social media technology Uncategorized

Warby Parker: style x tech perfection

“Geek chic” might be somewhat of a cliche, but it’s an appropriate term in more ways than one when describing eyewear brand Warby Parker.

The US-based company not only has stylish (and affordable) glasses for today’s hipster set absolutely nailed, but it’s a model example of a company using digital and technology to successfully market itself.

I actually only became truly familiar with the brand at SXSW where it hosted a “Citizen Circus”, a 1920s-themed space filled with live music, vintage clothing stalls, food trucks and of course the brand’s own product. During Internet Week New York this week, it then held a party with Refinery29 called “Style, Specs + Tech”. Both events left me wanting to learn more.

Fortunately that wasn’t too hard. Provide a check-list of top social media sites, and Warby Parker is present across them all: Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Each is done brilliantly; tapping into the brand’s stylish existence, storytelling and building dialogue, while always looping back to a focus on exceptional customer service.

On that note, take its second YouTube account as an example. Here, short quirky video responses are posted to individual consumers. Some of them suggest which style to choose, other just say thanks for ordering (see below)… It doesn’t get much more personal than that.

In fact, ensuring satisfaction is seemingly seeded throughout the company’s business model. A wealth of innovative tech functions on its website help decision-making; rotating model shots for instance, or better yet, a virtual try-on tool.

And there’s also a service that enables shoppers to order five pairs of glasses to try-on for free at home. That may not seem about marketing directly, but the delivery encourages users to post photos of their options to Facebook. According to co-founder Neil Blumenthal, the average post then receives five comments, helping to publicise the products further.

The company is also tapping into the physical vs digital world in quirkier ways. Tomorrow its taking its love of Instagram onto the streets with a photo walk around New York. Following the success of a similar event held in January, it invites consumers to join for an “afternoon photo scavenger hunt beginning at Washington Square Park at 3:30pm, ending at our headquarters with Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls”. Contest categories include ‘signs of summer’, ‘hotdog’ and ‘looking up’. Should make for some great Instagram content, not to mention further affinity with its fans.

If you still weren’t sure whether this is a good company to learn from, they also support a Buy One Get One model – for every pair of glasses sold they provide a pair to someone else in need, check it out. And why not order five pairs to try while you’re at it; I just did.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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