Warby Parker: A surprisingly delightful brand experience

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I recently got hit on the head with one of those reminders of “you’re getting old.” I needed glasses. (I know, how tragic!) After getting my prescription, I was eager to ask my four-eyed friends for recommendations on where to get some frames. “WARBY PARKER!” they all said. And so it began.

I was expecting to try on some glasses, pick a pair and be done with it. I wasn’t expecting to drink the Warby Parker Kool-Aid. But alas, I did.

The brand basics

Warby Parker was founded “with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to create boutique-quality, classically crafted eyewear at a revolutionary price point.” The story is quite cute, actually: Four UPenn grads got sick of paying for over-priced glasses, so they decided to do something about it.

The $95 price point is fairly revolutionary. So, how do they do it? While most high-end fashion brands outsource design and production, Warby Parker designs, manufactures and sells their glasses. And that’s not even the best part. For every pair you buy, a pair is donated to someone in need!

What else is so great about the brand?

1) It’s approachable: Its products are well-made and, even more impressive, well priced. It doesn’t just speak to you, it talks with you, using a conversational and friendly tone.

2) It’s trustworthy: Warby Parker trusts you, so it’s easy to trust it. If you’re unsure about what frames you want, you can choose five styles and the company will send them to you, for free. You pick the ones you want and send the rest back. It’s that simple. No agreement to sign, just your word.

3) It’s honest: I unfortunately had a small problem with the glasses I ordered. One of the lenses was slightly cracked right next to the frame (not obstructing my vision). When I called, a lovely woman answered and was incredibly apologetic. Warby Parker issued me a new pair immediately and refunded me 15% because of the inconvenience. Within days I had a new pair.

4) It’s fun: The boutique space on 16th street and 5th avenue is great. It’s stylish, well designed and friendly. The company Twitter feed is enthusiastic and most importantly, appreciative. The web site allows you to virtually try on a pair of glasses. It’s also a very seamless experience.

Well done, Warby Parker, well done!

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