Partnering with Your Lens Supplier

By Staff

Independent wholesale labs hold an interesting niche in the eye care market. Through long-standing relationships with ECPs, they have a deep understanding of what their customers need and want. This knowledge is marketing gold. However, with a heavy focus on reinvesting resources into processing, marketing can be a lower priority. By enlisting marketing help from an independent lens manufacturer, labs can better promote and develop products for increased interest and sales.

Vision-Ease Lens makes its in-house product development and marketing available to independent wholesale labs that use and support its brands. Basic services include customized marketing materials and price book assets, as well as custom product promotions. For more comprehensive support, Vision-Ease Lens offers private label branding and product development, event planning, marketing, and training sessions.

“We have been a marketing partner for labs for decades. We realized that by pairing the lab’s market knowledge with our marketing expertise, we could both reach more ECPs and broaden the reach of our products,” said Dominique Jara, wholesale marketing manager at Vision-Ease Lens. “Because we already have marketing materials in place, it’s more efficient to incorporate the lab’s brand and identity in these assets so they don’t have to start from scratch.”

To help increase the lab’s margins, Vision-Ease Lens customizes its marketing materials to include the lab’s information as requested. This professional packaging sets labs apart and directs ECP’s back to the independent lab. This same professionalism extends to design and development for price book pages and ads. Making the lab the contact for Vision-Ease Lens products creates a connection between the ECP, the lab and the manufacturer.

Product promotion is also available. Labs can see a lift in product sales through a customized wholesale promotion – including ads, email blasts, banner ads, flyers and job stuffers – targeted to their ECP customer. It starts with a discussion between the lab and Vision-Ease Lens to determine what tactics will work best, and all information is kept confidential and proprietary. In the past, successful campaigns have relied on ECPs self-tracking sales or Vision-Ease Lens running the promotion behind the scenes, tracking sales and paying out rewards.

“Some of our independent lab partners want to take things to the next level with product development, events, and training,” Jara said. “Because we have the industry knowledge, marketing savvy and tools already in place, we’re able to offer personalized support at a fraction of the cost of an outside vendor.”

Brand redesign and new name recommendations are two ways Vision-Ease Lens helps labs integrate its products with other brands in a category and better position products to a target market. To enhance product positioning, Vision-Ease Lens offers customer service and sales training, along with personalized marketing materials targeted to ECPs and patients that support the private label brand. For independent labs with a product idea, Vision-Ease has the flexibility to quickly take ideas from concept to product ready for processing.

A final but often overlooked marketing tactic is events, which can strengthen the connection between labs and ECPs. Vision-Ease Lens has planned dozens of events for labs, from ABO seminars to happy hours, to nights out to the theater. More formal sessions on products and processes can be kept in–house through training sessions that build credibility on products and regulations. Pairing training with an event is an effective way to help sales professionals and customer service agents meet with ECPs.

Labs establish lasting trust with ECPs by being experts on the products they provide. By partnering with a lens manufacturer, labs can better equip ECPs with the materials needed to make informed decisions for their business and clientele, leading to more satisfied customers. To learn more about Vision-Ease’s marketing capabilities and partnerships, please contact your Vision-Ease Lens representative.

You can contact Dominique Jara, wholesale marketing   manager, Vision-Ease Lens, Ramsey, Minn., at dominique.jara@vision-ease.com


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May/June LabTalk 2017