By offering private label lenses since the 1980s, i-see Optical Lab satisfies ECPs’ desire to offer high quality at a low cost while supporting independents.
Private label products used to be perceived as not as good as “branded” products, usually packaged in white, with black letters. That has changed. Whole Foods’ house brand 365 is now the grocery chain’s leading seller. Like Whole Foods, i-see Optical has made sure that “i-see” branded, private label lenses are as good, if not better, than any other product in the category.
The New Jersey-based wholesale optical lab identified areas in which major manufacturers were not satisfying their customers’ needs in the stock lens category and addressed these needs by offering different materials that were available at the time only in a more limited capacity.
FILLING PATIENT NEEDS
One of the major responsibilities for all ECPs is to make sure they understand their patients’ visual needs based on their lifestyles. The latest available options in lenses and coatings are important for patients who place a high premium on value yet want superior visual enhancements at a great price. When an ECP has an option from their lab for high performance, robust optics and coatings at a great price, it is often a win-win for both the ECP and the patient to choose private label lenses.
SINCE THE 1980S
I-see Optical began marketing and selling private label lenses in the 1980s when it first introduced its Single Vision Stock i-see lenses. This private label product helped educate patients about the new lens materials available at the time, including polycarbonate and high index in stocked powers.
As an optical lab that wants the best for our ECPs we now have a line of private label lenses as well as house name AR for less in price but high in quality. Being able to offer not only a private label lens but also an in-house AR coating shows ECPs that we as a lab have confidence in the performance of our products.
VALUE FOR ALL
Historically, ECPs who use i-see Optical and prefer i-see private label lenses over “name brand” find that it can contribute directly to their bottom lines. How does this benefit all parties involved? By offering high quality lenses at value pricing, it allows patients who may have avoided buying eyeglasses from an independent ECP, because of the perceived high price, to be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable eyewear can be.
As an optical lab we wanted to leverage our high quality standards and affordability for ECPs, so they in return can offer their patients the best in quality and designs at affordable pricing. Our ECP customers also see the benefit in offering lenses that support the independent distribution channel while realizing that quality and price do not have to be mutually exclusive.
By offering private label single vision, polycarbonate and progressive lenses, i-see Optical has been able to feature the latest trends in lenses and spread the word using various resources such as trade magazines, seminars, sales calls and now our highly successful social media platforms.
I-SEE’S NEWEST “BRANDS”
Recently, i-see Optical has launched its fifth private label lens, the i-see 5 Progressive lens, as well as an in-house private AR Coating Center featuring our brand coating, SureSight AG. Although the coating is new, a private label lens is nothing new for i-see Optical. The i-see 5 has become i-see Opticals bestselling progressive lens. With testimonials stating, “They are just as good if not better than my (name brand),” why wouldn’t ECPs jump on the private label bandwagon?
Today, with companies such as Whole Foods and many other retailers successfully marketing their own products, private label is now leading the way with consumers.
Timeline: i-see Optical Private Label Lenses
1986 i-see Max — Private Label CR Stock Lenses
1990 i-see Poly — Private Label Poly Stock Lenses
1992 i-see Max — Private Label Poly with AR Coating
1995 i-see Lite — Private Label Hi-Index Stock Lenses
2000 i-see Gen 5 — Private Label CR & Poly Progressive Lenses
2015 i-see 5 — Private Label Next Generation of Progressive Lenses
2016 SureSight AG — Private Label In-House AR Coating Center
Jaimee Palkovicz is marketing coordinator of i-see Optical Lab in Blackwood, NJ.