Being the only one in my family of four to not be four-eyed was always somewhat of a disappointment for me. Now, I’m certainly not complaining about my luck in having 20×20 eyesight, but it definitely makes a girl wonder what she’s missing out on! Since its introduction in 2010, Warby Parker has given me (and the rest of the population who can read the bottom line on the eye exam chart) a renewed reason to wish for less-than perfect eyesight.
Warby Parker was founded by four inventive four-eyed gentlemen around the idea that everyone has the right to see. Similar to Toms’ business model, for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. In order to make the transition from buying traditional glasses to WP smoother, the company offers a Home Try On program.
Potential customers can pick 5 frames and WP will ship them off to customers for free for a five-day period. The prices for a pair of WP glasses start at $95, and to keep these prices down while also fulfilling its mission, the company focuses on three areas of business.
- Circumvent traditional channels
- Design glasses in-house
- Engage with customers directly
In order to engage with customers directly, Warby Parker dominates three areas of social media. With the company having now distributed over one million pairs of glasses, WP continues to use Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to further its noble mission of helping everyone to see the world!
Warby Parker uses Facebook in a similar fashion to other companies, but in order to accommodate the unique distribution scheme of its operations, WP has two categories of Facebook interactions. The largest Facebook page WP operates is the main brand page. It has just under 450,000 likes and its content mainly consists of new product introductions, new WP store openings, partnership updates, and links to press about the co-CEOs (such as this interesting Fast Company article written in March 2015). WP also has Facebook pages for each of its retail locations. These pages consist of localized information and photos from the stores. One way WP stands out on Facebook, however, is its tireless engagement with its customers. For example, if a customer posted that he/she didn’t know there was a new store opening in his/her town, WP would respond back: Or if a customer needed some objective advice on which pair of WP frames to choose from the Home Try On program, the WP social team would respond back:
To keep the down-to-earth no-hassle vibe of Warby Parker going, WP’s Instagram is full of photos of its employees. The majority of the models in WP Instagrams are either employees of the corporate office or of individual stores, allowing the startup feel to remain in a company that has expanded exponentially in the past few years.
Many of the posts feature just the glasses in various settings, but others promote new locations, causes the company is dedicated to, or collaborations with various artists. WP is also tagged in thousands of photos on Instagram with #warbyparker or #warbyhometryon. For posts tagged with #warbyhometryon, the Warby Parker or Warby Parker Help team responds to hundreds of potential customers asking which glasses look best. In addition, WP glasses can be seen on Instagram featuring celebrities ranging from Karlie Kloss and Ryan Gosling to John Hamm and Oprah Winfrey. By posting original content and engaging with customers, WP continues to grow its strong presence on Instagram.
The Warby Parker Help YouTube channel features short videos on the various partnerships in which the company engages, such as Uncrate, Maiyet, and Cooper Hewitt. Almost all of the videos feature a WP employee explaining the partnership or the style of frame featured. This is consistent with the theme from Instagram. In addition, WP also receives a significant amount of social media press from various YouTube contributors talking about their own experiences with the brand. Many of these videos include the WP Home Try On boxes, labeled with the phrase “Good things await you”.
Seeing as the company now consists of over 500 employees, Warby Parker now has a social media team to engage its customers. The company encourages all members of WP to engage with customers online and to “write like Warby Parker is the person you’d want to be next to you at a dinner party.” (Fast Company). In addition, to ensure the one-brand image, Neil Blumenthal, one of the co-CEOs, approves all marketing messages for the company.
Although I have no need for a pair of well-crafted frames, Warby Parker’s social media and overall business model convinced me I should buy a pair regardless. Through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, WP has made a name for itself in the minds of customers around the country, and I would venture to say to Warby Parker: good things await you.