Your mature customer base is growing and with it their demand for eyewear. They want to see well, and they want to look good too. While many customers will gravitate towards the colours and styles they’ve always worn, taking the opportunity to encourage them into something new may be just what they need to feel re-energised and excited about the years ahead.
Many years ago, it was assumed that once a person hit their 60s (let alone their 50s) they’d dress a little more conservatively and stay at home a lot more often.
Not so now.
Step into a restaurant, take a stroll along the high street, or relax at the beach and you’ll see a vibrant generation of 50-somethings making the most of all that life has to offer.
This growing population is, of course, a prime market for eyewear – after all, pretty much all of them will need vision correction (unless they’ve had surgery) and they all should be protecting their eyes from the sun.
MAKE THEM FEEL FABULOUS
For optometrists and optical dispensers, this is an exciting market – one for which you can really make a difference, particularly if you work with them and get them to be a little bolder in their choices.
That’s not to suggest you put every middle-aged patient into the loudest, wackiest frame you can find. Far from it, as Jacque Katsieris from ProOptics explains – if you go too wild, you’re at risk of making the person standing in front of you look silly, feel insecure and shun your advice for evermore.
“People need to feel great about their frame. The most important thing for them to remember when they are choosing an amazing piece of eyewear is that, in doing so, they are inviting everyone they meet to look into their eyes and start a conversation. This is why it’s so important to help them make good choices,” Ms Katsieris said.
“I believe that without talking them into something outrageous, eyecare professionals should encourage their customers to stretch out of their comfort zone.
“My motto is, ‘be comfortable but be daring and ready to start a conversation’.”
Ms Katsieris is well known for working with practices to host private instore events – after hours brand evenings where customers are invited to try on the latest collections, with friends, and over a glass of champagne.
“I love these evenings, the opportunity to work with both the dispensers and their customers, to tell them the stories behind the frames, to talk to them about the technology and to encourage people to try something different within a safe and positive environment.
“You can really tell when someone loves a frame – their face lights up with a spontaneous smile. I suggest taking photos of a patient in say three frames – you’ll tell by either the smile on their face in the photo or the smile on their face as they look at the photo – which one they like best – it’s instant.”
For many mature patients, this is the time of life when two optical frames can be a sensible solution – one more conservative style for every day and a second, more adventurous pair for going out, or when the mood strikes.
As well as finding styles and colours that work with a person’s skin tones, hair and personality, Rozalb Naqshbandi, Marketing Manager at Rodenstock Australia, says technical aspects of a spectacle are important considerations.
“As people age, their vision deteriorates, yet ironically, this is a time of life when sharp vision is most important to minimise the risk of trips and falls. Glasses become necessary for more hours of the day, making a comfortable fit to the face and accurate positioning of the lens’ focal centre imperative,” said Ms Naqshbandi.
“We forget that as people get older, they feel the weight of a frame more on the bridge of the nose and, as the skin becomes more delicate, heavy frames or sharper edges can also leave unsightly indents in the skin. So, lightness on the face is important, as is a robust construction. Often these patients have active lifestyles – they enjoy travel and sport; perhaps they have grandchildren; then of course as they age further, they may lose some control of their fine motor skills or develop dementia; all of which can pose different challenges when it comes to looking after eyewear.”
Rodenstock designs its own frames into which it fits its proprietary lenses. The German eyewear company also fits lenses into other branded frames.
“Our ‘system of vision’ means that we consider the design of our frames when manufacturing lenses so that the two components work perfectly together to optimise vision,” Ms Naqshbandi explained.
When displaying frames in store, it stands to reason that you need a display your target audience will connect with, good lighting to highlight the frame colours and details, and well-lit mirrors positioned so patients can try frames on without feeling that the entire world around them is watching their every move. Ms Naqshbandi also recommends closing sales by gifting the customer a quality fit for purpose case that reflects the value of the eyewear within. A store branded cleaning cloth, cleaning spray and even a stylish spectacle chain can also add value and keep your customers coming back.
Take a look at the collection of frames for mature customers that we’ve curated on the following pages.
Eyewear for a Mature Market
Timeless and elegant, Louis Marcel offers contemporary-classic design. Centred around eternal beauty, this collection features titanium metals, exquisite Italian acetates, Swarovski crystals and superior enamel accents. A perfect choice for your discerning, mature clientele.
Contact: Aaron’s Eyewear (AUS) 07 3367 8447
Who says seniors can’t look fun? VFU590 in colour 07LA features distinctive colour combinations with transparent acetates. Aligned with the latest trend, which will bring fun into wearability, this frame is well-suited for every occasion.
Contact: De Rigo (AUS) 02 9428 1500
Jukurrpa Designs has designed a range of frames based on Aboriginal Artwork from Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu. Jukurrpa Designs uses high quality materials – Mazzucchelli acetate and German OBE hinges. The company also gives back 10% of all sales to the Yuendumu community to help support their well-being and future paintings.
Contact: eyesaBOve (AUS) 0402 353 912
The 5 Oceans collection by Sea2see includes unisex optical and sun models characterised by marine inspired shading, wave effects and details inspired by the sea. The collection reflects a palette of natural marine-inspired colours and textures developed to represent ocean tones. All the frames are produced in Sea2see’s recycled marine plastic.
Pictured is Segusino 164, a thicker rim frame in a rectangular shape, which offers a statement design with a timeless look.
Comfort, design and style are important features when a mature consumer is choosing an optical frame. Marchon Eyewear offers dependable, quality materials with on-trend and classic frame selections from Anne Klein, Flexon, Pure and Skaga. These brands have an assortment of shapes, colours and materials to make your customers feel their best, at any age.
Contact: Marchon Eyewear (AUS) 1800 251 025
The Wabi-sabi collection, by Tree Spectacles, is inspired by the ancient Japanese philosophy that teaches the acceptance of imperfection, to rediscover the beauty of an intuitive and spontaneous creation. The two new optical frames – models Hal and Thor – are both modern and minimalist, with sculpted shapes and edges. Made with technical know-how, they provide excellent comfort and feature a raw, artisanal aesthetic.
Minerva Optic’s invites you to explore the boundaries of geometry and colour that is Paname. The brand shapes the image and identity of their eyewear collection while respecting the codes, values and colours of Paname.
Contact: Minerva Optics (AUS) 0478 957 010
Nine Eyewear Limited Edition is designed in Denmark and handmade by Japanese craftsmen in more than 250 production steps, with special production techniques. The collection features appealing colour variations and titanium parts plated with precious metals like 18-karat gold, ruthenium, or palladium.
Opticare offers a selection of sophisticated eyeglasses with premium lenses for men. Introducing the Aston Smith collection, made from high-quality materials that promise durability, comfort, and style. Aston Smith is available through Opticare’s Frame + Fit package.
Contact: Opticare (AUS) 1800 251 852 or [email protected]
Rialto incorporates the finest materials and components to match the style and quality of designer brands but at a fraction of the price.
Laibach & York’s opaque and transparent acetates offer timeless designs with modern silhouettes, in numerous colour combinations and exclusive limited editions, while TC Charton is designed foremost with Asian features in mind, accommodating for those with higher cheekbones and lower nose bridges, resulting in a perfect fit every time.
Contact: Rialto Eyewear (AUS) 0416 952 291
Rodenstock’s new Ultimate Lightness collection focuses on the essentials to create a simple yet significant design with modern shapes and thoughtful details – and as little material as possible.
The Ultimate Lightness collection is characterised by a fine titanium frame and is available in four colours. A customisable nylon thread fixes the lens and adds a colourful highlight to the frame.
Contact: Rodenstock (AUS) 02 9748 0988
The Elusive Miss Lou
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale. Embrace the stars with The Box in Midnight Sparkle, one of the latest and greatest designs by The Elusive Miss Lou in a fabulous new pattern.
Contact: The Elusive Miss Lou (AUS) 0414 908 841
venEyes Customisation APP provides patients with Australian-made optical eyewear in diverse styles and colours uniquely created using high-precision 3D technology. This secure, comfortable, non-slip, and durable eyewear is tailored to each patient’s unique aesthetic as well as their facial measurements, accounting for pupillary distance, vertex distance and tilt angle.
Create a refreshing new look in a style fashioned for the 21st century adult. This sleek frame with a thin profile features gloss framework accented with shiny metal rivets. The crystal frame interior provides a prominent view of the creative, oceanic Kapa design that lies within the temples’ core. Effortless elegance awaits in this versatile classic. Introducing the MJO2235 from Maui Jim.
Contact: Maui Jim (AUS) 1800 010 244
Stepper Eyewear is the iconic spectacle brand synonymous with comfort and style. “Comfort comes from understanding the anatomy of the face and creating a frame that works in harmony with the contours,” said founder Hans Stepper. Pictured is model 30201.
Contact: Optique Line (AUS) 03 9853 0796
Apollo Optical considers eyewear design to be “an art”, with the frames of the JvG Art collection the designers’ canvas. Sophisticated colour combinations and elaborate laminations, paired with extraordinary shapes, are the basis for this timeless collection.
Contact: Apollo Optical (AUS) 02 9821 4111
Paul Taylor Eyewear
When Paul Taylor first met his life partner Dale Hutson in the year 2000, he created a ‘Dale’ design. That year Taylor’s designs were emerging from a very slick angular look. Although this design sold through well, fashion wise, its life span didn’t last too much longer.
Speaking of the new release, Taylor said, “Dale had been at me for quite some years to create a new Dale design. Today we celebrate not only our magnificent relationship but the release of this new modern piece. It’s a smart, sophisticated design for men. Every optometrist/optical dispenser should have this design on display… even if it is only for one day before it gets snapped up by the discerning gentleman.”
Contact: Paul Taylor Eyewear (AUS) 0458 777 125
Struktur is known for its colourful, geometric frames crafted from acetate, metal and titanium. Designed and handmade in Normandy, France, Struktur dares to be different by finding a beautiful balance between comfort, aestheticism and originality. Pictured is The Singer, a lightweight fame in titanium and acetate.
Contact: ProOptics (AUS) 02 8007 6041