THE SKINNY ON SELLING EYEWEAR TO TEENS

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Teens love vintage looks like Scott Harris Vintage by Europa International.

Follow some of these tips to get more teens into your practice.

Teens develop quickly, arguably like our canine friends that grow seven human years for every doggy year. Since teens change so rapidly, they can pack an awful lot into 12 months so don’t segment your teen patients solely on simple demographics. In fact, every stage of a teen’s development can offer a new marketing opportunity for your office but you’ve got to carefully identify who they are and what interests them.

TREND-SEEKING
Many corporations capitalize on the insecurities of teens by making them believe that to be truly cool, they must have their products. And some companies have tried hiring “cultural spies” to infiltrate the teen world to bring back the latest trends. But staying ahead of teen trends is a tricky business—the minute a teen trend becomes mainstream, the corporations are on to something else.

Offering added value, like free music downloads with Avalon’s K12, keeps excitement up.

Look at what teens are buying in other areas of their wardrobe to get a good direction for eyewear and sunwear. Casual is definitely in. OP by Clear Vision Optical is the original California lifestyle brand, successfully translating surfer style into a fashion brand. Teens also love vintage looks like Scott Harris Vintage by Europa International. The burnished metals and acetates in muted colors combine with old-school silhouettes to present a vintage feel.

Try offering bold colors to your teen patients too who tend to be more open to shock factor colors. Both females and males love white and bright sunwear, chunky, black nerd eyewear, and multicolored patterns.

MEDIA PLAY

REMEMBER WHEN? Before you forget how your teen patients started, take a look at a great collection for the teen’s younger siblings—Randy Kazandy by ooh la-la de Paris. The custom-designed kids’ eyewear is based on the wildly popular children’s book, Randy Kazandy, Where are your glasses?


Create a buying atmosphere that is appealing to this generation. Bold graphics are a great idea, and if you want to include some interactive media like a try-on tool, do so by all means because teens are a generation of multitaskers. Music is part of their world and an extension of their identity. If you watched the first few seasons of American Idol, you’ve seen the stylish eyewear of ooh la-la de Paris on idol judge Randy Jackson. These unique frames and European-inspired styles are winning fans of all ages.

Teens will respect you if you are familiar with their world, but don’t try “teen speak” on them. Above all, don’t make any of the area devoted to this group too childish (the kiss of death) or complicated. And while teens may be multitaskers, they have a notoriously short attention span.

PRICE DOES MATTER
Don’t be surprised when your teen patients show up without a parent to

Play to teens’ love of cool graphics with Kimiko’s Photo Frame System which allows consumers to customize their eyewear with a photo or image.

make a purchase. Today’s teens are very likely in charge of their own purchasing decisions and may have a pre-loaded charge card of their own to make purchases. Show prices up front and discuss price with the first mention of a product. This is more important for teens than it is for adults because they don’t have a lot of money.

When shopping in their favorite stores, for example, an overwhelming number of teens look at items that won’t give them sticker shock so consider developing an area for teen products that are value priced. Jalapeños by A&A Optical is a fashionable eyewear collection that uses vibrant colors, unique designs, and the latest technology to provide a competitively priced collection.

Offering added value to the purchase is also a great way to sell to teens. K12 by Avalon Eyewear is a colorful, comfortable, and affordable eyewear collection featuring high-energy colors and forgiving materials designed to last. Awesome offers, including free music download cards, keep the excitement up.

STRONG BRAND MESSAGES
Teens are very much like the rest of us—they have a solid connection to brands they identify with so populate the teen selection with branded

Jalapeños by A&A is a fashionable and competitively priced eyewear collection that uses vibrant colors, unique designs, and the latest technology.

eyewear that is relevant to them. Bear in mind that as with adults, teens identify with different brands but most teen boys are interested in brands linked to popular sports or hip-hop and rap music stars and the girls are drawn to movie, TV, and designer name brands. Consider Bollé for sun and sports—the company offers the highest quality performance eyewear, sunglasses, and protective goggles.

WEB SITES
About 80% of online teens visit retail sites representing an audience of about 12 to 15 million teens aged 12 to 17. Even teens without their own credit cards love shopping online, and if you have a shopping page on your Web site, here’s a suggestion to draw them in.

Visual feel and design is important to teens and their first impressions are key to getting their attention so play to their love of cool graphics and music. The ultimate visual experience in eyewear is available in the new Photo Frame System from Kimiko, LTD. Developed by company founder, Felix Bystritsky, the system allows consumers to customize their eyewear. Just send a photo or image with your frame order and it will be reproduced on one or both temples. The photo transfer can be done on any frame that has temples at least 11mm in height.

Though teens are plugged in, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are tech wizards. They don’t fear technology like older adults do but they are turned off by overly complicated Web sites and small, difficult-to-read type.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Consider how Facebook works as a selling tool for your teen patients. Teens really like to interact with the media they use and like to voice their opinions. If you want to use social media as a sales tool for teens, let a teen manage your Facebook page. Remember how fleeting your tastes were at that age? You must update the page frequently (daily) or risk being labeled yesterday’s news. By having the page managed by one of their own, you are sure to come across as authentic.

Every stage of a teen’s development offers unique eyewear selling opportunities. Don’t miss out on this market.

Roxanne Armstrong is a licensed optician and owner of Art For Your Face in Tysons Corner, VA.

WHERE TO FIND IT
A&A Optical
800-492-4465 • aaopticalco.com

Avalon Eyewear
888-767-0383 • avaloneyewear.com

Bollé
800-222-6553 • bolle.com

ClearVision Optical Co.
800-645-3733 • cvoptical.com

Europa International
800-621-4108 • europaeye.com

Kimiko, LTD
866-546-4561 • kimikoeyewear.com

ooh la-la de Paris
800-611-5060 • oohlaladeParis.com

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