Signet Armorlite’s KODAK Lens Preferred Location Program aims to set retailers apart from the competition.
Having owned one practice in Grosse Pointe, MI, for more than 30 years, Ray Dixon, MD, wanted to improve patient services and the products he offered. After learning about the KODAK Lens Preferred Location Program through a contact at Essilor, Dr. Dixon is scheduled to open not one but two KODAK Lens | Ray Dixon, MD retail locations early next month.
“Quality, quality, quality,” he said. “And reliability. I never used KODAK products before but will now use them exclusively. I want to make my patients happier in terms of value, better vision and better quality products.”
Rounding out the KODAK Professional Services Program, the fully branded KODAK Lens Preferred Location Program includes both KODAK Lens Corner and KODAK Lens Authorized Professional solutions, which allows eyecare professionals (ECPs) to take full advantage of KODAK’s branded merchandising materials.
ECPs retain full ownership and benefit by being able to “capitalize on the power and heritage of the KODAK brand,” said Brian Glass, strategic growth manager at Signet Armorlite. They can market and advertise their practices as a KODAK Lens preferred location while receiving financial, merchandising and marketing assistance from Signet Armorlite.
Glass said practices that have approached the company to rebrand usually fall into three categories: a practice purchased more than 30 years ago in need of a “facelift,” a practice already planning a renovation and looking to better distinguish itself from the competition and new, planned branches for existing ECPs.
KODAK Lens | Heitmeier Eyecare in Marrero, LA, opened in December 2015, followed by six KODAK Lens | Dr. Tavel stores in Indiana in spring 2016. Two KODAK Lens stores have also opened in Ontario, Canada, and Glass said several locations are in process in St. Louis, New Orleans, and South Beach, FL.
Larry Tavel, MD, of Tavel Optical Group, decided to rebrand six of its 19 stores as KODAK Lens | Dr. Tavel after many conversations with KODAK on how best to utilize the company’s positive brand image to its advantage.
Partners with KODAK for decades, Tavel Optical Group was one of the first practices to sell KODAK lenses, exclusively offering KODAK lenses and coatings to patients “because we believe they provide class leading quality at approachable prices,” Dr. Tavel said.
“In an increasingly competitive marketplace, we felt that this was an opportunity to try to differentiate our stores from those of competitors,” he said. “Because KODAK is such a recognized brand, we felt there was an opportunity to attract increased numbers of patients to our practice.”
Grand re-opening celebrations and radio promotions garnered attention to the new locations, and Dr. Tavel said each rebranded practice has received appointment requests via the KODAK Lens website, kodaklens.com, adding new patients. KODAK Lens | Dr. Tavel stores have also focused on educating existing patients to expect the consistent quality service it has always provided, by explaining the rebranding on patient recall cards and on their website, drtavel.com.
“At the end of the day, patients want to, in the words of KODAK, ‘see the colors of life,'” he said. “Brands like KODAK help patients because they provide a point of reference for quality products in a marketplace full of a multitude of options.”
Edward DeRosa, executive vice president of Signet Armorlite, N.A., said the company expects continued growth and success of the program and its practices.
“Independent ECPs have really embraced the KODAK Lens Professional Services Program,” he said. “They are really excited by both the strength and heritage provided by an iconic consumer brand and the improved financial model provided by both our products and services.”
Cara Aidone Huzinec is assistant editor of VCPN.