Solar Power

The New Dawn of Rx Sun

By
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NEW YORK—Prescription sunglasses, once regarded as a necessary but unexciting second pair sale, are now among the hottest products in the dispensary. No longer limited to a narrow range of frame and lens options, sunglass wearers requiring vision correction are seeking out a new generation of Rx sunwear characterized by high performance and high style.

Several factors are combining to energize the Rx sunwear category. Innovations in materials, treatments and processing technologies have substantially increased the range of prescription lens options. A growing awareness among consumers of the need to protect their eyes from glare, UV and HEV radiation and other ocular hazards is generating greater interest in the Rx sunwear market. And intensified marketing by suppliers of Rx sun brands is creating excitement among consumers. This convergence of forces is driving retail sales of Rx sunwear to new heights.

“Rx sunwear is literally exploding right now,” said David Rips, president of Younger Optics, which makes NuPolar, a leading brand of polarized lenses. “When you combine the benefits of digital surfacing and new materials such as high-index and Trilogy, better Rx polarized prescriptions are being made than ever before in the past. Now is the best time ever for ECPs to really grow their second pair sales and offer their patients better options than ever before.”

Rips’ assertions are borne out by new statistics which indicate sales of Rx sunwear, including both frames and lenses, are outpacing the optical industry as a whole. According to VisionWatch, a study of U.S. consumers conducted by The Vision Council, Rx sunwear unit sales rose 6.3 percent from 2012 to 2013, while total industry retail dollars rose just 3.8 percent. By comparison, frame units rose by 1.3 percent from 2012 to 2013 and lens pairs rose by 1.6 percent.

To better understand what’s behind Rx sunwear’s hot streak, Vision Monday asked executives from 16 different lens manufacturers and sunwear suppliers what’s driving the market and which products, processes and programs are having the most impact.


Carl Zeiss Vision

Jeff Hopkins, Senior Manager, Customer Communications and Professional Affairs

 
Brand Basics: PrescripSun lenses by Carl Zeiss Vision are a complete line of sun lenses and treatments to meet the needs of patients. Zeiss Customized Wrap Lenses are offered in PAL and SV. These lenses feature patented back-surface technology that delivers edge-to-edge clarity with unparalleled visual comfort. Spazio Wrap Single Vision are an atoric 8-base design that delivers a wider field of clear vision with improved visual comfort in even the most challenging wrap frames. The Performance Lens Series Tints include four highly specific tint enhancements designed to optimize the wearer’s visual experience in demanding outdoor activities. We also offer a wide variety of mirror coatings in multiple colors that protect vision without sacrificing style. NXT lenses, made with Trivex material, deliver extreme clarity, lightweight comfort, strength and protection. Exceptional tint quality and lens performance make them perfect for outdoor activities.

We continue to expand our line of wrap-compensated lenses designed specifically for highly curved frames. Our latest addition is Zeiss Progressive Choice Plus Sport, a customized lens that provides a wider field of clear vision in a wrap frame. Photochromic sales have also continued to do well. We are seeing strong acceptance of PhotoFusion by Zeiss in the marketplace.

Tech Essentials: Carl Zeiss Vision’s premium polarized lenses enhance vision by increasing clarity and improving color perception. Polarized lenses benefit your patients year-round by providing 100 percent UVA/UVB protection, reducing glare and allowing greater visual satisfaction for driving and outdoor activities. PhotoFusion is a fast-reacting self-tint that also offers 100 percent protection against solar UV. When combined with premium Zeiss AR, PhotoFusion Brown also significantly reduces blue light transmittance in its activated state.

Health and Wellness: We offer continuing education seminars and in-office training about sunlenses and photochromics.

Marketing: To complement our trade advertising, we offer a variety of demonstration tools for ECPs. Our lens demo tool illustrates polarization along with AR and lens materials. We also offer a lens sample book with polarized lenses and mirrors, and we have new interactive demonstration tools such as i.Demo software, which is included with the i.Terminal 2. Fully animated and intuitive, i.Demo lets ECPs demonstrate key product benefits in a simple and impressive way, ranging from the specific advantages of various materials to coatings and sun protection. In-depth explanations help patients to understand the capabilities of their individualized lenses.


Costa

Renato Capucitti, Director of Rx Sales

 
Brand Basics: Costa was originally founded as a plano sunglass 30 years ago. Authentic Costa Rx sunglasses were introduced three years ago with the same extensive lens options offered in our plano program: patented light filters, encapsulated mirrors, digital lenses specifically designed for outdoor wrap in SV, PAL and FT28.

Tech Essentials: All organic materials are processed in our own lab with our proprietary Waypoint technology, specifically designed for digital wrap and individualized for each frame for the highest degree of accuracy available. We also offer our Costa 580 lenses in SV Glass.

Health and Wellness: Our patented Costa 580 lens technology virtually absorbs all HEV blue light up to 425nm, which we know to be very important for eye health. We reference this in our trade literature and consumer brochures so that everyone is aware of how this works and what the benefit is. In addition, our sales representatives conduct in-office training presentations for a more in-depth review of our technology.

Marketing: Our primary message is brand awareness, especially in the communities and publications that our core customers expect to see us in. We also reinforce that our proprietary technology is now available in prescription with all consumer advertising. We are constantly keeping our message new and relative in print campaigns, and are active with event marketing for consumers and ECPs and we have seen a dramatic increase in communications through social media campaigns.


XPerio UV

Pierre Bertrand, Vice President of Product Marketing, Essilor

 
Brand Basics: XPerio UV from Essilor is a premium brand of Rx polarized sun lenses which offers ECPs and patients the freedom to choose their own frames knowing that the lenses will be customized for any fit. There is no frame restriction when choosing Xperio UV lenses. Xperio UV is the first, complete outdoor sun lens solution that eliminates blinding reflective glare while providing the maximum UV protection on both the front and backside of the lens.

Tech Essentials: The lenses are the only option on the market to offer an Eye-Sun Protection Factor of 50+, the highest level of UV protection that provides at least 50 times more protection from dangerous UV radiation compared to wearing no lenses at all. In addition, Xperio UV lenses are formulated with a technologically advanced hard coat and an easy to clean layer on the front and backside of the lens. This means the lenses are stronger, and more dirt and smudge resistant than any other lens. No other sun lens resists dirt, dust, smudges, oil and waters as well as Xperio UV.

Health and Wellness: Xperio UV is the first and only outdoor lens solution to offer all of the benefits of a polarized lens, plus complete protection against damaging UV light for long-term visual health.

Marketing: Xperio UV launched in 2013 as a differentiated Rx polarized lens bundle, combining the benefits of polarized lenses with industry-leading backside UV protection. Xperio UV is the first Rx polarized lens brand to launch direct to consumer advertising through TV, radio, print, online and social media channels. The 2013 campaign was successful at increasing brand awareness, and the website, XperioUV.com, saw tremendous patient traffic with more than 1,500 daily visits to the online ECP locator. The Xperio UV national advertising campaign will be back on the air in the second quarter of 2014 and will continue to drive awareness of prescription sunwear and the benefits of Xperio UV lenses.


Liberty Sport

Linda Laube, Liberty Sport EVP of Business Development

 
Brand Basics: We are an 85-year old company with a legacy of making ophthalmic frames. Our frames fit well and are made to carry the Rx. We offer technology and Rx solutions. All of our sunglasses are 100 percent Rx-able; it’s an easy sale for the ECP.

Tech Essentials: All our full rim styles have a safety back-lip and all of our frames come with premium sport polycarbonate lenses that meet ANSI Z80.3 standards. Our latest technology, Switch Vision, offers patented magnetic interchange lenses both in plano and Rx. This is an exciting technology that allows the patient to have multiple Rx’s for one frame, and it’s very user friendly. We have a full service in house lab. We have fast become the experts in Rx-ing sports glasses and due to the nature of the Switch Technology we are the only lab that can Rx lenses with magnets.

Health and Wellness: We provide educational materials about sports wellness that explain to the ECP their professional obligation to provide the best sports eyewear to protect their patient’s eyes and prevent them from getting eye injuries. We educate the ECP on our frames, our sport lenses and our technology.

Marketing: We do not do traditional consumer advertising, however, we are focused on social media. We share stories of actual lifestyle athletes that wear and test our product, real use testimonials. For in-store merchandising, we offer collateral and the Complete Rx Sportzone, a stand-alone, 48-piece display that offers the full complement of sports eyewear from sports protective to sport sun performance. Again, everything is 100 percent Rx-able.


Maui Jim

Paul Ponder, Manager, Digital Lens Lab

 
Brand Basics: Maui Jim’s prescription sales are primarily driven by the fact that people fall in love with the clarity and brilliant color that they see through our plano lenses. As their vision changes, they are able to have the same visual experience in some of the world’s clearest and most brilliant prescription lenses with the same level of quality as our plano lenses.

Tech Essentials: Maui Jim’s prescription lens program is called MauiPassport. We manufacture digitally-compensated (free-form) prescription sunglass lenses for single or progressive vision, all of which use our patented PolarizedPlus2 lens technology that cuts 100 percent of UV rays and 99.9 percent of glare from above, below and behind each lens. Maui Jim is the only company to use three rare earth elements and other treatments to white-balance its lenses, resulting in true color vibrancy. Our unique bi-gradient mirrors are darker at the top and bottom of each lens, adding protection from the sun. We also are the world’s only company to offer prescription polarized single gradient sunglass lenses that are darker at the top of the lens, and gradually get lighter going down the lens.

Ordering prescription lenses through Maui Jim’s 25,000-sq. ft. digital surfacing lab in Peoria, Illinois is fast and easy. A Maui Jim Authorized Eye Care Professional will determine the prescription and can assist with a price quote. Pricing will vary due to the prescription process, lens material and frame selection. Upon processing, new prescription sunglasses are shipped directly to the Authorized Maui Jim Eye Care Professional and then dispensed to the customer. The Maui Jim logo in the upper corner of the right lens indicates the new prescription sunglasses were custom-crafted in Maui Jim’s lab.

Health and Wellness Message: In nearly every piece of communication about Maui Jim, we educate people about eye protection and the benefits of PolarizedPlus2 lens technology.

Marketing: Maui Jim will launch a new global advertising campaign in March that will highlight the fact that our sunglasses deliver a view of the world “like you’ve never seen.” Messages about our sunglasses will be seen in television, print, online, collateral, in-store and event marketing and will highlight the clear, colorful benefits of our PolarizedPlus2 lens technology.


Oakley

Dawne Hanks, Optical Channel Marketing Manager

 
Brand Basics: Established in 1975 and headquartered in Southern California, Oakley is one of the leading sports brands in the world. The holder of more than 600 patents, Oakley is continually seeking problems, solving them with inventions and wrapping those inventions in art. This philosophy has made Oakley one of the most iconic and inimitable brands on the market, with innovations that world-class athletes around the globe depend on to compete at the highest level possible. Oakley is famed for its insuperable lens technologies such as High Definition Optics (HDO) which is incorporated into all Oakley sun and prescription eyewear. Laser focused on the consumer, Oakley has both men’s and women’s product lines that target sports performance, active and lifestyle consumers.

Tech Essentials: In the past, having a more advanced prescription meant coping with fewer choices for high-wrap sunglasses. Now those who want superior vision in high-wrap sunglasses don’t have to settle. Oakley introduces a breakthrough innovation called Oakley True Digital Edge, a technology that allows Oakley to increase the Rx range from +2.00 to -3.00 for its high wrap sunglasses to +4.00 to -6.00. OTD Edge allows prescription wearers to experience the same quality they expect from Oakley sunglasses:

- Exceptional visual clarity
- Minimum 120-degree binocular field-view
- Curvature that improves side protection against sun, wind and impact
- Virtually eliminates distortion in the periphery
- Available in single vision and progressive lens designs, OTD Edge is offered only with Oakley Authentic Prescription Lenses.

Health and Wellness: All Oakley eyewear features the following health and wellness attributes:

- Comfort and protection of three-point fit that holds lenses in precise optical alignment
- Optical precision and performance that meets and exceeds ANSI Z87.1 standards
- Impact resistance that meets and exceeds ANSI Z80.3 basic impact standards
- UV protection of Plutonite lens material that filters out 100 percent of UVA/UVB/UVC and harmful blue light up to 400nm
- Polarized lenses that minimize glare (optional)
- Glare reduction and tuned light transmission of Iridium lens coating (optional)

Marketing: Oakley recently announced details of the company’s Disruptive by Design brand platform and signaled its intent for the future, unveiling three key innovation pillars: Enhanced Vision, Digital Eyewear and Customization. For the first time, Oakley will open their blast doors to celebrate their legacy and culture of disruption, and set out the blueprint for future innovation. The core brand ideal and spirit of being Disruptive by Design will be expressed externally through a global integrated marketing campaign spanning all consumer touchpoints. Global advertising begins in March 2014 featuring Oakley founder Jim Jannard, the spectacular Oakley headquarters “One Icon,” and previously unseen and unreleased blueprints and design drawings of the company’s early inventions. The campaign will appear in all key international markets: North America, Europe, Japan, China, South Africa, Brazil and Australia.


Revo

Cliff Robinson, Co-President, B. Robinson and Legacie

 
Brand Basics: Founded in 1985, Revo is a global performance eyewear brand and a leader in polarized lens technology. Revo sunglasses were first created by utilizing lens technology that NASA developed as solar protection for satellites. Today, its advanced, high-contrast polarized sunglasses target the active consumer. The Revo eyewear collection is available at Sunglass Hut stores and other premium retail locations worldwide.

Sequential Brands Group acquired the Revo brand from Oakley in August. 2013. In connection with the acquisition, Sequential signed a long-term license agreement with B. Robinson to manufacture and distribute Revo sunglasses and related products.

Tech Essentials: Revo lenses provide the clearest optics available. All lenses are polarized and made from either Serillium, our proprietary infusion molding process, or Revo Crystal, our proprietary optical glass. All Revo lenses block 100 percent of UVA, UVB and UVC light.

Our Rx work is outsourced to a lab that we partner with, but we handle all day to day logistics, and are the main contact point between the doctor and lab.

Health and Wellness: Ocular protection is very important to us, and Revo has always been known for having the best technology. It is the grandfather of high quality, polarized prescription and plano sunwear.


Rudy Project

Brad Shapiro, Principal

 
 
Brand Basics: We position our Rx lenses as Ultimate, Better and Sensible options, otherwise known as Good, Better and Best. Currently, our Ultimate offering is our digitally surfaced FreeForm TEK lens design that is powered by Shamir. This family of lenses is only available in our proprietary ImpactX material which has superior optics and less aberration found in polycarbonate and is unbreakable for life. We refer to our Better lens offering as FreeForm Sport and they are made in polycarbonate. Our Sensible or Value offering is comprised of polycarbonate lenses fabricated using conventional surfacing. We plan to phase out conventional surfacing later this year.

Tech Essentials: Rudy Project offers more Rx options than any other sport eyewear company. With the exception of a few single lens shield models, virtually all of our sunglasses are Rx able. Our sport performance models can be Rxed three different ways: (i) directly in the frame using a 5 axis edger, (ii) through the use of Rx Direct Clips that permit in office cutting and edging and (iii) with an Rx adapter that fits closely behind the plano lenses.

In the very near future, we will be collaborating with Shamir to introduce a package featuring their new Attitude III Sport design and complex edging capabilities optimized for Rudy Project frames, providing an enhanced visual experience for our customers.

Our customers prefer our frames because of their unique features which provide a more custom fit than that of our competitors:

-Made in Italy
- Lightweight, high tensile strength materials such as Kynetium (magnesium, titanium alloy)
- 360 degree Adjustable temples and adjustable nose for perfect fit and air flow to prevent fogging
- Interchangeable lenses for all Sport Performance models

Health and Wellness: We have chosen to educate ECPs and their staff about how to successfully dispense sport performance eyewear. We offer an ABO credit course titled Technically Cool - Performance Sport Eyewear. Because we believe it is as much our responsibility to keep our dispensers well educated about our products we offer Rudy University, which consists of online training videos and live and recorded webinars as well as an ABO- certified course, Technically Cool - Performance Sport Eyewear.

Marketing: We do a limited amount of consumer advertising. The principal message is that Rudy Project offers a multitude of prescription sport performance options that are available to them.

We have a turnkey Gift with Purchase (GWP) program complete with POP, banners and other support materials. The GWP program provides that when a patient purchases plano or prescription Rudy Project eyewear they have the opportunity to receive a free gift such as a helmet, a pair of casual eyewear, or other Rudy gear by simply filling out a form and paying for shipping and handling. The redemption is done directly through Rudy Project, making life easy for our dispensers.


Serengeti

Marti Hatridge, Global Marketing Manager

 
Brand Basics: Serengeti is a premium brand with a focus on providing the most advanced technologies and the finest craftsmanship. We offer over 50 unique and stylish frame designs in a variety of shapes and sizes, crafted from a range of high-end materials, including: stainless steel; titanium; acetate; premium nylon and Trivex.

Tech Essentials: With last year’s launch of the Vario Drive Thin Design Rx program, Serengeti was able to dramatically increase prescription range. The program is a partnership with Solidar Express Coatings, located in Largo, Florida. (Solidar is a subsidiary of Canada’s largest independent optical lab and pioneers of High Definition Eyewear Technology.) In addition, Trivex-based lenses became much thinner for most prescriptions. Finally, the new process combined with an innovative web ordering system significantly improved turnaround time.

Health and Wellness: Serengeti lenses block out harmful UVA and UVB rays. The lenses use advanced photochromic technology that enables them to adapt to changing light conditions. Proprietary polarization technology eliminates distracting glare.

Marketing: In recent years, our print ad campaigns have run almost exclusively in optical trade magazines. As for direct-to-consumer outreach, social media has provided an efficient, cost effective way to reach existing and potential brand fans. For example, a recently launched Facebook initiative has successfully driven increased traffic to the Serengeti website, allowing for a more cohesive brand experience than would be possible with a traditional print campaign.


Shamir Optical

Candice Keating, Director of Marketing

 
Brand Basics: Shamir was the first to perfect the progressive design for wrap frames with the introduction of our molded Attitude progressive in 2005. Since then we have continued to advance the technology, introducing a premium Freeform wrap design with the Autograph II Attitude both in a progressive and single vision design. In 2012, we took a new focus with our sun offering by introducing a sport specific progressive design with the Shamir Golf. Golfers require unique visual zones to allow them to see the score card in their hand, the ball at their feet and the green in the distance. So our focus has changed from just offering an everyday sun lens, to expanding our progressive sun lens offering to include a sport option as well, with the Golf.

As we continue to advance our technologies it means improved designs. On March 31, we will be launching three all new designs under the Attitude brand: Attitude III - Sport, Attitude III - Fashion and Attitude III - SV.

Tech Essentials: Currently our Autograph II- Attitude design covers bases 6-8, which has been successful for Shamir; but with the introduction of our new Attitude III designs, we will be extending the base curve range to cover a wider selection of frames (both wrap and non-wrap frames). Bigger, non-wrap, fashion frames are back in style, so patients will now be able to benefit from the new designs we are launching, as well those who enjoy wearing sporty wrap frames.

Health and Wellness: Shamir Golf is designed to suit wraparound frames that cover and protect the eyes. Extra-protection materials combine impact protection with comfort, performance, UV and blue light protection. Optional polarized lenses help reduce glare from surfaces such as sand or water.

Marketing: For the next few months, we will showcase the new Attitude III designs in trade publication advertisements as well as online. We will also carry the message through our Social Media outlets. To promote the new products we will have consumer brochures available, posters, and our unique educational videos hosted by Mr. Progresso, that can all be utilized in the practice. Each will focus on the specific use for each new Attitude III designs as well as educate the newest benefit of the Attitude III designs fitting in a wider range of sun frames, to include wrap and non-wrap, since the Attitude has been best known for being a wrap design only. We are also working on making our Lens Wizard available to ECPs to use on their own websites. This will be a great benefit to patients. They will have the opportunity to use the Shamir Lens Wizard to determine what lens designs are best suited for their lifestyle before they walk into the practice.


Smith Optics

David Currier, General Manager Ophthalmic Division

 
Brand Basics: Smith is known especially for the fit of its frames, which comes from the company’s heritage of working with elite athletes in many core sports. As a youth-driven brand, the company is particularly conscious of shapes and colors. Smith also pioneered the extensive use of bio-based plastics, derived from the castor bean plant, and has a large eco-friendly product line called Evolve.

Smith introduced a completely new sun/sunRx lens in October, 2013 called ChromaPop. Smith developed the Trivex-based lens with PPG.

Tech Essentials: ChromaPop semi-finished blanks launched in four tints with three base curves each; polar gray green, polar brown, polarchromic ignitor mirror (rose/brown tint that is both polarized and photochromic), and polar platinum mirror (gray base). Coming by April 1 will be a brown-base polar bronze mirror, and a gray base polar blue mirror. A polarchromic copper mirror will be ready about June 1. All the lenses have a range of +3.00 to -6.00 in 4/6 base; and +3.00 to -4.00 in 8 base, all with a cylinder of 2.00. All lenses are equipped with advanced hydro-oleophobic coatings along with the listed mirror coatings, and a Carat Advantage backside AR through our Smith/Zeiss optional lab program (we stock all frames and lenses at the Zeiss lab in Minnesota for quick turnaround). Unlike other brands, Smith also offers frame-only options for the ECP, eliminating the margin loss from tossing expensive plano lenses; and we also partner with the ECP with an Affiliate Lab Partner Program drop-shipping both frame-only and SF blanks to the ECPs qualified lab of choice. That’s an industry first for a leading sport brand.

Health and Wellness: Ocular protection is huge for us, because of the risk at higher altitudes and more exposure in the mountains, as well as the high-reflective environments around water and sand. In addition, so much of Smith’s DNA involves lifelong outdoor performance in those environments, so all the elements that go into the lens protection equation have always been important to us.

Marketing: Because we are so performance-driven, we tend to emphasize our industry-leading technologies in endemic core sport publications and social media sites. This also has the benefit of making the brand mean something to the ECP and the patient. We are also starting to advertise in some of the more general sport, outdoor, and health titles to reach a mainstream audience. We just finished our first year of an extensive optical trade magazine campaign in 2013, and we’re looking forward to continuing that in 2014 and beyond.


Spy Optic

Jim Sepanek, Spy Optic Executive Vice President

 
Brand Basics: The innovative Spy Happy Lens is the most important initiative driving Spy’s Rx sun sales. The Happy Lens is a patent-pending lens technology designed to let in the sun’s “good” rays that studies suggest create an uplift in mood and alertness, while still blocking all of the “bad” rays.

Tech Essentials: Happy Lens is available in single vision and PALs at authorized eyecare providers. We offer 18 styles and over 60 colorway options, including Blue Spectra, which has superior contrast and color in full sun.

Health and Wellness: Although the Happy Lens blocks harmful blue light, its unique selling point is that it harnesses and amplifies the benefits that long wavelength blue light can have on the body such as enhanced alertness which can boost energy and conjure a more uplifted mood.

Marketing: Spy advertises to consumers. Spy’s mission is to put happy smiles on the faces of everyday people, and we accomplish this with advertisements featuring irreverent taglines and images that promote the idea of happy.


Transitions Optical

Sandy Callwood, Sunwear Marketing Manager, Transitions Optical

 
Brand Basics: The Transitions line of adaptive sunwear products offer a range of dark to darker sun lenses designed to enhance outdoor vision. These products change color or level of tint in response to outdoor light and weather conditions. Our adaptive sunwear products are also developed with four key priorities in mind: tint, color science, polarization (when appropriate) and performance frame fit, to provide a visual advantage during your favorite sports or outdoor activities by increasing contrast, sharpening color, reducing glare and improving distance and depth perception. Like all Transitions lenses, Transitions adaptive sunglasses also block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Tech Essentials: In March 2013, we expanded our line of Nike Max Transitions adaptive sun lenses to include the Nike Max Speed Tint, a product optimized to improve visual performance during running and road cycling. This red-colored lens is designed to eliminate road glare and allow calming light to enter the eye, which helps during endurance sports.

By partnering with best-in-class brands like Nike, Callaway, and Oakley, Transitions adaptive sunglasses are available in a variety of performance frame styles that can help add a visual advantage during sports and activities, as well as providing a comfortable fit.

Health and Wellness: All Transitions lens products block 100 percent of harmful UV rays. We have education and training resources on our ECP website, Transitions.com/PRO, to help eyecare professionals better understand the harmful side effects of ultra-violet light on vision and how to provide proper protection to patients.

Transitions Drivewear adaptive sun lenses enhance the driving experience by combining two of the most advanced technologies in the eyeglass industry. NuPolar polarization from Younger Optics eliminates glare off the road and car hood. Transitions photochromic technology adjusts the color and tint of the lenses as light conditions change, providing ideal color and clarity for driving.

Marketing: Transitions Optical has a new Transitions lenses television commercial that aired during the highly-anticipated and widely-viewed 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and Opening Ceremony on NBC. Our television commercial is also airing nationwide during highly watched programs like the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America”, encouraging consumers to visit our website to learn more about our family of products.

We also advertise to consumers in conjunction with our adaptive sunglass partners—like Nike, Oakley and Callaway—at local, regional and national sporting events.


Coppertone

Jay Lusignan, Marketing Communications Manager, Vision-Ease Lens


 
Brand Basics: We have a two-tier strategy. Our Coppertone Polarized Lens brand is positioned as our premium offering due to its added protection benefit of not only blocking 100 percent UV but guarding against harmful HEV (High Energy Visible) light. In addition, the product is endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective filter for the eyes and surrounding skin. The brand offers 97 percent consumer awareness which is an added benefit to eyecare professionals.

Our SunRx brand, is utilized as a ‘house brand’ or entry level and offers a more affordable price point.

Tech Essentials: We recently launched an all new progressive lens available in Coppertone gray and brown. The Novel Coppertone is an all-purpose conventional PAL with a 13 mm corridor and a 16.5 mm minimum fitting height.

We offer in-house laboratory services through our Venue Lab. These services are for existing Vision-Ease customers who want access to state-of-the-art processing technology without the capital investment. Our Venue Lab offers unique products and coatings not available as a stock product. The lab offers a fast, reliable three-day turn around and flexible order options including web, direct through DVI, phone or fax.

Health and Wellness: Eye health has been getting much more attention over the past three years. The industry as a whole, from manufacturers to dispensers, is doing a much better job in educating the consumers on potential eye maladies caused by the sunlight. But there’s a long way to go. Our sales force provides training opportunities to our customers (train the trainers). In addition to personal training, we offer training materials, white papers, CE credits, free consumer literature in the form of brochures, dispensing mats, etc.

Marketing: We take our UV and HEV protection message out to consumers from our Coppertone brand which provides support for our retail partners. Our primary message is a ‘Prevention’ message. Like anything else, taking good care of your eyes can prevent many serious eye maladies in the future. In addition to a health benefit, we stress the improved view through a quality pair of sun lenses.


Wiley X

Michael Bumerts, Director of Rx Sales

 
Brand Basics: Wiley X makes a wide range of sunglasses, most of which are Rx-able, including tactical products, motorcycle products, acing products, outdoors products and safety products.

The company recently expanded its product lines with the additions of four new collections: the Climate Control Series, Street Series, Active Series and Changeable Series.

Tech Essentials: Wiley X’s new Digiforce digital Rx lenses have been designed specifically for its 8-base wrap frames. These lenses increase and optimize the field of vision in all directions. Digiforce lenses also provide a more significant reading zone and crisper, clearer optics. They enhance visual clarity, color contrast and depth perception and are perfect for any activity including motorcycle riding, hiking, hunting and while on the job.

Digiforce digital lens technology allows Wiley X to completely customize each prescription to the wearer’s lifestyle and frame fit resulting in amazing prescription accuracy and clarity. Standard Rx lens designs in Wiley X 8-base wrap frames can cause peripheral distortion, commonly referred to as the “fishbowl effect.” Digiforce point by point digital lens mapping delivers enhanced visual clarity and color contrast while minimizing distortion.

Digiforce lenses matched with Wiley X frames allow the wearer’s personalized vision needs to be met. By accounting for measurements such as pantoscopic tilt, wrap angle, vertex distance, Digiforce delivers personalized free-form lenses that give prescription wearers personalized eyewear for their unique viewing angles and frame measurements, improving the perceived prescription results as the wearer moves their eyes around the lens.

Health and Wellness: Wiley X is the only premium sunglass brand able to claim that every pair of glasses it makes exceeds ANSI Z87.1 high velocity and high mass impact safety standards for OSHA occupational eye protection. This workplace standard requires all Wiley X glasses to withstand 20.25 cailber pellets fired at 150fps, as well as a 1.1. pound, pointed projectile dropped from a height of 50 inches.

Marketing: Wiley X’s tagline, “Absolute. Premium. Protection.” which it uses in advertisements, POS artwork, collateral materials and other marketing/promotional pieces, sums up the company’s philosophy. Wiley X’s messaging reaches a broad spectrum of consumer and industry audiences.


NuPolar

David Rips, President, Younger Optics

 
 
Brand Basics: Nupolar by Younger Optics has continued to be the world’s leader in Rx polarized sunwear. We offer a wide range of materials, and seek to find a product fit for every segment of the market.

Tech Essentials: NuPolar lenses perform better than competition in many crucial tests of polarizing efficiency, heat stability, film adhesion, color stability etc. NuPolar lenses are available in more colors, styles and materials to fit your life than any other Rx polarized lens.

Nupolar has recently been released in 1.60 and 1.67 high-index materials.

Health and Wellness: All NuPolar lenses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB as defined by U.S. and European standards.

Marketing: Nearly all our advertising is directed to the ECP rather than the consumer. We are mostly continuing the educational marketing we have done in the past 20 years promoting polarized lenses.

We have just developed a new, stand-alone polarized lens demonstrator. It is battery operated and has a small footprint.