As humans, we are hardwired for stories. It’s how we connect as friends and family, sharing the legacy of those who come before. The same is true for a company that wants to break into a crowded space.
That’s what Warby Parker has done with eyeglasses, a market that had been served by large, if somewhat sleepy, brands that sell through high-end optical shops to the simple “readers” available in drug stores. Today, the company is valued somewhat north of $1B based on meeting a need – and effectively building and sharing their story.
Five years ago, Warby Parker was founded by four men looking for a solution to a problem: good looking glasses were too expensive. But by disrupting the market – selling direct online and designing its own specs - Warby Parker was able to cut costs and become trendy. That was the start of the Warby Parker story. But the story continues - for every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker donates one pair to a person in need through the non-profit, VisionSpring. Beyond building a brand, Warby Parker created a mission-based story.
Consumers can feel good about purchasing glasses from Warby Parker knowing that they are making a purchase and supporting a cause. The story behind Warby Parker helps consumers emotionally connect, and when we connect emotionally, we share our stories. Warby Parker customers share the story of their feel-good purchase.
And those of us in marketing know that there’s nothing more powerful than sharing a story, or word of mouth marketing and soon enough, brand awareness becomes brand affinity. The story defines their brand and therefore, Warby Parker stands out in the optical market.
As Seth Godin says, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories that you tell.”