5 Secret Reasons Why the Best Optical Practices Carry Independent Collections

Jan 21st 2022

5 Secret Reasons Why the Best Optical Practices Carry Independent Collections

With the eyecare industry becoming increasingly integrated, it’s more important than ever for independent practices to invest in independent brands. Despite what you may think, it is possible to carry lines that are not the common “name brands” and still be uber-successful and satisfy what your customers want!

As an independent business owner, why not support an independent eyewear company that shares similar values as you? Here are 5 reason why to carry independent collections.

  1. Keep money from your competitors

    The biggest reason this is possible is that as an independent eyewear company our business doesn’t grow unless yours does. Well, most eyewear brands that are NOT independent typically market their products directly to consumers through various channels. This makes it:
  • Harder for your business. Consumers can purchase the same products somewhere other than your shop making it harder for your shop to get potential consumers in the door.
  • Harder for you to maintain your margins by having to discount or price match your competitors.
  • Easier to take advantage of your shop, turning it into a "showroom" for online sales (which are not benefiting you)

Independent brands are better for your business! Independents design, price, and channel products all for your practice to be successful. Consumers purchase directly from YOU; both supporting your business and ensuring the best experience and professional care for your end-consumer. You might not know this, but independent eyewear is developed by independent companies whose practices and values probably align more closely with your own.

2. Sell your brand, not someone else's

One of the hardest things about owning a business is finding your branding. It starts with the simple things: logos, mission statement, keywords, etc. But eventually, you have to take this branding and put it into action in your own practice.

How your employees talk to customers, the sales cycles consumers have to go through when they walk through your door and even the product you carry is all a reflection of your brand.

Independent lines can help you build on this individuality and enhance your brand by offering products that fit the narrative of who you are.

Are you big on customer service? Your vendors should be big on customer service as well.

Do you want the best vision for your patients? Your frames should be the best.

Most importantly, you are the owner of an independent practice earned through hard work and dedication. Don’t you want to work with companies with those same values?

3. Provide Unique Character

More often than not, you see so many frame lines that are similar; carrying the same shape, colors, and produced from the same materials as other lines. This is typically due to the fact that these “name brand” lines are simply just stamping the same products with their own name. Leaving your business paying for the licensing and royalty fees of that product, not a unique product.

Independent lines on the other hand offer more character, charm and come with their own stories. Our main focus is the product we sell, so we focus on high-quality, raw materials and components, as well as innovative designs and features that are geared towards providing a unique look or more comfortable/adaptable fit.

We pride ourselves on being innovators in the eyewear industry. We work to push the boundaries, deliver unique shapes and combine different mediums. Offering a clearly identifiable look through our seasonal collections.

4. Customer Service is king (or queen!)

One of the most frustrating things as a buyer is having an issue with a product you bought and when you try to get help, you’re put through a daunting automated system. This impersonal process makes it harder (and often slower) to find a solution.

Just like you, it’s important that when issues arise, independent companies (like us) make sure our service reigns supreme and is exceptional. In contrast to many larger companies, a real person is able to answer your calls and emails to help you get your questions answered and find solutions quickly and efficiently.

So, when a customer comes in with an issue or seemingly impossible request you can rest assured that someone from our team will go above and beyond to help. Allowing your customer service to reign supreme as well!

5. Incomparable Quality and Traceable Origin

With thousands of collections out there and new ones being launched at head-spinning rates, how do you cut through the noise to ensure you're getting a high-quality product for your patients?

Independent companies are known for looking at true quality first and foremost. One of the main focuses, beyond aesthetics and styling, when choosing a line to carry is the material the frames are made of. While anyone can claim to be an expert, certain manufacturers and even regions of the world are better equipped and more experienced with certain materials and techniques than others. So it’s important for you to understand what materials and techniques are involved in the manufacturing of the frames you carry, as well as where, how, and by who those frames are madeWhy do all of these things matter? They influence the durability and fit of the frame and impact your customers’ health, quality of life, and perception of your business.

Some of the materials we look at when considering a line to carry are:

  • Titanium - otherwise known as the soul of eyewear is an extraordinary material due to its strength, durability, and weight.
  • Acetate - a material of natural origin composed mainly of cellulose obtained from the cotton plant and wood fibers from which, after a special treatment, becomes the final state of acetate. Ensuring resistant and long-lasting products.
  • XINOX™ - combines the mechanical features of steel and corrosion resistance of carbon, leaving you with extraordinary flexibility, resistance to break, and high resistance to corrosion.
  • Nylon - allows for a unique opaque iridescent effect that is hard to replicate with other materials, while still being flexible, strong, and extremely lightweight.
  • Flextal® - a high-carbon, titanium enriched austenitic stainless-steel alloy, offering great resistance to impact, pressure, and rust, along with being 100% hypoallergenic.

The time and attention put into materials by independent brands is why their quality is much superior to that of big manufacturers.

When choosing a frame collection for your office, consider at least having a mix of independent brands to diversify your offering and let you test the waters first-hand. You'll quickly see why so many businesses are moving in this direction!

Looking for a new collection for your office?
Visit villaeyewear.com to find more lines that are truly independent.