A REVEALING LOOK AT HOW THE INDUSTRY PROMOTES SUNWEAR

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Slowly but surely, sunwear is becoming recognized as a necessity—not just a fashion accessory—by the public.

With the increasing awareness of the importance of sunwear, you may be wondering what the optical industry is doing to promote it and drive its buyers into the market and into ECP offices.

While individual sunwear manufacturers and suppliers promote sunwear, the optical industry as a whole does this through The Vision Council, a nonprofit organization representing optical manufacturers and supplies. The Vision Council’s Sunglass and Readers Division’s primary focus is to help promote the year-round use of sunwear by consumers. This year, the organization will deliver this message about the importance of sunwear in a variety of ways that will help open up a dialogue between ECPs and their patients.

A NEW RESOURCE
The largest marketing push comes from a new online marketing portal, which offers a variety of resources (thevisioncouncil.brandmuscle.net). You can customize materials ranging from posters to infographics and window clings to T-shirts that educate patients and promote sunwear sales. You’ll also find a video that gives advice to women on how to select great frames, both ophthalmic and sun. Many of the materials promote National Sunglasses Day-June 27, 2015-and can be displayed around the office to stimulate conversation and raise awareness-and sales.

SOCIAL MEDIA
ECPs also have access to social media help on the site. Banners and buttons can easily be added to your practice’s website and other social outreach avenues. Customize the postcards on the site with your practice’s information. If a patient doesn’t purchase sunwear with her ophthalmic pair, include a small personalized double-sided information sheet that highlights UV safety facts.

The Vision Council is also directly promoting National Sunglasses Day through social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogger briefings for both mommy bloggers and fitness enthusiasts. A video about UV protection will run at all Lifetime Fitness centers throughout the U.S., and National Sunglasses Day messaging will be shared via Lifetime Fitness’ social channels and will be front and center in a dozen major markets.

REACHING OUT ABOUT UV
Once again, The Vision Council will be releasing its annual UV report findings to consumer media just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Prestigious magazines such as SELF and Woman’s Day, news outlets including KABC in Los Angeles, WFOR in Miami, WAGA’s Good Day Atlanta, and additional printed media outlets utilized this data last year as an authoritative source for stories they published. The report contains information on the need for UV protection, including the damage sun exposure can inflict on the eyes at every age. There is information about eye protection habits, how to better protect the eyes, and which sunglasses are right for each individual. The report is housed on The Vision Council’s website and can be downloaded or printed.

The Vision Council also works with bloggers nationwide and invites them to discuss UV protection on their websites. Several bloggers utilized last year’s UV report and published their own stories about the importance of packing sunglasses for family vacations and in particular protecting children’s eyes from UV radiation like they do their skin when on vacation. In 2015, The Vision Council will also conduct a media tour for fitness bloggers, emphasizing the importance of UV-protective eyewear while engaging in sports and athletic events outdoors.

A wonderful resource on a national scale, The Vision Council’s messaging includes interesting facts and encourages consumers to take action. Its national sunwear marketing campaign is sure to lead sunglass consumers to your door and help you educate them on the importance of sunwear and UV protection.

Joy L. Gibb is the lead optician at Daynes Eye & Lasik in Bountiful, UT.

WHERE TO FIND IT:

The Vision Council 703-548-4560 • thevisioncouncil.org

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