Changes in Infrastructure

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NEW YORK--The changes in the how a brand is designed and the technology behind it isn't the only significant change most eyewear companies have experienced.

"The brands have changed the structure of the whole company," declared Donna Rollins, vice president of corporate branding for Marchon.  "We have to have a design center in the U.S. and we have to have one in Italy because we have European brands and we have American brands. We have brand specialists, we have collection specialists, and we have marketing people who just do one brand."

Marchon's Ginsberg explained, "The whole business model is different and when the business model changes so does the end result because you have more people touching the product, you have more creative juices going into the flow and you have a synergy between the collaborative effort of the licensor and the licensee, its not unilateral."

"Each of our top lines has a dedicated design team, brand manager and product development manager,? stated Luxottica's Beccarini. "We conduct market analysis and keep an eye on what our competitors are doing. The work flow and production flow has changed but we have retained our factories."

"Our internal structure has changed," agreed Kenmark's Duralde. "It requires the addition of more designers.  We have an in-house design team along with dedicated brand mangers that work directly with the licensors to execute elements and translate brands into successful eyewear collections."

"We previously had a centralized design team that worked on multiple brands at once but as we've grown and our brands have grown, we learned that we needed to make an even stronger investment in product development," supplied Safilo's Gottardi.  "We've spent tremendous resources in recent years staffing up our design teams. We now employ over 100 designers worldwide who are dedicated to each of our individual brands. This measure insures that each of the 2,500 frames we produce annually is both unique and unmistakable. We've additionally invested in a strong global brand management team that coordinates with our 30 commercial subsidiaries and exclusive distributors worldwide to insure that the brand's integrity, aesthetic and distribution requirements are being upheld. As far as sales and marketing is concerned, we have six sizeable sales organizations in the U.S. and a strong marketing/brand management team in place who are each devoted to a handful of non-competitive brands." 

"Again, I think that there is a lot more focus and people devotedto partnering with your licensors, nowwe have full teams; brand specific teams who own it, who breathe it, who think it," concluded Marchon's Muller.