Warby Parker has, in my humble opinion, re-invented the world of eyeglasses. They’ve made them hip, fun, and accessible.
If you’re not familiar with the company, here’s how it works: You choose five frames you like, the company then sends them to you to try on at home, and you send them back. Shipping is free and they give you a pre-paid box to return them when you’re done. If you find a pair you like, you simply send in your existing prescription and order them through the website. They’re only about $100 per pair, which includes the frames and lenses. Oh, and did I mention that for every pair you buy, Warby Parker shares a pair with someone in need?
Let me start with the beginning of my romance with Warby. I had just gotten brand new Coach glasses and a co-worker said to me, “Are those Warby Parker?” I had no idea who Warby Parker was, and when he mentioned that they sell incredibly inexpensive eyewear, I had immediately assumed that my $500 glasses looked cheap. Horrified and offended, I went to the website expecting to find some dollar store quality frames in hideous styles. But much to my surprise, they were actually pretty cute. I thought to myself, “why not get a spare set of glasses at this price!” So I got home that night and browsed the site for styles I wanted to try on. As much as I wanted to order them all, I limited myself to the five they offered free of charge to try on at home. Just a short two or three days later, my glasses were in my mailbox and ready for me to try on.
It felt like such a luxury to try on the glasses in my own home; with my own lighting, my own space, my own outfit changes, and no doctor or receptionist giving me their unsolicited opinion on what they thought looked good (and bad) on me. I chose a pair that I loved and ordered them. I posted a photo of myself wearing my new specs on Twitter and Warby Parker responded telling me how fabulous they looked. And then I told all my family and friends about how great they are.
Beyond the wonderful product, the stellar service and the flawless execution, Warby Parker’s marketing makes me feel like the not-so-cool act of wearing glasses is cool again. Their images, the stories they tell through social media, and the way they make their customers feel is a beautiful thing. They don’t always go with the obvious choice of putting glasses on a beautiful model in their images. They also create relatable photos of everyday situations and everyday people. They make me feel like I’m following a friend on social media through their photos and their quick response when I mention them on Twitter. I don’t feel like I’m following a brand that’s trying to sell me products or shove information down my throat—and I appreciate that.
More and more, we’re seeing the concept of brands donating to those in need when you buy their product, and it seems to resonate well. When I buy something from Warby Parker, TOMS, or a variety of other brands, I feel like I’m helping. In reality, I haven’t actually done a thing but purchase a product I probably would’ve gotten regardless, but it still makes me feel like I’m doing my small part.
The social responsibility these companies show by creating these programs makes me feel good about purchasing from them. And as part of the millennial generation, who wants to feel like we’re changing the world, it makes me happy to know that there are companies that are willing to contribute what they have for the good of others.
To me, Warby Parker is the total package of what a company should be. They listen to their customers, they care about their community, and they make exceptional products at accessible price points. I love you, Warby Parker. Don’t ever change.