Disruptor Status: Warby Parker

Jared from Biz Dev here.  As an Entrepreneurship major and a bit of a marketing nerd, I have a special thing for cool brands, which may be why I love working for Republic!  I find branding fascinating because it takes a company beyond their products.  Branding makes the consumer think less about the what they are buying, the product, and more about who they are buying, the brand.  Warby Parker is one such brand that we, at Republic, think is getting a lot of things right in how they’re disrupting the eye wear market.

Warby Parker is a glasses brand that is taking on the land of giants and overpriced opticals in their industry.  They’ve become a well known player in the eyeglass market for the $95 price tag attached to their top quality prescription opticals.  However, Warby Parker’s success has less to do with their pricing model and more about their branding.

The glasses guru has built a brand on the belief that “buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking”, and everything Warby Parker does is a reflection of this belief.  From their gorgeous website to their Home Try-On program, Warby Parker makes everything simple and fun for their customers.  They also donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold, making buying from Warby Parker about more than just sporting some new shades.

Last year, Warby Parker realized that staying purely e-commerce based would limit customer engagement, and in turn brand extension, so they opened up a select number of brick-and-mortar locations.  I had the opportunity to swing by their flagship store in NYC, and from the moment I stepped inside I was immersed in the Warby Parker experience.  Each detail of the store brought me, the customer, closer to the brand; from the Warby Parker story timeline, to the in-store eye exams, to the free the photo booth.

 
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The engaging nature of Warby Parker’s brand separates them from their competitors and creates a cult-like following in their customers.  With over $100 million in investor funding last year and a Net Promoter score of 91, the Warby Parker brand will only continue to grab market share from the giants of their industry.
Warby Parker’s strong branding, social contribution, omni-channel presence, and customer engagement provides a lot of great takeaways.  Here at Republic, we’re always on the look out for like-minded brands, like Warby Parker, that are challenging the status quo of their industry.  We’re in the business of battling giants, and seeing other underdogs succeed adds even more fuel to the fire.  We want to hear who some of your favorite brands are and why?  Are there things you think we can take away from other disruptors? Leave us comments here.

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  • geneven

    Soylent (Rosa Labs) is about as disruptive as you can get. I have been consuming practically nothing but Soylent for nine months, and am in great health. I am even technically a Vegan, which I didn’t have in mind to begin with. And I am also saving time and money. The idea of a powdered substitute for food has been around for a long time, but this actually works.