Let’s discuss Warby Parker.
Warby Parker makes eyeglasses. Cute eyeglasses. Some might call them hipster glasses. Whatever, they’re totally awesome. AND when you buy a pair of glasses from Warby Parker, they give a pair to someone who needs them. AND their glasses cost about 1/3 of what you’d normally pay for glasses. Most frames are just $95. Talk about whoa.
Now let’s talk about me.
I’m a 20-year-old (almost 21!!) college student studying advertising. I grew up reading books and watching PBS. My mom often bought store-brand. Many very intelligent teachers and professors have been teaching me to think critically for the past fourteen years. In short, I’m discerning.
And I fell in love with Warby Parker before I ever even bought their product.
Wait, what? How did they do that? How did they breach my defenses and ensnare my cold, hardened soul? I’m so glad you asked.
1) Word of Mouth. It all started when a friend of mine was looking for a new pair of glasses wayyyy back in high school. She’s got awesome, adorable hipster taste, so when she showed me the Warby Parker website, I listened up. I fell in love with the clean lines of their site and, of course, their adorable frames. But I wasn’t in the market for glasses just then.
2) Leaving Me Be for a Bit. Warby Parker fell by the wayside for awhile. I usually wear contacts, and the glasses I got way back in middle school were doing just fine for the 20 minutes I wore them right before bed. But this summer, I decided I needed a new pair of glasses. And where can I find cute glasses? Oh yeah, that site Warby Parker!
I visited their site again, which was still beautiful, and started looking a little more closely at their frames. And then I started getting a good sense of their corporate culture. I love their tone, especially that line at the top of their site: “Let’s find you some amazing glasses.” It’s probably the most genuine tone I’ve ever heard from a brand. I was quickly falling for them. And guess what — you can try their glasses on at home for free!
For any of you who don’t understand, it is just SO awesome when a brand you’re rooting for actually acknowledges your comment. And guess what? EVERY TIME I’ve tweeted and mentioned Warby Parker, they respond. Every time. Major props.
The home-try-on was really fun, by the way. I settled on the Ainsworth frames in Walnut Tortoise and simply dropped it all back in the mail. Done and done!
4) What’s life without a little PR? The same day I ordered my home-try-on, I read this article about the Warby Parker corporate culture. If I remember correctly, Big Spaceship had tweeted it and WP had retweeted. The value of RT!!
Note: While shopping on the Warby Parker site I found that they’re very reliant on targeted banner ads. Just so you all know, I do not believe that banner ads influenced my decision to purchase WP glasses. You could probably nix those.
So, there you have it. Love without ever even knowing if I truly liked the product. Did I purchase? Yeah, I guess I already gave that one away…
For various reasons (like a lack of funds and a years-old glasses prescription), I didn’t order my glasses until October. But when I did, it was easy-peasy. I was worried for a bit that my lenses would be huge because I have a really strong prescription, but it turns out that for an extra $30 you can get the thinner lenses. Totally worth it. My Ainsworth frames shipped in a week and GUESS WHAT. Shipping is free AND it’s two-day delivery! How fantastic.
The Moment of Truth
They came in the mail today.
I have to admit, I was kinda scared to open them. What would happen if I didn’t love them? What if they were awful? All that brand evangelizing I’d already done… Oh god. I held my breath and slit the seal.
Inside was a simple black box. Inside the simple black box was a glasses case with a very nice faux-suede texture.
And in that case were my glasses, lovingly wrapped in the cleaning cloth. I put them on.
My boyfriend said, “Those look great on you! You look like you like better bands than me.”
Seriously, though. They’re cute. They’re well made. Worth it.
And so, WP, because I think your glasses are worth it, I’m writing this post. Because I know that consumer advocacy is a huge part of your business, and I support that. I support your business model, your cute frames, your awesome design and your charity work.
Mad props, WP. Mad props.