Good eye care is the basis of a strong optometric business. The trick is to constantly build on your skills and your brand awareness.
Optometrists practising in Sydney and its surrounds sit in the most intensely competitive environment in the country. And now there is another player taking up a position – George and Matilda Eyewear (G&M for brevity), the brainchild of former Luxottica CEO Chris Beer.
I’ll declare my hand right up front here – I’ve known Chris well for quite a number of years during his time with Lux and I hold him in the highest regard. Chris knows that good eye care is the basis of good optometric business and that showed while he was at the helm of Lux.
And now there is another player taking up a position – George and Matilda Eyewear…
So what will this new player mean for our market generally and our independents in particular?
I spoke to Kelvin Bartholomeusz, one of the leading business coaches from ProVision, about G&M. Interestingly, Kelvin had largely the same view that I do and it goes something like this.
G&M has started by acquiring good quality existing practices, with the incumbent operators remaining in place. That means that, by and large, we won’t see a flood of new sites being opened. Much of the initial activity will be rebranding. However, what we will see is a lift in advertising as G&M seeks to establish a foothold for the brand. Now as both Kelvin and I agree, this advertising is going to benefit not only G&M, but other practitioners as well.
In general terms advertising does two things – it builds profile for the advertised brand, but it also elevates general awareness around the product or service being promoted. So, in this instance, a G&M ad is going to make people think “I haven’t had my eyes checked in a while – need to get that done”. That’s good for general awareness of optometry and savvy marketers will leverage their own promotions to take advantage of this. Just think of the health funds – when they run ads promoting ancillary benefits, many optoms then run their own local promos pushing their own health fund member offers. Leverage – you can’t beat it!
Our program for WAVE 2016 (13–14 August) is available and registrations are open. This year WAVE will take place at the Rondezvous Hotel in Scarborough, which boasts a spectacular outlook and a great social precinct within the hotel complex.
The focus of this year’s conference is contact lenses and glaucoma, and we have an excellent line up of highly-regarded speakers ready to present, among them Dr. Bang Bui who will expand on his glaucoma presentations from 2015. He will also present on diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
Jason Holland will debut at WAVE, speaking on meibomian gland dysfunction and IPL. Heidi Hunter will also debut, speaking on several topics, among them co-managing corneal disease with ophthalmology. Margaret Lam will speak about contact lens complications, and Michael Yapp will use case studies to demonstrate key points on topics surrounding glaucoma.
OWAGG 16, a program especially planned for recent graduates will run on the afternoon of Friday 12 August, immediately preceding WAVE.
2016 is the Centenary of Optometry Western Australia and this will be acknowledged at special events during WAVE, including the Sundowner on Saturday night, sponsored by CR Surfacing. For the first time, Optometry Western Australia has partnered with the Optical Alliance. This means all members of the Alliance can use their points to pay their WAVE registration fees. Our registration form has all the details.
A fantastic line up of exhibitors, from equipment through to frame and lens suppliers will round off what promises to be another fantastic conference. Visit www.optometry.org.au/wa/professional-development-events/wave-2016.
Thanks always to our members and supporters across the entire optical profession. Without your support Optometry Western Australia would not be able to achieve all that it does.