pretend to wear them to school. And as soon as my mom dropped me off, I’d stuff them in my backpack.
The only thing I hated worse than wearing glasses was buying new ones. The whole experience was awful… “Please read the smallest line possible.” Then after a stressful exam, you’d be forced to fork over $500 on overpriced frames.
All thanks to the Luxottica monopoly (more on this later).
Then a few years ago I was introduced to Warby Parker and they flipped the script on everything I knew about shopping for eyeglasses.
Buying from them was... Trendy. Empathetic. Calming. Basically, the exact opposite of what I had grown to expect. And that’s why they’re this week’s breakdown. Let’s get into it…
💛 The Heart (Purpose & Personality)
Warby Parker was started when one of it’s founders lost his $700 glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them.
That’s when a light bulb went off, they did some research, and discovered a few things…
- Everyone HATED shopping for eyeglasses
- The brand Luxottica had an 80% stranglehold on the market
- All the fashionable brands like Oakley, RayBan, and Versace were controlled by Luxottica and marked up by extreme amounts (BOOOO Luxottica)
Warby Parker believes that buying glasses should leave you feeling happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. In addition to this core belief, for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
👤 The Head (Strategy & Positioning)
Warby Parker has an obsessive focus on the customer experience and their perceptions. This is in stark contrast to its competition.
- Instead of pricing at $700, they sell at a reasonable $95
- Instead of forcing you to shop in a sterile, old school eye doctor office — you can purchase online or at one of their trendy locations
By connecting directly with the customer, cutting out the middleman, and building a strong brand — Warby Parker has successfully disrupted a $100B industry. That’s the power of empathy.
✋ The Hands (Tactics You Can Steal)
Want to build your brand like Warby Parker? Here’s a couple tactics you can steal:
- Give Customers the FEELING They Desire - Warby realized that what customers REALLY wanted in eyeglass shopping was to feel cool. So they invested heavily into a “virtual try on” tool and trendy brick and mortar storefronts. This allowed customers to experience the feeling they desired before ever paying a dime.
- Use Conversational Copy - On its website and even its packaging, Warby Parker humanizes its marketing touchpoints with conversational, casual copy. This reinforces its desired positioning.
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