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Warby Parker, founded in 2010, is an American based firm that deals in eyeglasses and sunglasses. Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, David Gilboa, and Jeffrey Raider founded the company and decided to have the company’s headquarters in New York (Warby Parker, 2013). The company sells its products through the internet and has a unique feature of a single physical store in the United States of America. As such, the company sells its products at relatively low prices compared to other companies dealing in the same products. This is possible due to the absence of overhead costs incurred through office rental fees. The choice of company name arose from a magazine produced by Beat Generation and authored by Jack Kerouac (Warby Parker, 2013).
The four founders studied in Wharton business school and it is in Wharton that Warby Parker started through the Venture Inception Program sponsored by the school. The four partners got 2,500 US dollars from the program, which enabled them to launch the company in February 2010. Warby Parker appeared in Vogue.com and in GQ magazine in the same year. The company managed to solicit for funding to an excess of 2.5 million US dollars in May 2010 (Warby Parker, 2013).
Later on, Warby Parker launched Series A and Series B through which the company netted a total of 49.5 million US dollars and received more finance of 4 million US dollars in February 2013 from American Express and Mickey Drexler. The company hopes to launch its first physical store in 2013 (Warby Parker, 2013).
Warby Parker’s Charity Program and Products
The company gives free eyeglasses to the needy through a program dubbed ‘buy a pair, give a pair’. This involves collaborating with and funding Vision Spring, a non-governmental organization that in turn sells to clients or organizations (Warby Parker, 2013). The company gives out a pair of glasses to a needy person for every pair of glasses purchased. Warby Parker manufactures glasses privately and retails them directly to clients making it possible to charge low prices since middlemen do not feature anywhere hence avoidance of expenses like mark-ups, rental fees and license fees that are usually borne by end users. Price per pair of eyeglasses goes for a fixed price of 95 US dollars (Warby Parker, 2013).
Frames from Warby Parker have received accolades from companies such as Elle, Esquire among others. Following from the fact Warby Parker does not have physical showrooms; the company trades its products through the internet. Currently, the only physical outlet is the company’s headquarters in New York where customers can purchase eyeglasses, sunglasses or monocles.
Warby Parker and the Use of Social Media
The company has harnessed the power of social media in their operations (Demery, 2013). They make use of three social media sites namely facebook, twitter and Pinterest. Currently, the company has over ten thousand likes on their facebook change and the number increases by the day. Concerning facebook, Warby Parker encourages and lets potential clients post photographs of themselves donning the company’s products with the intention of soliciting views from other fans of Warby Parker Facebook page (Demery, 2013).
The company allows potential clients to try on at least five frames and in case a client has further questions, the client uses the company’s home-try-program to get assistance from customer care representatives. Back to Facebook, Warby Parker allows anyone to post on the wall and is prompt in answering all customers’ queries on Facebook. Such questions range from the company’s profile, its founders, products and why the company sells products at such low prices (Demery, 2013).
Warby Parker also utilizes twitter where the customer and potential customers engage the company on any issue about the company or products. Facebook and Twitter have assisted the company increase sales mostly through word of mouth, which is a very effective way of marketing products and services for any company. In addition, Warby and Parker utilize Tumblr and Pinterest for its product awareness strategies. Those in charge post what inspires Warby Parker on these two sites as well as objects that stand for the company’s brand personality. The company avoids posting adverts that may bore customers and decrease sales (Demery, 2013).
The marketing team at Warby Parker uses search engine outreach to introduce the company to potential customers and dispatches emails to actual clients concerning new products. On the aforementioned social sites, the company uses a mixture of paid advertisements as well as posts by employees and live chats to promote new products (Demery, 2013). Thirty percent of questions and comments directed to the company to come through social media, and this allows the company marketing team to interact with clients in real time to encourage clients to share information on products. In the handling of issues, some customer care representatives utilize Hoot Suite social media administration technique to monitor and answer clients’ issues (Demery, 2013).
Demery, P. (2013). Building a Brand. Web.
Warby Parker. (2013). A New Concept in Eyewear. Web.